What the Varchar?
It was a surprise to me when suddenly one day a few weeks ago my 12-year-old Samantha started saying that she wanted to learn to play the piano. I was not quite sure where this was coming from since Sam had never really shown much interest in music. I remember in the fifth grade her disdain for the clarinet, which she played in the band despite the fact that she never practiced.
I realized that Sam could have ulterior motives since her older sister, Rose, is about to embark on taking the driver’s education course and take to the road in her own car. There’s a lot of attention on Rose these days and very little on Sam. You see Rose just turned 16 and is about to start driving. Can this be prompting my younger daughter’s desire to take beginner piano lessons?
Not knowing if this desire to play piano is real and being on a fairly tight budget have created concerns on my part. I want to give my daughter the chance to learn to play the piano, but I want to do it without stressing out my budget.
The Frugal Approach
Here’s my dilemma. If Sam gets instruction at our neighborhood music school, I’ll be required to pay for an entire semester of lessons; that’s 16 weeks!. We could opt for lessons at the local music shop where I’d have to pay for a month’s worth in advance. I think that’s a lot to pay on a possible whim.
Still, Sam has as of late shown interest in songs such as “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let It Be” by the Beatles. Both of which feature the piano prominently. Plus, she won’t stop talking about piano lessons.
What do I do? Over 30 years ago I wanted to take piano lessons and I still regret that I never got the opportunity to do so. I don’t want my daughter to have the same regret.
Taking Lessons Online
I went on my computer and found a value-based solution to my dilemma. There were, much to my surprise,online piano lessons available! I discovered at least one site where Sam could get some free instruction first and then choose from various packages if she decided to enroll.
In the matter of a few minutes, I had found value, quality and a variety of choices. I also found out there are a few things to look for when it comes to online music lessons.
The point is you want to find quality instruction that is priced for value.
Finding a Piano
Then there was the whole question regarding what to do about the fact that we don’t own a piano? I really didn’t want to buy one. I did find a low cost solution to purchasing. Electronic pianos start as low as $100 and a good piano for a beginner costs about $400 to $500. Still, I didn’t want to put that much money on the line this early in the game.
I opted to rent a piano. It proved to be the least expensive route to take. Costs for piano rental range from $30 to $100 per month. I found a good deal on a piano for $75 per month. That price allowed for a good piano on which Sam could learn that still fit my budget.
Do You Have Different Insights?
Well, although it’s only been a little more than a week, I’d have to say that Sam, who practices every day for about two hours, is committed. In fact, she has inspired me to try my hand at the piano. I start this next week.
So, problem solved and with some extra benefits. How about you? Do you have an opinion on how to handle this type of situation? Have you had to deal with something similar? React and write to me. I really want to hear from you. It’s your turn!
About the Author
Melissa Cameron is an active mom who has been married for the past 20 years. A freelance writer, avid bargain shopper and a lover of the great outdoors, she writes about frugal living, parenting and camping. Melissa lives in Austin, Texas just across from her elderly parents. She is a great cook who enjoys making Mexican food and creating her own recipes. Last year, Melissa and the kids and husband travelled to Alaska for a month-long vacation.