“I’m thinking about buying a new instrument—should I talk to my teacher about it?”
YES! We’ll say that again because it’s that important:
When acquiring a new instrument, whether it’s a big investment like a brand new Steinway grand piano or something less expensive like a guitar for a beginner, a lot of people don’t think to talk to their music instructor for advice. We’re here to help you! We know a lot about the instruments that we play, and our advice is free! Many parents don’t really know what to look for in an instrument or what a fair price is. Some beginner guitars are really more of a toy than an instrument, but it’s hard to tell by just talking to a salesperson or reading the information on the box. The same goes for pianos and keyboards—they’re not all the same. We can also bring your attention to oft-hidden costs that you may not have realized were there. More money does not always equal a better instrument for your situation; conversely, getting an “in good condition; just needs a tuning” piano is very frequently a complete waste of money.
As a teacher, we are sometimes shocked to walk into a lesson and find a new instrument waiting there, especially with the holidays coming up. To be totally honest, we often know that the purchase was not a very good choice but we just smile and nod and say “Wow, that’s great” because we know the parents spent hard-earned money on something that is likely not returnable.
So, in summary, please talk to your instructor or give us a call at the office before purchasing a new or new-to-you instrument. The same goes for prospective students: if you’re thinking about starting lessons, we are happy to help you find the right instrument to fit your needs and your budget.