March 13th, 2017
First off, we love band kids! We WERE band kids and we personally think being in band is one of the best extracurricular activities a student can be do. But being in band also involves costs that might cause a parent to faint! This is the time of year when first time band students find out which instrument they will be playing next year and when existing band students find out which step up instrument they will require. If it is a woodwind instrument, there are mouthpiece decisions to be made, reeds to buy, and cleaning kit options. Brass instruments also require mouthpieces and oils.
Makes your head swim doesn't it? Most schools will direct you to a large music manufacturer who will rent you an instrument and sell accessory kits. One stop shopping with little input needed from the parent except for a monthly credit card payment.
Why limit yourself though? Check your closet for your old band instrument. Or maybe a close relative has one they would be happy to let you borrow for the school year. This is a great option but does require a couple things – an assessment at a good repair shop and most likely a tune up to get it in playing condition and approval from the band director. Many band directors favor a certain brand or model instrument for their students and before you invest money in a repair, please verify that your band director would be open to using a different brand.
A band parent should know about the excellent option of buying a used instrument. Oftentimes the cost is equal or less than the cost of a year of rental payments and you own the instrument outright! If your student changes to a different instrument or changes their mind completely about band, you have a tangible asset you can sell.
This is a great time of year to bring in your attic instruments (or grandpa's loaner or your old band gear) for conditioning or to look at the large selection of used instruments we have for sale. All our instruments come with a 90 day guarantee and you can try them in the shop, along with our used mouthpieces too!