The rental night is always one of the most exciting evenings for a new band or orchestra student. They have been recruited, tested, placed, and finally get the opportunity to receive their new instrument and start their musical journey.

The rental process usually works like this: A week or so before the scheduled rental meeting, the director sends a letter to the parents of students who want to be in the band orchestra. Click here for a sample of this letter. The letter announces the rental meeting and includes a reply slip. Several days before the scheduled meeting, the director calls their music store’s educational representative with an approximate number of each instrument needed for the rental meeting.

At the meeting, the director often speaks for a short time about what students and parents should expect in their class, what the students will learn, how often they should practice, the various activities the ensemble will take part in, and other things related to membership in band or orchestra. Then, the director explains why he or she has arranged to have a music store come to the school, why they selected this music store, and how long the school has been dealing with this store. We recommend saying: “It is our intention to recommend the music store that we feel has the best package of services for our music program. This company is a full-service, reputable music store that services all their instruments. This program has had good experiences with this company in the past. However, you are free to work with whomever you choose.” Then. the director introduces the Educational Representative. 

The rep explains the rental plan, answers questions, explains how to fill out the rental agreement, and arranges for everyone to get an instrument, book, and basic accessories. The meeting usually takes less than an hour. Typically there will be a few parents who will want to talk to the rep about an old instrument, a trade-in, a repair, accessories, or something else. This can be done immediately following the meeting. After the meeting, all of the students who rent an instrument should have everything they need to begin class the next day.

It's a good idea to reserve a date for your rental meeting early, both to make sure you get a date that works with your schedule and also to give the store enough time to get the instruments you’ll need. Weeknights are usually best for rental meetings, and an early evening meeting time is often the most convenient for parents. Your rep will help you plan the details of your rental program.