Tips for paying for your student’s musical instrument

Here is a breakdown of the different payment options for providing your student with an instrument this school year.

MINNEAPOLIS – There are endless benefits to playing a musical instrument. It builds confidence and creativity and helps people of all ages build community with each other. These benefits can last a lifetime.

However, the price of an instrument can sometimes be an obstacle. Here are several local options that each offer a different way to fund an instrument.

One-time lease payment for the school year

Cadenza Music in Saint Paul offers families the opportunity to rent for the school year. Families make one payment, in full, from the start of the school year, and it expires in June. Usually the prices of the instruments vary. Renting a flute for the school year costs $274 (an average of $27/month for a 10-month school year), and renting an alto sax costs $435 (an average of $44/month for a school year of 10 months). At the higher price range, a double French horn costs $759 to rent for the school year.

At Cadenza, if you renew for the following school year, there is an incentive: you can keep your instrument during the summer for free.

At, an instrument rental website that serves Minnesota and Wisconsin, you can enter your zip code and choose the instrument you want. Pricing is comparable to Cadenza: a flute is $32/month and an alto sax is $46/month. Instruments can either be shipped to an affiliate store for pickup or shipped directly to your home.

You can cancel at any time.

Monthly payments towards the property

A third option is to make a monthly payment that serves as credit for the purchase of the instrument.

Schmitt Music at Brooklyn Center offers its “Better than Rent” program.

You make a first payment that covers the trial period, then you keep the instrument and make monthly payments until the balance is paid. You can return or switch instruments at any time or choose to pay off the balance and keep it.

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Borrow an instrument from a relative or family friend

You can always choose an instrument based on what is available in your immediate surroundings. But unlike some of the options listed above, you don’t get the benefit of insurance or maintenance offers. Furthermore, there is no guarantee of the good condition of the instrument.

Let your child express their musical interest

Finally, it is important to pay attention to what your child wants to play. Often someone can quit an instrument prematurely because they were forced to play one they didn’t like. If you can make it work, let your child choose, and their love of music may last a lifetime.

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