Finding an instrument

violins Successful instrumental music study requires a quality instrument in good playing condition. If you are unsure of the quality of an instrument, be sure to discuss the brand and condition with your band or orchestra teacher.


Rent-to-own instruments

Local music stores have rent-to-own programs. This is by far the most common and usually the least expensive way to get an instrument. We strongly suggest renting an instrument at first rather than immediately buying one. Renting makes the return of an instrument that has been found to be a poor match with the student much easier. Most local music stores will simply trade one instrument for a different one on the same rental contract. To find local music dealers, search online or in the phone book yellow pages under "Musical Instruments."


Make sure you rent or buy only from a reliable music store that specializes in orchestra or band instruments. Instruments purchased from catalog or discount stores are invariably of such poor quality that they not only can frustrate the student to the point of quitting, but frequently break beyond the possibility of cost-effective repair. Also, most local repair shops will refuse to repair such instruments.


Used instruments

Sometimes used instruments can be found online, in newspaper classified ads or at pawnshops. If you are considering a used instrument, be sure to discuss the instrument brand and condition with your child’s teacher.


Borrowed instruments

Check with family and friends. Instruments are often hiding in closets when they could be put to good use.


ASD instruments

As a last resort, some instruments are available through the Anchorage School District. These instruments may be used during the school year for a one-time fee of $40. As the number of orchestra and band students is far higher than the number of ASD instruments available, these instruments will be distributed only to students who are absolutely unable to acquire an instrument by other means. For more information about ASD instruments, contact your elementary school's band or orchestra teacher.

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