Musical instruments are expensive. This is a simple fact and the reasons are fairly straight forward. Pianos for example are the most complicated and have 1000s of moving parts which have to work perfectly. Woodwind and brass instruments are much less complicated but all have complexities in their mechanics. String instruments look simpler, but a good instrument does require great craftsmanship.
Many top professional string players have ‘their’ instruments on extended loan as these violins and cellos can be worth from many hundreds of thousands to millions of pounds.
Top of the line woodwind and brass instruments are much less demanding of the bank account and therefore musicians would only use their own instruments.
Pianists mostly use the instruments already at a venue. Even fairly modest grand pianos are expensive and all of them require experts to move them from place to place.
For professional musicians then, it can depend on your instrument whether it is bought or on loan, but all will have bought as good an instrument as they can afford. For pupils just starting out, it can be a little more complex.
It has been said that the best instruments should go to children, beginners and those learning their craft. A professional musician can make anything sound good, but for the beginner to be able to make amazing music on a quality instrument will do more for their motivation and enthusiasm which in turn will inspire them to continue. However, the reality of the situation doesn’t often allow for this. Having an instrument which sounds excellent will also better help develop their ear. A pupil will have a better chance of developing a good technique too if the instrument he or she uses works properly. A student doesn’t suddenly wake up one day with a fully developed ear and wonderful technique.
Renting an instrument from a local can provide a cost effective way of getting decent instruments for aspiring young pianists, violinists et al. It is a great way of getting started and see if the pupil takes to their chosen instrument or not. As I have outlined above, a better sounding instrument that works properly is a big help in encouraging pupils to make constant progress and develop those essential basic skills. Rental can be a good starting point waiting until the pupil gets advanced enough to have ownership of a better instrument.
If it is a simple choice of owning a poor quality instrument or one at the end of its life compared to a decent rental instrument, rental is the route to take. A poorly functioning instrument only stores up problems and difficult to break bad habits as the pupil tries to accommodate the quirks of that instrument.
At Pianolobby we do have a pool of rental pianos (all out on rent as I write this) and from time to time we offer a rent to buy scheme. Our main policy is to offer more piano for less money.
From my own piano teaching experience I have found that when the student owns their instrument they will take much more care of it. That sense of ownership, conscious or unconscious does translate into their playing.
I personally feel that a student should own the instrument they learn and play with. They must feel that sense of ownership in the music they are playing, the instrument they play and in their musical education. As they grow in learning and experience, they can also grow into the instrument they own and into the instrument they will eventually own by upgrading, but always, they should own their instrument.
Owning the best quality instrument you can afford is an investment in the future of that budding artist! It is the responsibility of a good retailer to help music students realise their dream. It is a responsibility we take seriously at Pianolobby.
Thank you for reading.
I hope you have a good week.