We have been playing instruments for quite some time, and when you've been involved in music for a while, you develop many contacts that are teachers who know what is best for their students. When we acquired our first piano years ago, we didn't know anything about purchasing a piano. We were able to ask teachers, some of whom had more than 30 years of experience, "What would be your favorite piano that would not take up a lot of space, but still have good sound?" They were glad to give us their input.
We spent several months looking through the newspaper, trying to find the right one. One day we got a phone call from a piano teacher that knew of our search. They had found a really nice piano for sale from its original owner at a great price. That's how we got our first piano!
It may not be immediate gratification like when you buy something you want on credit. With credit cards, who knows how much debt you'll have - that's a big deal. But if you're willing to wait six months, you may save yourself a lot of financial pressure down the road.
For really good instruments when the children are ready to move up from a student's violin to a more expensive violin, we'll shop around for used instruments. We've found good deals in pawn shops in the past. We'll also try music supply companies where they offer trade-ins. There are a lot of angles. The key is to find something of good quality that is not necessarily new.
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