Instrument Rental FAQ

Most elementary school music programs introduce band or orchestra in the 4th grade. Teachers will often assemble a demonstration for upcoming students to hear, touch, and feel the various instruments. Based on this experience, teachers can give parents insightful advice about which instruments may suit a student. Once an instrument is selected, inform your child’s teacher (if they don’t already know). Then head over to and hit “Get Started” to fill out our quick rental form.

When first starting out, renting offers students a way to explore an instrument without the high cost of purchasing it outright. You will always receive a major brand-name instrument that has been expertly adjusted and sanitized. In addition, there is no added expense for regular maintenance. You will have options and a discount available if you choose to purchase an instrument while you are renting.

At any point during your rental, you may choose to purchase a rental instrument. All accrued rental credit in an open contract will be applied toward the purchase price with an additional 30% off the remaining balance at any time. Once an instrument is bought out, you’ll receive an additional 1 year warranty that covers normal wear and tear and needed adjustments. Only The Music Shop offers this protection at no additional cost.

The trial period refers to the initial period of the rental contract during the student’s introductory year of music. Once your trial period ends, the contract will continue with regular monthly payments. Every payment you make, including the initial trial period, can be used toward purchase of an instrument in an open contract.

The maintenance coverage + liability damage waiver (MC-LDW) is a required one-time service fee that entitles the renter use of our comprehensive repair services from our on-premises repair shop and in addition, covers some of your liability in the case of loss, fire, theft, or damage or destruction of the instrument from all causes in excess of normal wear and tear. You will receive repair of your instrument as needed, or the instrument will be exchanged for comparable make and model. Maintenance coverage + ldw does not include damage to string breakage (after the first 14 days of rental), reeds, drum sticks and mallets, heads, bow hair, rosin, brass and woodwind mouthpiece loss, neck straps, ligature loss and caps.  ALL REPAIRS MUST BE DONE BY A MUSIC SHOP APPROVED TECHNICIAN

We only stock time-trusted and true Educator selected instruments. These are high quality name-brands such as Bach, Yamaha, Eastman, Buffet, and Jupiter. Your school has informed us of the preferred brands they wish students to use that provide the optimal learning experience.

Most band instruments have a single standard size. However, orchestra instruments (AKA string instruments) come in fractional sizes. Your child’s orchestra teacher may size the student in school. If they have not, we can do so in-store with the student present. There is also a sizing chart available at the bottom of the ‘Customize Your Rental’ page in the online rental process. As the student grows, you can exchange to the next size up until they have reached a full size instrument.

We work closely with your school’s music teachers to ensure we know which items are required for class. Items that are requested by your child’s teacher are designated as required for class, and are pre-selected so a student never has to worry about entering music class unprepared. We also offer additional (but optional) supplies such as extra reeds, cleaning kits, music stands, and other items that are helpful for learning. If you need to purchase additional supplies later, our Educational Sales Representatives visit your school weekly. Feel free to call us and we can arrange these items to be sent to your school with no delivery charge.

When you fill out your online rental form, the default selection under Delivery Options is ‘Delivery to School’. This selection will prompt your instrument to be processed for school delivery. If you live close to our Boonton location or need your rental sooner, you also have the option to select ‘Store Pickup’. You can then visit our store during retail hours and pick up your instrument any time after placing your order.

If you place your order in the summer for the upcoming year, your instrument and any accessories will be delivered to the school where the music teacher will distribute them accordingly. To ensure delivery for the start of school, we recommend orders be placed at least two weeks in advance. Orders placed after September 1st should arrive within 5-10 business days. You can contact The Music Shop or reach out to your child’s music teacher to find out which day of the week we visit your school. Please note that a school’s holiday closure may affect delivery time frames.

Instruments are usually distributed to the student during the first class with their music teacher. Please check with your child if they have had music class. If they did but have not received their instrument, please give our rental department a call so we can resolve the situation.

If at any time your rental instrument needs to be serviced, you can always bring it to our retail store. Regular instrument maintenance itself is 100% covered under your rental. For our customers who live farther away from our Boonton location, simply call and we can pick it up from your school for repair, and return it the following week.

The Music Shop offers exchange options for all rented instruments. If your child wants to play another instrument in place of the one they are currently playing, we can exchange the instrument. Please note that some instruments may increase or decrease your rental rate and/or payments based on the cost of the new instrument. It is highly recommended you speak with your child’s director before exchanging an instrument.

If a student is not playing anymore, you can return the instrument to our store location or have it picked up from school. If you need it picked up, you must either call our Customer Service department or request a Return Authorization through our website, and we will arrange a pickup! It’s that simple. Do not leave your instrument at the school without advance notification.

If you know they will be playing next year, you can call our Customer Service to ask for information about keeping your instrument. We make it easy for you and your child to continue enjoying the gift of music.

Promotions for step-up instruments vary by instrument model and time of year. If you are interested about your options, you can email: [email protected]. We can then look at your account and let you know what options are available. Please note that your rental credit cannot be used towards a step-up instrument.