Guest Blogger Series: A musical instrument for your child – buy, rent or borrow? – Falcondale Life

Guest Blogger Series: A musical instrument for your child – buy, rent or borrow? – Falcondale Life

Welcome back to the latest instalment of my Guest Blogger Series. This week we are hearing from Janet who blogs over at Falcondale Life. Over to Janet to introduce herself.

Hi, I’m Janet and I’m really glad to be guest posting for Jaki today! I’ve been living in North Yorkshire for over 20 years since I met my husband, although I have West Country roots. My daughters Fizz and Belle are at secondary school. My current blog Falcondale Life is now 18 months old. I am a photographer and that features heavily on my blog along with family travel and lifestyle.

Guest Blogger Series: A musical instrument for your child – buy, rent or borrow? - Falcondale Life

A musical instrument for your child – buy, rent or borrow?

When I was 12 I learned the flute for about a year. I had a cheap instrument and I never got rid of it. Years later my daughter Fizz, then 8 years old, said she wanted to learn the flute. That made life pretty easy as I only had to pay for the lessons and she could start with my old flute. As the children have grown we have bought and borrowed musical instruments from a variety of places.

Guest Blogger Series: A musical instrument for your child – buy, rent or borrow? - Falcondale Life

Musical Instrument Shops

Within a few months of Fizz starting the flute a key jammed and I took it to the music shop in town. A service cost me around $45 but they did lend us a good instrument for her to use while it was away.

Our local music shop doesn’t just sell instruments but also rents them out on a long-term basis. Hire is between around £7 and £15 per month. They specialize in woodwind and also a full range of beginner’s instruments. For a high standard in non-woodwind instruments, we would need to travel to a city to find another shop. Virtually all musical instrument shops will buy your old instrument or take it in part exchange.

Did you know that you can get a better price for your old stringed instruments in the south of England than in the north? When I sold my old violin I doubled the value by travelling south and selling it in Bristol. There were three violin shops on the same street and I touted it round all of them until I got the best price. The north of England is, of course, the heart of the brass band community and rumour has it that brass prices are higher round here than down south. Ebay does have a slight levelling effect on the market but you do really need to try an instrument before you buy.


The Council Music Service

Council music education departments have some loan instruments for rent. Sometimes this is arranged through the peripatetic music teachers or the school. The council-run music service may also run orchestras and ensembles for children of all abilities. Your child may be able to get a loan instrument through them instead. Hire is usually around £15 to £30 per term.

Sometimes instrument rental is free. It can depend on how popular the instrument is. For example, our local council is pretty desperate for someone to learn bassoon to balance out the orchestra woodwind section, so they are not charging rent. Check that all borrowed instruments are insured on your household policy.

Some councils help families buy new musical instruments from shops with a scheme that avoids VAT. These instruments must be used in school lessons or council music service orchestras in order to comply with tax rules.


Musical Instrument Cupboards at School

If you are lucky then school cupboards are one of the likeliest places to borrow an instrument for free. The quality is quite hit and miss. Chances are the person helping you look will not understand if the instrument is a good one or utter trash. It’s up to the school if they want to charge rent, and I always felt motivated to make a donation anyway.

We’ve made some interesting discoveries in school cupboards over the years. One time, the primary music teacher and I found four half-size violins in cases, gathering dust. One of them was still in kit form and needed assembling. You cannot make a violin as if it is flat-pack furniture! I would never recommend attempting this as an amateur. A second had been glued together with the fretboard on a steep angle, and would never play. Another violin was missing a bridge and the fourth was missing two strings. My daughter Belle borrowed the fourth for free. We bought the new strings ourselves.

Your child will have lots of interesting experiences as s/he learns, read my piece about it here: https://falcondalelife.com/2017/10/11/kids-learning-musical-instrument/


There are quite a few places to find musical instruments for a young learner. Have you found other ways of getting hold of one?



Blog: https://falcondalelife.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/falcondalejan
Twitter: www.twitter.com/falcondalejan
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/FalcondaleJan/


Thank you to Janet for contributing a helpful piece. Whilst I’m not at this stage with our Little Man, it is inevitable that now he is at school, that the time will come eventually! And I hope it does, I think learning to play an instrument is definitely something that should be encouraged when possible. Thanks again Janet, and don’t forget your badge!

If you would like to get involved in the Guest Blogger Series, drop me a message by filling in the form on my Contact Me page. I look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. mommyhomemanager
    13th October 2017 / 7:59 pm

    I would love for my son to learn an instrument when he is older. We will likely start with piano since we have nice, weighted keyboard. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

    • Jaki
      14th October 2017 / 7:03 pm

      I think my little boy is going to want to learn the guitar!

  2. Mom Of Two Little Girls
    14th October 2017 / 11:09 am

    I think that is awesome … the fact that you can rent them. Let’s be honest, a lot of kids start things and then lose interest a few months down the line. This can be very costly for parents. This seems like the best way to make sure you don’t lose too much money pandering to their whims. lol

    • Jaki
      14th October 2017 / 7:01 pm

      I think so too!

  3. 15th October 2017 / 1:18 am

    We’ve rented privately from a shop, and from the council and both were roughly the same (barglnious) price. I think while children are on a small size it’s worth renting, and you’re also seeing whether they will stick at it too. When my son goes up another size violin I’m going to buy one… it’s so tempting to rent other instruments for me too! I fancy learning the flute!

    • Jaki
      15th October 2017 / 9:28 pm

      It’s such a good idea as like you say, they might not enjoy it! I wanted to learn flute at high school but I was told I hadn’t got the right lips for it?!? 🙂

  4. Nige
    15th October 2017 / 9:09 am

    I’m hoping the girls decide to play an instrument great read Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

    • Jaki
      15th October 2017 / 9:28 pm

      What’s the betting we get the recorder?! Our poor ears! 🙂

  5. 15th October 2017 / 1:29 pm

    This is a great post, I would love for my girls to take up an instrument! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    • Jaki
      15th October 2017 / 9:26 pm

      I’d love for little man to take up the drums and follow in my footsteps but I’m not sure we would cope with the noise! 🙂

  6. 17th October 2017 / 12:08 pm

    The council used to loan us instruments but I’m not sure how funding has changed that. I hope more instruments can be made available, like anything some people miss out if they can’t finance it themselves. #TriumphantTales

  7. 17th October 2017 / 2:42 pm

    Music is a big part of my life – I play flute, piano, piccolo & Saxophone. I think kids get so much benefit from learning music – the mathematics, the teamwork of playing with other members, the independence of having to make sure they’re in the right place at the right time, the confidence of being on stage. Our local music centre charges just £5 for a term for instrument rental, which is fab! We were recently sent a pbone which is a plastic & fibreglass trombone to review on the blog – it’s brilliant! Much lighter than a normal trombone (perfect for kids) and cheaper too so I can definitely recommend that! #triumphanttales

  8. bespokebuckley
    17th October 2017 / 5:13 pm

    Wow thanks for that fab post!

    Although my daughter is only 8 months at the moment, I do really want her to learn an instrument when she’s older. Glad to hear you can rent them out!


  9. 17th October 2017 / 8:58 pm

    #triumphanttales wow, how many options – id probably buy online. i have an issue with owing things…i do like second hand though. I found 2 African snails in a school cupboard once, so your featured blogger is right – school cupboards are full of weird and wonderful things. Margaret and Elizabeth now live with us.

  10. 18th October 2017 / 4:23 am

    when my oldest decided that she wanted to be in band and play the saxophone, we were lucky enough to know somebody that let us borrow one. it was a short experiment, thankfully for my ears #triumphanttales

  11. 19th October 2017 / 1:59 pm

    I remember playing the clarinet when I was in high school, I still have one now. Unfortunately my boys aren’t likely to learn to play anything, they haven’t shown much of an interest.
    Great topic.
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo

  12. 8th November 2017 / 10:42 pm

    I used to play the trumpet – and still have it. I can just about get a sound out of it now! Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

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