A friend of mine was looking online at accessories one day – handbags, I believe. She wasn’t looking at anything ultra designer fancy – just a standard department store selection. Her husband saw the average prices, and couldn’t keep from commenting on how expensive that $200 handbag seemed.
My friend started off by pointing out that not only did the handbag represent a cost for raw materials, labor, shipping and storage, but it was a purchase that would last for many months, if not years, of use. What if the bag was used five days a week for a year? The cost per use would then be very low. What if it was used for only two or three days a week, but for a number of years? The cost becomes even lower, and therefore an even better deal.
For a handbag, this is all well and good. How would the cost for a musical instrument stack up to something like that oh-so-necessary handbag?
Now, there are certainly very good, affordable student instruments that every beginning musician should start with (and that many professionals perform with). But, just to make a point, let’s look at another friend’s purchase – a professional level instrument. As professional model instruments go, it was relatively inexpensive at $7000. But $7000 is certainly a lot of money. How does the cost per use, and cost per day, stack up against something as common as a handbag?
Well, my friend’s estimated use out of the instrument to date is somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 hours. That puts the cost per hour use at under $.50, and the cost per day at about $1.25 per day. The news gets even better when we know that instruments can last a really long time - Stradivarius violins, for instance, are still in use hundreds of years after their creation!
So, the instrument cost per use is great, and the cost per day is, likewise, very good. Like the handbag, we should see musical instruments as part of our daily lives. Unlike that handbag, though, having (and using, of course) our instruments makes us more analytical, creative, empathetic people. Oh, and it makes us happier, too!Get started on your musical journey today! The Music Momma