The Music Rooms’ Guide to buying a musical instrument for a child
It’s a big decision and can be a large expenditure of money, but getting the right instrument and making sure you get value for money is not as easy as you might think.
There are many places to go to purchase a musical instrument. Either in person at department stores, music shops and even toy shops or online from a host of sellers.
When it comes to actual physical stores there are many options and a world of difference in the quality you can expect.
Buying a musical instrument for a child is an important purchase
As music professionals at The Music Rooms you might think we are being biased towards proper music stores, but our passion comes from developing musical talent and in many cases instruments from non-musical stores make it very hard for young students to learn properly. Actually making the job of learning more difficult.
Music is not the speciality of these shops and as music is a specialised pastime, it’s only natural that they can fall short.
Buying a musical instrument for a child from a toy shop or general department store can be a false economy. On one hand it seems you are getting a cheap instrument from a well known store. But unfortunately if you buy a musical instrument from a toy shop, you are really buying a toy.
These instruments can be hard to play and probably won’t stay in tune. You will more than likely end up buying a proper instrument anyway as you watch your child’s musical development being held back – making your overall spend much more than it should be.
If you are thinking of going down the online route when buying a musical instrument for your child, our advice would be to go for a music retailer.
But bear in mind that the major downside of purchasing online is that you have no way of seeing the quality of the instrument and indeed playing it.
While online shopping has revolutionised the way we shop, some items really lend themselves to holding, using and seeing in person before buying, which is why your local music shop is great.
If you do decide to go online, go for a music shop selling on the web and not a toy shop or department store selling online. This way is the quality will be assured, with reputable music shops taking pride in sourcing quality instruments.
We have lost count of the times people have come in to The Music Rooms to buy a guitar or drum kit to replace the “cheap” one they got online or in a toy shop which just wasn’t right.
“Having the proper musical instrument will mean a lot to your child’s musical development, we would urge you to spend a little extra in getting them the instrument that is right.”
Local Music Shop Plus Points
- Proper musical instruments – giving your child the best chance to learn
- Aftercare available – if you need help after you purchase, staff will be happy to help
- Professional musicians behind the till – the advice is free!
- Can arrange lessons for the instrument
- Ability to trade up once your child outgrows the beginner instrument or
- Quality instruments sourced
Your local music shop will place an emphasis on both quality and price. They can advise and arrange lessons. They can repair your instrument if needed and also take your instrument as a trade in.
You may also be surprised that the price of a properly designed musical instrument which is fit for purpose isn’t much more than the toy. This is money well spent in our opinion.
We love music, we want to promote music and make make music fun for everyone, so hopefully this is helpful in choosing where and how to buy your instrument.
If you liked this, you might also find our post on Buying a Guitar for a Beginner helpful.