One of the best parts of November is the chance to slow down and think about the blessings in our lives. Life, even with all of its pitfalls and hurdles, leaves us with so much to appreciate. We just wanted to share a few of […]
Learning Allegro has been blogging for a whole year! Here’s what happened since last October. Since the Learning Allegro blog has now been active for a full year (woohoo!), we’d like to take a minute to look back on everything that has transpired […]
Renting an instrument for the first time? Here’s what you need to know!
If the idea of renting an instrument stresses you out, take a deep breath! When you have the right help, renting is actually an easy process and comes with LOTS of benefits. At Learning Allegro, we do rentals in-house thanks to a partnership with Menchey Music.
Here are the top five things you need to know about renting an instrument — especially if your child is new to the game!
1. RENTING IS AFFORDABLE. Instruments–even student grade instruments–can be very expensive. Renting allows you to pay in small increments instead of stomaching a $750 investment up front. It also means that you don’t lose much if your child decides to quit six months later!
(Obviously, the hope is that your kid sticks with lessons and loves them…but hey! Life happens.)
2. SOME INSTRUMENTS ‘GROW’ WITH YOUR CHILD. Most of the brass and woodwind instruments, like flutes and trumpets, are “one size fits all.” If your child is a string player, he or she will actually go through several small instruments until he or she is big enough to handle a full-sized one. Renting is especially a good move for string players because it allows you to switch instrument sizes without hassle as your child grows. (Little violins are super cute, by the way.)
3. MOST RENTAL SERVICES LET YOU PURCHASE THE INSTRUMENT DOWN THE ROAD. When I was ready for a full-sized violin in eighth grade, we went to the music store where we had rented for 9 years. The full-sized violin should have costed $1,500 (yikes!)…but the money we’d spent on rentals over the years was counted towards the cost of the new instrument. We ended up paying about $500 instead.
If your child loves his or her lessons and plans to play for longer than 3 or 4 years, renting is a great long-term decision. You essentially pay for the instrument over time, which is way more affordable!
4. RENTALS CAN COVER ACCIDENTS. Did your child lose part of his clarinet? Put a foot through his cello? Leave the violin on the edge of the table when you told him that wasn’t a great idea? No worries! Most rental companies give you the chance to opt into a “maintenance and repair” fee. For a few bucks per month, they offer a total repair service that will keep even the clumsiest kid in the world in business.
Instrument repairs can be very expensive “on your own,” so this is something we strongly encourage our renters to do!
5. RENTING IS A LOT EASIER IN PERSON. There has been a surge in people renting instruments online. As a music school, we strongly recommend against that. If you’ve never rented before, or you don’t know much about an instrument, it’s easy to end up with the wrong product — or worse, to get locked into a more expensive contract.
Find a rental instrument supplier in your area and GO THERE! If you’re in the Chester County area, we recommend stopping at Learning Allegro (shameless plug). Talk to a live person; take the opportunity to see your instrument before you sign any contracts. You will have much more peace of mind and will learn more about the instrument you’re bringing home!
Need to rent an instrument? Come see us! We’d be happy to help you. Our address and contact information are listed on the side of this blog and on the Learning Allegro website.
In last week’s post, I said that I did not start playing violin in a community-oriented way until I had been in private lessons for thirteen years. That’s a partial truth. My middle school and high school did not have onsite music programs, so until […]
This week, Miss Haleigh shares a little bit about the important role music plays in live theatre. This spring, a number of the Learning Allegro teachers, myself included, have been playing in the pit for local theatres. If you’re not familiar, “playing in […]
Here’s a discouraging fact: although many of us will make “new year resolutions” in 2018, about 22 percent of those resolutions will fail within a week. In a month, that number will have doubled to 40 percent. We imagine it continues to go downhill from there. Aren’t statistics sad?
We’d like to assume the best of all our Learning Allegro friends and students, so we’re sure that none of you will fall into that 40 percent category (wink, wink). However, if you’re still trying to pick a new year’s resolution, may we humbly suggest one?
Resolve to practice.
And no, we’re not just saying this to offset our responsibility as teachers to help you sound awesome. There are tons of personal benefits to practicing your instrument; that’s part of why we, as professionals, continue to practice!
Here are just a few ways that practicing your instrument will help you:
YOU WILL GET SMARTER. Playing an instrument stimulates your brain, increasing memory capacity, spatial-temporal skills, and even mathematics.
YOU WILL LEARN PATIENCE. LOTS OF PATIENCE. Nothing sounds pretty right away, no matter how gifted a musician you might happen to be. There’s a lot to learn from personal resolve!
YOU WILL START TO SOUND BETTER – IF YOU PRACTICE WISELY. Practice makes…wait for it…permanent! Perfect practice makes perfect. That means learning to be picky and strive for personal excellence. Simply put, if you’re sloppy when you practice, you’ll be sloppy when you perform–but if you practice responsibly, you’ll sound awesome!
YOU WILL FEEL ACCOMPLISHED. Making music is measurable progress. You won’t sound great immediately, but in time, you will hear a difference. You’ll be able to look back and see how much you’ve improved…and no matter who you are, that always feels great.
YOU WILL BECOME MADLY POPULAR. Okay, maybe we’re stretching this one…but music is a social thing, and the more you practice, the more others will be able to enjoy your talents!
We at Learning Allegro wish you the best in 2018. Don’t be part of the forty percent! If you make a resolution, commit…and if that resolution happens to be music related, we’re always here to help.
If you’ve managed to pull out of your Thanksgiving food coma, congratulations! You’ve come to your senses just in time for everyone’s favorite month-long shopping spree — that dreaded stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At least there’s Christmas music on every radio station. That should […]
“Confessions of a Former Bad Student” is a series by Miss Haleigh — Learning Allegro teacher, orchestra violinist, and former bad student. I never celebrated Halloween growing up. I went trick-or-treating exactly twice in my life: once when I was two (my parents, kind souls, […]