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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Out of the blue my 12-year-old Samantha announced the other day that she wants to start taking piano lessons. A few things rushed through my head, including my wondering if Sam really wanted to play or if there was another reason for her announcement.

You see her older sister, Rose, just turned 16 and is about to start driving. Could Sam’s new interest be connected to some very natural feelings of envy that her sister is the center of attention due to the fact that she’s about to take to the road? Can this be prompting my younger daughter’s desire to take beginner piano lessons?

One concern I have is the cost for lessons and a piano; both of which can mount up quickly. I don’t want to deny Sam the chance to play, but the fact is up to this point she’s shown little interest in music. So I decided that my mission was to give her the opportunity to play without risking a whole lot of cash.

Keeping Costs Down

I will say that lately Sam has shown some interest in music where the piano was featured such as certain songs by the Beatles, including “Let It Be.” Added to that is her recent focus on talking about piano lessons. She brings them up any chance she gets.

If Sam takes lessons at the local music school, I’ll have to enroll her and pay for an entire semester and if she takes piano at the music store in town, I’ll have to pay for a month’s worth of lessons in advance. I wasn’t willing to make that investment on what could possibly be a  whim.

Should I just turndown her request? That didn’t seem right. After all, a little more than 30 years ago I had the desire to play the piano and never got the chance. There are still times today that I regret that fact.

Online Piano Instruction

As I was cruising the Internet in search of information on music instruction, I found a low-cost solution to my monetary dilemma. There were, to my surprise, online piano lessons. I discovered at least one site where she could take some lessons for free and then enroll in one of various packages.

I like the versatility of online lessons. However, a bargain is only a bargain if it has value. Here are some things to look for when it comes to piano lessons offered online.

  • Make sure you can sample lessons for free before signing up.
  • The instructor should possess an appropriate degree and training.
  • Not everyone is a good candidate for online lessons. Your child should have good concentration skills.
  • Make sure that costs are clearly explained.
  • Go with a site that has various plans and some flexibility.

You want to go with quality instruction that is priced right. That’s the name of the game.

Getting Sam a Piano

There other problem that I had was the fact that we did not own a piano. I discovered a good solution for this problem too. We still don’t own a piano, but we do have one. That’s because I decided to rent one instead of buying. I found a good piano to rent for $75 per month. That price is fairly average and is a lot lower than buying one upfront.

The other option was to buy an electronic piano. They are a lot cheaper than acoustic brands with a good beginner’s model coming in around $450. Plus, electronic pianos do have some resale value.

But I preferred the idea of paying a little per month rather than purchasing even a cheap piano outright. I figured in three months I’d know if this was a good investment and then if it was I could put down some cash to buy a piano.

Am I Right?

It’s been a bit more than a week, and Sam practices for at least an hour a day without ever being prompted. Plus, I’ve decided to try my fingers at the keyboard, living a long time dream of learning to play.

I’m wondering if you’ve had a similar experience to mine and what you did? Have I covered all of the bases? Did I come up with a solid, frugal decision? Write back, I really want to know what you think! It’s over to you for a response. Thank you!

About the Author

Melissa Cameron is married and a busy mother of two girls. She lives next door to her parents in Austin, Texas. Melissa loves finding great bargains on the web and is also addicted to researching statistics of all kinds. Melissa, who loves math and crunching numbers, writes about history, cooking and parenting.  She’s a great cook of Northern Italian cuisine.

Photo provided courtesy of tamaki via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to be frugal.