Q. Does it really matter where I rent a musical instrument? Aren't music stores all the same?
A. I hope all music stores are not the same! When I established this store in 2000, I wanted it to be a different kind of music store. I wanted it to be a neighborhood place where you could come in and get to know the people who own and work at the store. I wanted it to be a place where you could receive personal, professional service and get reliable/correct answers to your questions. I wanted it to be a place where you felt comfortable sending your students to take music lessons with competent and friendly teachers. We know our customers' needs and concerns. We don't try to be everything to everybody. We focus on helping families give the gift of music to their children and to awaken a life-long enjoyment of the art of music at whatever level the child chooses to participate.
Q. But your flyer said it was just $1.99 to rent an instrument! Why is it more?
A. With the way some stores advertise ($0 cost, "free", etc.), we have to list our monthly rental price in a way that makes us look in-line with the competition. The flyer says that the rental fee is $1.99 per month for the first two months. Peace of Mind repair coverage is $6.99 for the trial period. Add it all up, include tax and you come to $11.63. That is ONE payment of $11.63 to cover TWO months of rental. More expensive instruments (i.e. saxophones, French horns, cellos, etc.) are available at similar savings. We don't have hidden fees and we tell you our plan, terms and prices up front. When you are shopping around, be sure to get the full price and terms so you can make an informed decision.
Q. Do I really need the POM (Peace of Mind) coverage with my child's rented instrument?
A. Take our word for it...absolutely! This maintenance plan is all-inclusive and protects your instrument from severe damage and even theft. (Conditions apply, of course). The prices we quote over the telephone or in the store include this coverage. The following is a true story. A mother, who eventually became a great customer, argued that she did not need the repair coverage on the tenor saxophone she rented. After some energetic negotiations, she reluctantly agreed to take the coverage. The child took good care of the instrument. She, on the other hand, RAN OVER IT WITH THE CAR! Her small investment saved her over $1700, which was the cost to replace the instrument.
Q. Do I really need an open-hole flute or wood clarinet for my child to participate in band?
A. No. Some directors suggest that you rent the more expensive instruments, and we understand their rationale. But, in our opinion, especially for the beginner, there is really no added benefit of starting with those types of instruments. As the student progresses, moving to a better instrument with more features (i.e. open holes for flute and wood bodies for clarinets) offers benefits. We will not argue with you concerning your choice of instrument, nor will we contradict or deny the director's request. We have the more expensive instruments to offer. But, the cost of one verses the other is substantial and you are the one that has to pay the monthly bill. Weigh all the factors, including the instrument rental price and your family budget, before making your decision. Some stores would just tell you "yes"....
Q. What do I do for my child if I can't rent an instrument?
A. This is a great question and a sensitive subject for everyone. You, your child's music teacher, and Classic Winds, all want your child to participate in school music. Learning to play an instrument carries a lifetime of great benefits and enjoyment. However, good quality instruments are expensive and with the economic reality of today, people have credit problems more than ever before. Rental of the more expensive instruments (including all new instruments and all large instruments listed on the rental price chart) will require us to obtain a credit report before entering into a rental contract. Sometimes, because of credit problems, we just can't rent the instruments we would like. It really isn't anything personal. This is a financial matter between the store and you. Check with your music teacher and see if there is a school instrument that can be used. Or, try to select a less expensive instrument to rent or purchase. We will work with you in any way we can.
Q. Do you do repairs?
A. Yes. We have relationships with several different repair partners who specialize in brass, woodwind and string repair. We can do any work you require, from simple cork or pad replacements to complete restorations. Our store is small and we devote most of our space to hosting high quality instructors, so we do not have an on-site repair shop. All of our repair partners are local, so your instrument is not sent to some depot repair center out of town or out of the state. And, we carry insurance to cover instruments that we are repairing.
Q. Who pays for a school instrument that is being repaired?
A. 90% of the time, you do. If you are using a school owned instrument, then you have no obligation to rent or purchase an expensive instrument for the school year (if the student used a school French horn, you just saved $500 in rental fees for one school year). There are exceptions, but usually the school teacher will discuss that with the store beforehand.
Q. School is out. What do I do with my rental instrument?
A. If your student is continuing with school music, keep the instrument over the very short summer. They might even practice if the instrument is at your house! By keeping your rental account open, you retain and grow your accumulated purchase credit. Returning the instrument closes the account and the purchase credit goes away.
If your student is not continuing with school music, simply return the instrument (and all pieces that came with the rental i.e. drum kits need the practice pad, bells, all sticks and mallets and stand pieces). Pay any past due balances and your account will be closed.