For Parents Only
Information for parents/guardians about their child's music education
Before You Purchase A New Instrument for your Child
Too often as parents we get excited about our little prodigies playing an instrument and want to purchase a brand new instrument right away. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process.
1. Determine your maximum budget. New instruments can range anywhere from $300 to $100K and higher. Obviously, young musicians should not purchase an instrument in the higher price range but know that you do get what you pay for when you purchase an instrument from a trusted source.
2. Do not purchase an instrument for your child before you speak to their private instructor, school music teacher, or a trained musician. Unless you are a skilled musician on that same instrument, you likely have no clue about the brands and custom features of the instrument.
Brands and features can make a positive impact on a student’s performance as long as it meets your child’s skill sets. The person who knows that best would be your child’s instructor.
3. If you opt to purchase an instrument on line from an e-commerce site find out if there is a return policy in case there is a defect.
4. When you visit a trusted vendor, have the student try multiple brands of the instrument. Don’t settle for the first brand you try.
5. Shop around for brands and prices at various instrument retailers. Bring a pen and paper with you so that you can take notes. Keep track of the brands and prices. Also write down any comments the student makes when they try the instrument such as did the instrument seem easier to play, did the key mechanism make clicking sounds as they played, was it heavier than another brand, etc.
6. Don’t purchase an instrument on the same day you try it. Think it over for a day or two to allow yourself time to weigh your options. This golden rule can be applied to any major purchase.
7. TAKE YOUR CHILD’S INSTRUCTOR WITH YOU TO TRYOUT INSTRUMENTS BEFORE PURCHASING IT. If this is an option for you, then utilize it!
If you heed my suggestions then you will increase your chances of having a positive shopping experience. Happy shopping!
By Alissa Gittens, musician services consultant and private flute instructor. Like “the Urban Flautista” on Facebook and email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.