10 - 2011

Beginning to Play the Piano Doesn’t Have to be Expensive?

The following is a guest post by Melissa Cameron.

Lately, it seems as if our household has mounting expenses. One thing that has taxed our budget is the fact that my eldest daughter, Rose, is starting to drive. Now my younger child, Matt, is asking that he be allowed to take piano lessons. I’m certainly open to the idea, but I wonder if Matt is interested in the piano as the result of his sister’s learning to drive. Is Matt  feeling some envy towards his sister?

This can certainly be the case. Over the years, he’s shown very little interest in music. Could this urge to tickle the ivories simply be a way to compete for attention? I want to give my younger kid the chance to play the piano, but I want to do so economically. I’d rather not spend a lot of money until I’m sure that he is truly interested in playing and not just wanting some extra attention.

Is There a Frugal Solution?

Sometimes I believe that Matt really is interested in the piano. As an example, he loves certain Beatles’ songs that emphasize the piano such as “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let It Be.” And every day for the past two weeks I have heard little else except, “Mom, I really want to take piano lessons!”

But Matt, who is certainly the younger sibling, is at that time in life when kids change their minds on the turn of a dime. Thus, I’m concerned that I will lay down a lot of money only to see him change his mind, leaving me with a bill and nothing else. If he takes lessons at a music store, I’ll have to pay for a month’s worth of lessons. A music school charges for an entire semester.

I don’t want to say “no” to the request without giving him a chance. A little more than 30 years ago, I wanted to play the piano and never got the chance. I still regret it. I don’t want Matt to have that same regret.

Piano Lessons Online

I love using the Internet to find bargains and that’s exactly what I did when I discovered that you can take piano lessons online. This looks like a good solution because he can start with some free lessons and then purchase lessons if he likes it.

That certainly will save some cash. Plus, if he does enjoy the piano, there are various lesson packages from which he may choose. I like the fact that I don’t have to commit any cash at first.

But how do you know you’re getting a good deal online? Here are some important things to consider when picking an online provider.

  • Test out the site for free first.
  • Make sure the instructor has the proper degrees and experience.
  • Check to see if your child is the right age and not too young for the site.
  • Be sure you know how much lessons will cost.
  • Go with a flexible plan.

The long and short of it is you want quality instruction at a reasonable price that you don’t have to commit to for an extended period of time until you’re sure it’s the right choice.

Where to get a Piano

The other dilemma concerns securing a piano. You see, we don’t own one and they are expensive. I discovered two possible solutions—renting a piano or purchasing an electric one. Renting costs between $30 and $100 per month.  You can buy an adequate electronic keyboard from between $400 and $500.

I decided to rent one and got a good deal for $75 a month. One additional advantage to purchasing an electronic piano is the fact that you can always resell it when you no longer need it.

Tell Me What You Think

At this point, Matt is about a week into lessons and seems to be enjoying them. Also, I’ve decided that I am going to follow my long-held dream and start taking lessons. I might as well see if I really do like it.

I’d like to know what you think about my cost saving measures. Do you have other ideas regarding a preteen and piano lessons? I really want to hear from you! Hope to hear from you soon!

About the Author

Melissa Cameron is always busy trying to balance a full life. A successful freelance writer, she is married with two children and two lively elderly parents. When she’s not writing or enjoying time with her family, Melissa is surfing the Internet, looking for new topics on which to write and searching for bargains. Melissa, who lives in Austin, Texas, with her kids and husband, writes on a range of subjects, including parenting, frugal living and cooking.

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