Buying an instrument
If you are planning on starting lessons and don’t yet have an instrument PLEASE contact me before buying one. I am very happy to help steer you in the right direction.
For a good quality student flute, expect to pay ($800-$1100).
For a good quality plastic descant recorder ($45), treble recorder ($70-$105). Recorders in this price range are more in tune and sound better. A good plastic recorder is often better quality than a cheap wooden one.
There is quite a variation in quality between different brands and with second-hand instruments a lot of luck is involved. If you buy an old instrument you will probably need to have it serviced (around $200) so factor that in when considering your options. I believe investing in a good quality new instrument can save you money in the long term. Most new flutes come with a 2 or 5 year warranty and a free maintenance check or service after the first 12 months.
There are places that have very reasonable hire/purchase schemes that give you a bit more time to decide whether it is the right instrument for you or your child.
Children aged about 10 or younger will need a flute with a curved head joint. Before commencing lessons I will give you advice as to which size flute is needed. A curved head joint makes the whole flute shorter so shorter arms are still able to reach all the keys easily. You can buy student flutes that come with both headjoints. There are even flutes designed for very young children that are shorter and lighter than normal curved head flutes and have special key extensions for little tiny fingers. These are popular with Suzuki flute students.