Parents of musical students know that buying a new musical instrument is quite an investment.
Pianos can cost upwards of $10,000, guitarists will easily spend $500 on the guitar alone (not to mention equipment and upkeep). So when should you buy a used instrument rather than a brand new one?
It may be tough to know when to buy the used trombone instead of buying the used one from your neighbor. Children often get very excited about a new hobby and are convinced they will stick with it forever and become a famous orchestra member. It becomes difficult as well when required school band classes force parents to go out and buy the instrument their child is assigned to play. When I was in school, I desperately wanted to play the saxophone (like my mom played), but instead I was assigned the flute. My parents knew I did not want to play this instrument, but I had no choice. This is a common occurrence in schools where some instruments are more sought after than other. So what is a parent to do when their child has to learn an instrument that they are not particularly interested in? This is definitely a good time to buy a used instrument. If you know your child will only play this instrument for a year and then switch, it?s probably not the wisest to purchase a brand new instrument.
Some parents might argue that giving a sub-par instrument to a child to learn is setting them up for failure. Parents typically have a good idea about whether or not their child can/will stick with an instrument. A good way to test out the water is to rent an instrument. You can typically rent instruments from local stores (or possibly even your child?s school) to see if your child warms to the instrument. If they still hate their instrument, don?t purchase it?find a used instrument to get them through the year and then once they decide what instrument is their true passion, then you can shell out the big bucks for that instrument.