Renting an Instrument

The Belmont Public Schools has carefully selected David French Music as our primary vendor for instrument rentals and repairs.  The average rental cost depends on the instrument, but is typically between $20-40 per month. While David French Music has been selected as our primary vendor, families are not required to rent or purchase an instrument from David French Music and can obtain an instrument from any vendor that they choose.

Instrument Rental Day is held each September at Belmont High School. Families can enroll in a rental program take their instrument home that very day. String students will be accurately fitted to an instrument that is the correct size for them. You can also purchase any books or other supplies you may need at Instrument Rental Day.

If you are unable to attend Instrument Rental Day, you can contact David French Music to begin your rental program, or contact another vendor of your choice. Keep in mind that students must have an instrument by the third week of lessons in order to participate in the Instrumental Music Program.

Fees and Registration

The Belmont Public Schools require a fee of $250/year for participation in the Grades 3-5 Instrumental Music Program. There is no fee for participation in curricular instrumental music in Grades 6-12.

Fee waivers and reductions are available by application.

To register and pay this fee online, to print out paper forms or to request a fee waiver, click the Registration link above. 

The BPS participation fee ($250) does not include the cost of renting an instrument or participation in Saturday Morning Music School. 

Instrumental Music Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page

Why rent an instrument when you can buy?

There are several reasons why it is recommended that families rent instruments for beginning students, rather than buying them.

  • “You get what you pay for.” In most cases, the instrument you rent from our vendor will be of much higher quality than anything you would purchase (particularly at a lower price point). Students who begin instruction with a high-quality instrument have a much greater chance of success than those who start out with inferior equipment. (Think of it like learning to ride a bicycle, but the bicycle has flat tires.)
  • The rental agreement you enter into with our vendor includes any necessary repairs (outside of gross negligence or vandalism) at no cost. 
  • Our vendor visits each of our schools weekly. If your instrument needs repair, call them in advance and they will pick it up at your child’s school and leave a loaner instrument for them to use in the meantime…all for free.
  • Your child will grow, but their violin won’t. This means that over time, your child will outgrow that half-sized violin they start on in Grade 3. If you purchase a half-sized violin, you are guaranteed to have to go out and purchase a three-quarter sized violin a few months later…and a full-sized violin after that. When you rent your string instrument from our vendor, size upgrades are included in your agreement. 
  • Your rental agreement is a “rent-to-own” program. Each dollar you pay for monthly rental (minus a few dollars for insurance) goes towards the retail cost of that instrument (or a full sized equivalent for string players). Once your rental fees have equalled the cost of the instrument, you own it.
  • As confident as we are that your child will absolutely love playing their instrument, we have to be honest: they don’t all stick with it through Grade 12. When you rent your instrument, you won’t be stuck with an expensive instrument collecting dust under the bed if your child decides not to continue playing (as unlikely as that may be!), and your economic investment in the instrument will be minimized.