When is it time for a better instrument?

At what point should your child step up from their beginner instrument to a higher-quality one? The answer depends on several factors, including the child’s age, level of interest, and commitment to practice. For example, a 6-year-old who shows a passing interest in learning to play the piano might not be ready for a grand piano just yet. On the other hand, a 12-year-old who practices regularly and is enrolled in private lessons might be ready to make the switch. Ultimately, it’s up to the parent to decide when the time is right. However, there are a few general guidelines you can follow.

If your child is enrolled in private lessons, their instructor can give you an idea of when it might be time to step up to a better instrument. In general, most instructors will recommend making the switch after one or two years of lessons. This gives the child enough time to learn basic techniques and develop a love for the instrument before investing in a higher-quality one.

Of course, buying or renting a new instrument can be expensive. If you’re not sure whether your child is ready to make the switch. AAA Band Rentals offers financing options for parents who'd prefer to keep a low monthly payment.

How long has your student been playing?

Value is an important factor to consider when deciding whether or not to upgrade your child's musical instrument. At AAA Band Rentals, we always recommend investing in quality instruments that will last for many years. With proper care, a good quality instrument can be enjoyed by your child for a lifetime. If your child is dedicated to their music and seems ready to take their playing to the next level, upgrading to a higher quality instrument is definitely worth the investment. However, if your child is just starting out and still exploring their interest in music, it may be best to stick with a beginner instrument for now. If you're unsure about whether or not it's time for an upgrade, talk to your child's music teacher. They will be able to give you guidance based on your child's individual progress and skill level.

The physical size seems fine, what other factors are there? Is this really a thing?

As your child progresses on their musical journey, they will likely outgrow their beginner instrument. Beginner instruments are great for affording new musicians the opportunity to become comfortable with a particular instrument, but they aren’t meant to be a long-term solution. If you observe your child struggling with their instrument or if the instrument seems too small, it may be time for a larger one. In many cases, children will be able to tell you when they’re ready for a larger instrument. Don’t hesitate to ask their music teacher for guidance, as well. They will be able to offer you valuable insight into your child’s progress and whether or not they would benefit from a step-up instrument.

Are you currently renting an instrument?

There are pros and cons to both renting and purchasing musical instruments. If you're currently renting and have been for a while, purchasing a step-up instrument can actually save you money in the long run. That said, renting does have its own advantages - like is my child going to stick with it, or is this a passing fad?!

Of course, there's more to consider than just cost when making your decision. What kind of instrument do you want to play? How often do you play? Will you be taking lessons? These are all important factors to keep in mind when deciding whether to rent or purchase an instrument.

If you're still not sure which route to go, why not talk to a professional music teacher or another experienced musician? They'll be able to give you some insight into what might work best for your situation. At the end of the day, though, the decision is up to you—so choose what feels right for you and your love of music - and your child!

So what's this going to cost me?

When you're ready to take the plunge and purchase an instrument for your child, you might be wondering how much it will set you back. If you haven't saved enough for a professional-level instrument, a step-up instrument is a great choice. Most step-up instruments are made from quality materials with craftsmanship to match, so it is a great option until you've saved enough to surprise your child with a professional instrument. Some parents opt to skip the step-up instrument in favor of moving straight to a professional model, which isn't always the best investment. Think of it this way: you can always sell your step-up instrument and use those funds to purchase a professional model, but it can be tough to find a buyer for an intermediate instrument. Budget is obviously a key consideration when choosing an instrument for your child, but don't forget to factor in the resale value down the road.

Parent-teacher conferences are not only for English and Math!

Music teachers are always touched when a parent takes the time to set up a conference to discuss their child's musical journey. It can be difficult to find the time, but it is so worth it. In just a few minutes, you can chat about how your child is doing and if they are ready for a step-up instrument. They'll know more about instruments than you ever will, and they interact with different children all day. They're also able to determine if your child is being held back by their current model. When in doubt, please reach out, they'll be more than happy to chat with you about your child's progress. Take proactive steps like these to ensure that your kid enjoys music for many years to come! Think about contacting your child's teacher today!

Ready to go shopping? Give us a call!

If you think you're ready to upgrade your musical instrument, you have come to the right place. AAA Band Rentals offers the largest selections of musical instruments in Connecticut, including violins, violas, cello, bass, clarinet, flute, trumpet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, oboe, bassoon, English horn, French horn, baritone horn, piccolo and more. We are authorized dealers for Jupiter Band Instrument, Yamaha Band and Orchestral instruments, Eastman Strings and band instruments, Conn-Selmer Band instruments, Canzona String, and more. With tens of thousands of accessories and niche products available, we are your one-stop local shop! Whether you are an experienced musician or a beginner just starting out, we have everything you need to take your music to the next level. Our knowledgeable team of experts is always here to provide honest guidance and answer any questions you may have along the way. So why wait any longer? We look forward to hearing from you soon! We are musicians ourselves, and we have been helping children learn how to play music and giving back to our local community and programs since 1979. Just ask your child's teacher about our 50/50 program! We know what it takes to be successful in this tough but rewarding field, so trust us as your guide on this exciting journey. Let's get started, call 203.416.6359 or email us at Our website is

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