Saturday, June 30, 2012

Don't Waste Your Money on Rentals!

Every year around the start of a new school session, we get folks calling us about renting instruments for band or orchestra.  As a teacher, luthier, business owner, and more importantly a person with a conscience, we have chosen not to rent any instruments here.  Oh, it would make US a lot of money, but it would also cost YOU a lot of money!

The biggest reason people give me for wanting to rent is because they don't know if their kids will "stick with it."  For some reason, it seems for many people that it is easier to pay more money for a rental and then just return it than it is to put the instrument in the newspaper or Craigslist and sell it.  Think about it for moment...

Let's say your daughter wants to play flute.  You decide to rent one for $50/month.  Maybe you get a special deal for the first three months (three months for the price of one).  After one school year of rental, you will pay the following:
September, October, November:  $50
December $50
January $50
February $50
March $50
April $50
May $50

That's $350 for the first year.  The Bluegrass Shack offers very nice, guaranteed flutes in nickel and silver plate, both open and closed hole, starting at $125.  Out of 15 flutes that are currently for sale, only one is priced higher than $300.  Almost all of them are under $200.  Let's just assume your daughter doesn't even make it past February.  Then you've spent $150.  Regardless, you return the instrument and get NOTHING in return.  If you had purchased a nice, used instrument, you would be able to recoup most if not all of your money by reselling the instrument.  Even if you GAVE it away at $50, you'd still have something to put in your pocket!

How about our violin trade-in program?  We sell full size outfits complete with case and bow starting at $125.  (Smaller outfits are $100.)  If your teacher has a specific setup request, we can almost always accomodate that!  And even better yet, when you change sizes, you get 100% trade-in value as long as nothing is damaged!  (We understand nicks and scratches.)  If your son or daughter starts on a 1/4 size outfit, they will go through 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 before getting to full size.  That is four different violins!  You could pay the $100 for the 1/4 size, trade up for 1/2 and 3/4 at no additional charge, and then pay only $25 for the full size!  And if you want something more expensive, you still get the 100% trade-in from violin to violin.  (We do not offer this for any other instrument in our store.)  If they quit, you can sell it or hang it on the wall!

All of our band instruments are sanitized and completely guaranteed, and we do almost all the repair work ourselves.  The only work that we don't do here would be braizing and major dent removal.  We can remove stuck mouthpieces, repad, recork, fix or change springs, and adjust or troubleshoot all kinds of horn issues.

Take a look at our list of used band instruments here and save yourself some money this year!  If you don't need one, maybe your neighbor does!  Spread the word and lets recycle!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Something Special

Every once in a great while, a very special person comes along in your life.  Not necessarily a boyfriend or girlfriend, but just a really great person.  You don't know it at the time, because only the passing of time is the true test.

I started teaching from my home a couple of years before Earl and I opened The Bluegrass Shack.  One of my students at that time was Chelsea Perkinson.  She was young at the time -- still in high school.  She already played clarinet and saxophone in the high school band, but she wanted to learn to play the fiddle.  She was "one of those."  You know what I mean...picks up the instrument and just is able to do everything.  She was diligent in her practicing, and she had a good attitude and outlook.

When Earl and I opened The Bluegrass Shack in 2005, Chelsea was the first teacher that started here with us.  She has been here for six years now, and we are so blessed to have her in so many ways.  She is a great teacher, musician and friend.  She is great with our customers, which are so many times just like family to us here.  She has always gone with us to festivals when we set up as vendors.  Her work as a waitress before she came here made her perfect for working with money and with customers.  Her personality is bright and upbeat.  She can say things to Earl that I would never get away with!

And then someone just as special as Chelsea came into Chelsea's life...Zachery Bergmann.  Zachery has proved to be a great friend to us, and an even better friend and mate for Chelsea.  We are so happy for both of them! 

The Bluegrass Shack will be closed this Saturday, June 9, 2012, as Chelsea Perkinson and Zachery Bergmann get married!