So here in CA's central valley school is starting, and the kids are getting their instruments for the band programs.

PLEASE

Don't have your child call a store about renting an instrument.  Things like "Credit Application" and "Credit card, NOT a debit or check card"  have trouble getting to mom and dad.  And it's no fun for anyone to have a family show up only to be turned away.

Please, don't buy an instrument, online, at wal-mart, costco, target, or the flea market for under $200 brand-new.  There are reasons a quality instrument costs 4 to 5 times as much.  Some of the teachers in our area will send the kid home with a note that they will not be allowed to participate with this instrument.  And when they are allowed to use them, the instruments rarely last through a year of full use without needing major adjustment -  which often isn't possible to do on such a poor-quality instrument.  The lesser instruments are also often more difficult to play -  making it much less enjoyable for the child - and less likely that they will want to stick with it. 

I really could keep going but I'll stop now.

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