Every parent to sit in a sixth grade band or orchestra concert knows the pride of seeing their child demonstrate a new skill – but you don’t have to break the piggy bank to do it! Following are some tips to help fund your budding musician’s dreams:
- Buy used. eBay, Craigslist, auctions and garage sales often have great deals. I once obtained a famous maker cornet for $75.00! But a few words of caution: Check with your child’s band director for a list of approved instruments. Know your prices and stick with your mentally set price.
- Buy new. New instruments can be had a local music stores as well as on E-Bay. But another strong word of caution here: Many salespeople are encouraged to sell certain lines and brands that may not be suitable for your child. Stick with the list from your band/orchestra director. There are many new instruments on eBay and in stores made in China and or India. Beware. These are often inferior instruments that may not play or be unable to play in tune. Many music repair shops will not work on these particular instruments. Also, do not be talked into going the next step up into an intermediate or pro horn. These instruments require an advanced level of skill to play and will only serve to frustrate the beginner.
- Know your prices before you shop.
- Rent. This may not sound like a way to save money but it can for the following reasons: The horn may need repair, the parents do not have access to the needed funds or the student may be less enthused than the parents and/or may want to switch to another horn/instruments.
- Check with the band/orchestra director to see if the school has any instruments your student could use. Often tubas, baritones, bass clarinets, drums and others are provided by the school.
- Save on repairs by making sure you and your child understand how to properly care for the instrument.
- Use some of the money you save for a few private lessons. Lessons can really spark a love for music by quickly building skills and confidence. Get names of teachers from you child’s band director and/or check with a local college for names of students that may be teaching.
- Encourage practice. Remember you will be enduring squeaks and squawks for quite some time. Know what is expected, the time required and level of parental/child involvement.
- Never assume your child will remember all the steps required to care for their instruments or to magically become super responsible and remember to practice. Helping your child succeed requires parents to be involved and assist them to become responsible.
- Best of all? Enjoy your child and watch him or her blossom with the learning of a new skill!
Donna Korzun is a Christian homemaker with a degree in Occupational Therapy. She lives in Dowagiac, Michigan with her husband Jonathan. They are the parents of 5 grown children and 3 (soon to be 4) grandchildren. Donna enjoys finding new ways to save money, gardening, yard sales, reading blogs, and studying God’s Word. This is her first published blog article. (woohoo!)
(Photo by wwworks)