Now that school is in full swing today the sound of music has yet again returned to our home. This was the first day of band practice for the new school year and the flute has arrived. The sound of Yankee Doodle was playing over and over once we walked through the door! I didn’t realize it until now but, I really missed watching my daughter push herself and practice until she got every note in the song just right! It makes me very proud as a parent to watch her learn and grow before my very eyes!
Ok, back to the school band. The school that my children attend allows them to join the band in third grade. Since this was her first time using an instrument besides a keyboard we rented an instrument from the band program. Our biggest concern was what happens to the instrument if three or four months into it our child loses interest? Making sure your child enjoys playing the instrument before you buy it outright is very important. This rent vs. buy dilemma is one faced by many parents each year. To our surprise our daughter made it to the end of the year and even wanted to rent the flute over the summer! Try to encourage your child to stick with one instrument for the first couple of years. Even the music teacher at the school suggested that before moving to another instrument that they all start on the instrument that they played last year before moving on.
Of course, financials always play into the whole renting vs. buying problem. It is between $30-$50 a month for the rental. The down side is that purchasing the same level of instrument that you would rent is a lot of money. We did do the math and the going rate for a new Yamaha flute like the one we rented was $500+. Now that she is in her second year of the flute I think we are going to buy a used one for her. The music teacher suggested that we shy away from purchasing a used flute via Ebay or Craigslist because she has had many students that have gotten bad instruments from those sites. The music program itself offers instruments for sale at a fraction of the cost and they even came with a warranty. Remember that you can always by a used instrument and down the road upgrade it.
Many studies have been done that show that when children are trained to learn music at a young age, they tend to improve in their math, reading and memory skills. I love the sound of music in our home and I encourage you to let your children discover how much fun it can be (even if you have to hear Yankee Doodle over and over and over)!