Renting vs Buying an Instrument: A Parent’s Guide

If you are a parent of a child who has just decided to take up music lessons, especially an instrument, you have to make some important decisions regarding whether to rent or buy a new musical instrument. 

We know that you wouldn’t want them to settle for a low grade instrument nor would you want to go all out in terms of spending. So as a parent, you’re most probably wondering which option is best for your child. Making the decision can be tough sometimes and it can be quite overwhelming!  We also have noticed that the first impulse of parents would be to rent an instrument rather than buy a new one. However, both have their pros and cons.

In any case, we have put together this guide that aims to provide valuable insights into this common dilemma. After you’ve read through the points, you should be able to make an informed choice that perfectly aligns with your child’s music learning journey. Let’s explore some of the key factors that you should consider when deciding between renting or buying a new instrument. 

The Benefits of Music Education for Children

Before we dive into the points, we would like you to know about the undeniable benefits of music education for children. As music educators, who have years of experience teaching children of all ages, we can say that learning to play a musical instrument definitely results in the development of better cognitive skills. 

Music education further fosters creativity especially in young children. As children master songs and showcase their talents, it boosts their self-confidence. They also become more disciplined and responsible. In essence, music education offers a well-rounded development (physical, emotional and intellectual) that can positively impact various areas of a child’s life.

Related Read: What are the Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument?

What Should a Parent Do – Rent or Buy an Instrument?

Well, one of the most common questions that every parent of a budding musician has is: “Should I buy a new instrument or rent it?” This is a valid question since there are expenses associated with it. Moreover, they are appalled by the prices of new instruments. As a result they end up looking at rental services primarily to reduce their costs.

Related Article: Top 5 Easiest Musical Instruments to Play for Beginners

Advantages of Renting Musical Instruments

Cost-Effectiveness: Renting allows parents to avoid the upfront expense of purchasing an instrument, making it more budget-friendly.

Trial Period: Renting offers a trial period during which your child can explore their interest in the instrument without a long-term commitment.

Size Adjustment: Children grow quickly, and instruments must fit them comfortably. Renting enables you to switch to a larger size as your child grows.

Drawbacks of Renting Musical Instruments

Long-Term Costs: While monthly rental fees may seem reasonable, they can accumulate over time, potentially exceeding the cost of buying.

Limited Customization: Rental instruments might not be tailored to your child’s preferences, affecting their enthusiasm for playing.

Considering the Long-Term Commitment: Buying an Instrument

Buying a musical instrument has its merits, especially for those committed to their musical journey:

Pros of Purchasing Your Child’s Instrument

Ownership: Buying an instrument means your child has their own, fostering a deeper connection and responsibility for its care.

Customization: Owning allows for instrument customization, enhancing playability and comfort.

Long-Term Investment: If your child is dedicated to music, purchasing an instrument can be a wise long-term investment.

Cons of Purchasing Your Child’s Instrument

Initial Expense: Buying an instrument requires a significant upfront investment, which might not be suitable for all families.

Maintenance Costs: Ownership entails maintenance and repair costs, which can add up over time.

Evaluating Your Budget and Financial Considerations

Your budget plays a pivotal role in this decision-making process. Consider the following factors:

Immediate Costs: Renting is more affordable upfront, making it ideal if you’re on a tight budget.

Related Read: Can Children Learn Instruments Online? Pros and Cons

Long-Term Perspective: If you foresee your child continuing with music education, buying might save you money in the long run.

Maintenance and Care: Essential for Rented and Owned Instruments

Regardless of whether you rent or buy, proper maintenance and care are essential. Regular maintenance ensures optimal sound quality and prolongs the instrument’s lifespan. Teach your child how to clean, store, and handle the instrument correctly.


In the end, the choice between renting and buying a musical instrument depends on your child’s commitment, your budget, and your long-term goals. Renting provides flexibility and affordability for beginners, while buying offers ownership and potential cost savings for dedicated musicians. Whatever you decide, remember that music education is a gift that enriches your child’s life in numerous ways.


Most Popular

Join Music Pandit’s Music Program