If your child has indicated the desire to play an instrument, here are some great ways to get free musical instruments for them.
How to Get Free (or Nearly Free) Musical Instruments Today
Here in the heartland, we love our music. So when the question was posed how to get access to free (or nearly free) musical instruments, I had to jump on the bandwagon and share my tips.
My own children have participated in a variety of school-related music programs over the years and I know how difficult it is to keep them all happy with instruments in hand.
If your own child has begged you to join band or orchestra but you don’t have the money or the budget to purchase their favorite instrument, don’t say no yet. There are a number of ways you can get your hands on free or nearly free musical instruments for little or no money, if you know where to look.
Still wondering if it is a all a dream? No way, but you might have to do some legwork or even some calling to see if such an instrument is available.
Check out these eight great resources ready to take the sting out of renting or even owning a musical instrument:
1. Contact Local Conservatory or School District
Start with Band leaders and Orchestra conductors who can be helpful with finding free or low cost instruments for your child.
Oftentimes, schools and other organizations will keep a variety of used instruments on hand for little or no cost at all to the student. These instruments are perfectly fine to use and are sanitized and prepared for the “new owner” at the beginning of each school year.
With larger instruments, like basses, students might be asked to rent a bass to keep at home and then use a school-provided instrument for class.
2. Barter or Exchange Musical Instruments
Many times it’s just a matter of finding the right individual who has the instrument you want. See if you can exchange something for the instrument in question.
Or, if you don’t have an instrument to offer, barter with a service in kind. This option is definitely lower in cost than if you purchased it outright from a dealer.
It’s a Miracle – Manilow Music Project for the Arts (Video)
3. Place “Wanted” Ads Around Town
Two places that instantly comes to mind is the local grocery or music store. You’ll find a bulletin boards at the entrance where you can tack your ad and wait for the call.
Also, try posting to those sites that sell instruments.
Another suggested option is to query via social media. This is a fine option if you have to give more information on the exact type of instrument(s) you need.
4. Check Internet Websites for Discounted Used Musical Instruments
And, speaking of the internet, there are a lot of opportunities more than ever for families looking for instruments online.
This is especially true when you google “free musical instruments.” Sites like Ebay or Craigslist offer a plethora of sellers. The caveat here is that you might just get a “steal” by reading through the descriptions.
Are you hungry for music? Learn how you can get free musical instruments to children in need through Hungry for Music (Video).
5. Purchase Musical Instrument As an Investment
Think of your child’s instrument as an investment. When all else fails, purchase the instrument. Do your research and ask questions as to the best model to buy.
Your child’s band and orchestra teacher can also help by giving you direction as to where to purchase the instrument and even important questions to ask to get just the right one for your child. It is an investment and as such, this purchase shouldn’t be taken lightly. You never know, your child may just be the next Yo Yo Ma!
6. Get Your Instrument Through a Charity
If are finding it difficult to secure a musical instrument for your child. You might want to try one of these organizations or charities.
Here’s a short list of the top music charities here and abroad:
- Manilow Music Project
- Hungry for Music
- The Australian Children’s Music Foundation
- Charity Music Inc.
- Ear Candy – Little Kids Rock
- Education Through Music
- Fender Music Foundation
- Keeping the Blues Alive
- Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation
- Music for Life Alliance
7. Family and Friends
For many families music is a must, so finding something that might interest young learners might only be a call away.
At your next family or neighborhood gathering, ask about possible instruments that someone might be willing to donate or sell. You never know who might be able to put you in touch with that special treasure.
8. Think Locally
My final suggestion for finding free (or nearly free) musical instruments is to start out local and work your way out to larger organizations.
It’s fine to post to the great world wide web for help finding instruments for your school’s band or organizations quartet, but more often than not, you’ll find that folks closer to home have more potential in helping you get the best results you desire.
Be brave about asking and go through the list and suggestions above for acquiring the instruments you need and want.
Remember, these are trying times for family budgets, but if you take the time to check around and ask others, you just might find the instrument you’re looking for. Let’s support the Arts! ~DLM