Instrument Rentals


We have compiled this list of stores to help you out (Stores listed at bottom of page). If you have any problems or questions about renting instruments, please call us and we would be glad to help you. We highly recommend that you rent an instrument first, not purchase. Before investing in an instrument, you want to see if your child will make a commitment to his or her lessons. Most stores will give you credit from your rental towards a purchase if you decide to do that at some point. Be very cautious about new instruments being sold at very inexpensive prices at places like Costco or in catalogs. "You get what you paid for" is our best advise.

The main things you need to know when renting an instrument is that most stores may ask you for a credit card to secure the instrument (not necessarily to make payments with). The average cost of renting a clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone and snare drum is around $20.00 per month for a used instrument and around $25.00 per month for a new. Saxophones are the most expensive and can cost up to twice the amount of the instruments listed above. If the expense is an issue, clarinet or flute are good second options. After one year, if your child shows a commitment to his or her music lessons, you may decide to go the extra expense and rent a sax instead of clarinet. It is not difficult to make the switch.

Special Fall Offer:

For east bay parents, Rockin Robbies store will deliver an instrument to you.  Click here for their flyer with their info.

What Instrument to Choose?

The best recommendation we can make is to choose the instrument your child is excited about. If your child is not sure what to play, take your child to a local store to browse and have the store personnel help you. A common question asked by students and parents is " What is the easiest or hardest instrument to play?" The simple answer is practice. Each instrument has its' challenges but nothing too hard that cannot be overcome with practice.

How much of a time commitment should you plan for in terms of practicing?

Beginning band students should plan to practice 15-20 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week. We like to set a 4 day-a-week minimum. Small amounts of focused practice time and consistency are the most important factors that will guarantee your child's success. The best thing you can do, whether you yourself have musical experience or not, is help your child set up a practice routine. You may even want to come up with some reward incentives for them. M.U.S.E. Instructors do this with "Band Bucks" which are coupons that students can earn for practicing and doing well in class. Students redeem these coupons for special rewards. It is absolutely crucial for students to practice at home. Start structuring their practice sessions immediately. Learning an instrument really starts at home and is reinforced with weekly lessons. A child will not learn an instrument if they only play once a week in class. We also suggest making a commitment for the school year (you are not obligated financially for the entire year-just 3 months at a time). It takes time to learn an instrument. It is also important to make a commitment to the team, your school band. These are life long lessons that help build a strong foundation in your child’s overall education. Discipline, teamwork, and commitment. If your child’s interest starts to waiver or they reach a point where they are having a hard time, please contact the instructor and he or she will be able to give you some helpful suggestions.

Other Suggestions:

Invest in your child’s lessons by making sure they have a Fold-up-wire-music stand. Stands cost in range of $12-18 and can be purchased at any music store or online. Students need to have a good place to set their music while they practice. Laying music down on the bed or on a table creates bad posture and awkwardness in reading the music. Please consider the purchase of a music stand. You can order online at:  or

Clarinet and saxophone students need to purchase a box of reeds. Reeds will chip and break over time. If students take care of their reeds(instructors will talk about this in class), a reed can last 2-4 weeks. A box of 10 reeds would be good to start with. Keep 2-3 reeds in the instrument case and leave the others at home. Rental instruments usually come with just one reed.  You can also order reeds online at:  or

Trumpet and Trombone players need valve oil/slide oil.

  1. Flute players usually have a cleaning rod in their cases when renting or purchasing an instrument. Just rap a cloth around the rod and push through flute after each playing session to get rid of moisture.

  2. Drummers: Drum students need to rent a snare drum. In addition, drum students should have a set of tuned bells (mallet instrument that is usually 2 octaves and is similar to a Xylophone). Some stores have kits that have these two items together. The curriculum that M.U.S.E. has developed starts drummers on the bells for the first few months so they can learn how to read notes and melodies. The instruction book then introduces the snare drum, and by the end of the first year, students have the option to play either drums or tuned bells on any given song or exercise. If you cannot find a bell set, please call the M.U.S.E. Office and we will help you. Starland Music in Alameda sells bell kits for $99.00 and will ship it to you.

Music Stores

El Cerrito/Berkeley

• Forrest Music  1849 University Ave., Berkeley.....510-845-7178  (Has a school year lease plan)

• Starving Musician 2474 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley........510-841-2648



  1. A & G Music  564 14th St. Oakland.....................................................................510-832-0381

Starland Music Center(tuned bells are available) *

1631 Park St. ,Alameda .......................................................................................510-523-4797


Allegro Music 3115 Walnut Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538   510-793-3500

Rockin Robbie’s will be coming out to Our lady of Grace school on Sunday, Sept. 10 from 12:30-2:30 pm to service hayward area schools. They will bring instruments to rent and we will have instruments for students to try (Instrument Petting Zoo).  They also will have music stands and reeds for sale. We highly recommend Rockin Robbie’s


Lamorinda Music   81 Lafayette  925-385-0963  (Might be a good store for Pinole Parents)

Rockin’ Robbie’s East bay Music  1835 Colfax St., Concord..............................925-687-4220

House of Woodwinds   2205 San Ramon Valley Blvd.,San Ramon.....................925-831-8341

C&L Music (has bells)2395 "B" Monument Blvd.,Concord.............................925-686-6122

Spitzer Music * 1931 Market St. Concord .........................................................925-676-3151

Music and More  1808 “A” Street Antioch ........................................................925-778-6206


San Francisco

• Inspire Music 1241 Taraval St. San Francisco 415-504-7921

  (Highly Recommended-very good pricing of rentals)

• Union Music 1475 Bush (corner of Bush and Van Ness) S.F.  415-775-6043


• Bronsteins Music 363 Grand Ave. South S.F.  650-588-2502


Marin County

Magic Flute  Northgate Drive  San Rafael....................................................415-479-3112


Cupertino/San Jose

Starving Musician
3939 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA  95051
(408) 554-9041

Crossroads Music
10564 S. De Anza Blvd.
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 996-8742

Park Ave Music
1717 Park Ave. San Jose 408-279-5100

Exploring Music
1608 De Anza Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 517- 1177

West Valley Music
262 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 961-1566

Music Village
2971 Union Ave. San Jose  408-377-2504


M.U.S.E. has provided this list for the convenience of its' customers. We acknowledge that there are other stores in your area and that these stores may have similar programs in the Bay Area.


CA: Bay Area Instrument Fair (Hayward)

Best Music will be at the following location with instruments to rent.  They have some of the best prices in town and top quality instruments. Best does ask for 2 credit cards so if you have any issues with this or need to ask them questions call 510-832-2024


Sunday, September 9@All Saints School, Hayward 1-3pm

If you cannot attend this session Best Music will still give M.U.S.E. Students a 20% discount on rental if you come in to their store in Oakland.

M.U.S.E. offers instruction for the following instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, and Percussion (drums and tuned bells/xylophone)

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We highly recommend NOT Purchasing an instrument right away. There are two reasons:

  1. 1.You don’t know if your child will take to the instrument they choose. Teachers can usually tell within 3-4 weeks if the instrument your child chose is giving them problems. If so, they might recommend a different instrument.

  1. 2.There some really poorly made instruments on the internet that can look like a bargain but are not. Most parents do not know what brand to look for. Start your child out right by first renting an instrument from a reliable store.