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Financing your child's band instrument

Here's a breakdown of different payment options to provide your student with an instrument this school year.

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

However, sometimes the price of an instrument can be a barrier. Here are several local options that each provide a different way to finance an instrument.

One-time lease payment for the school year

Cadenza Music in Saint Paul offers families the option to lease for the school year. Families make one payment, in full, starting at the beginning of the school year, and it expires in June. Customarily, instruments range in price. Leasing a flute for the school year costs $274 (an average of $27/month for a 10-month school year), and leasing an alto sax is $435  (an average of $44/month for a 10-month school year). In the higher price range, a double French horn costs $759 to lease for the school year.

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

Pay a monthly rental fee

At RentFromHome.com, an instrumental rental website that serves Minnesota and Wisconsin, you can type in your zip code and choose the instrument you want. The prices are 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 pick-up or shipped directly to your home.

You can cancel at any time.

Monthly payments toward ownership

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

Schmitt Music in Brooklyn Center offers their "Better than Rent" program. 

You make an initial 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's available to you in your immediate circle. But unlike some of the options listed above, you don't have the advantage of deals on insurance or maintenance. Also, there's no guarantee of the proper condition of the instrument.

Let your child express their musical interest

Lastly, it's important to pay attention to what your child has interest in playing. Oftentimes, someone may prematurely quit an instrument because they were forced into playing one they didn't like. If you can make it work, let your child choose, and their love of music may just last a lifetime.

RELATED: At age 7, he was a drumming phenom in a polka band. 10 years later, congrats are in order for Chris Ebel

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