The Instrument: Rent or Buy?
The overarching principle here is that it is seldom cost-effective to engage in long-term rental programs, but it can be a way to get started. There is a high degree of variability among the programs offered by the different music stores. For example, some rental fees include repairs to the instrument if necessary, while others do not. Make sure to do a comparison shop, and read contracts carefully before you sign.
Most dealers have exchange programs, as your child grows and needs a larger size of instrument.
Spend the money. It is false economy to start with an inexpensive instrument because the student is young and is only a beginner. Even in the very early stages, progress will be slowed or stopped and much lesson time lost trying to compensate for poor instruments. This is very frustrating for both the teacher and the student and is costly for you. Additionally, since this is a by-ear method, it is essential that the instrument plays easily and produces a clear, pleasant sound and accurate pitch. The teacher reserves the option of rejecting any instrument if the quality is not up to his/her standards.