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music-moneyOur life’s passions are what define us as people. They sculpt our personalities and friends by guiding our interests, and give us a venue for expressing ourselves in the midst of an always stressful modern lifestyle. Personally, I pursue music as my passion. I’ve played over five different instruments in my lifetime, and have made some of my greatest personal connections through music.

That being said, I have always pursued it as a side hobby, and never really thought about my musical hobby as a financial investment. In the interest of further demonstrating to the world the value of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, I look forward to using the next two articles to discuss the time and economic value that lies in the pursuit of learning a musical instrument.

The first cost of music is a fixed one. Before we can begin practicing, we need to obtain an instrument. This can range from an expensive instrument such as a piano (which costs as much as $500,000), to a cheaper instrument such as a guitar (which can be purchased for as little as $100). Common band instruments such as the saxophone and trumpet then range from between $300-3000, depending on the quality of instrument purchased.

That being said, rental options have become widely available over the years. For example, an entry-level piano can be rented for as little as $60/month ($720/year). Alternatively, a guitar can be rented for as little as $10/month, and a trumpet can be rented for $32.

In general, these rental rates break even after a period of 1-3 years, meaning that a renter is able to try out an instrument for as long as three years before they have a financial incentive to actually purchase the instrument at all. What’s more, many larger music stores will offer a rent-to-own program, meaning that the renter has the option to purchase out the remaining value of an instrument if they carry it for a period of time. This means that we have all the financial incentive in the world to try out different instruments and styles of music before we commit to pursuing a specific one. Read the rest of this entry »