The Pros and Cons of Renting an Instrument

The moment your child shows interest in playing an instrument is an exciting time. But it also raises some questions you need to consider. When your child starts taking music lessons, the first big question to ask yourself is whether buying or renting an instrument is the better option for you and your child.

As a parent, you already have a lot of expenses, and a new instrument might not fit into your budget. Renting an instrument seems to be the logical answer to this, but while renting has its pros, you also need to consider the cons before committing.

The Pros

Renting an instrument is a great way for first-time students to acquire an instrument to learn to play without a large initial investment. Most rental contracts are month-to-month or per school quarter. So if your child decides the instrument isn’t for them after some lessons and practice, you can easily stop the contract and return the instrument.

This is also a great option for instruments that go up in size as the child grows. For example, stringed instruments go up in quarter sizes until they reach the full size. Even if your child has taken a liking to the instrument, it can be a good financial decision to rent the different sizes until they are fully grown. This will give you time to budget for the expense while your child learns what they want out of an instrument.

When you’re renting an instrument, you most likely won’t be in charge of repair and maintenance. Instrument maintenance and repair can be quite costly, so take a moment to check what is covered in your contract.

The Cons

While it‘s cheaper to rent than buy for your month-to-month budget, renting an instrument long-term isn’t recommended. Over time the costs add up, and you’ll eventually have spent more money renting than it would have cost to buy the instrument. So make sure you only rent for as long as you need.

Rental instruments often aren’t brand new. While care is given to ensure the instrument is in good condition, over time, the wear and tear will start to show. Older instruments are also more likely to require more frequent maintenance.

Consider Renting an Instrument First

Starting a new instrument is an exciting time, but you don’t know if your child will stick with the instrument before they’ve given it a go. Renting an instrument will not only help your child decide if you truly love the instrument, but it can also save you money along the way. Now that the instrument is sorted, you can start looking for a music teacher for your child.