The Magic Flute has been the best place to rent musical instruments since 1976! We are open every day (No Appointment Necessary!). We have the best selection, best prices, and the best rent-to-own plan. For more info about rates and conditions, please click on the "Beginner Instrument" tab.
Group 1: As low as $16/month*
Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Small Viola, Snare Drum Kit
Group 2: As low as $26/month*
Alto Saxophone, Viola, Small Cello, Assorted Intermediate Instruments
Group 3: As low as $39/month*
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Cello, Upright Bass, Oboe, Baritone Horn, French Horn
Group 4: As low as $48/month*
Assorted "Step Up" Instruments such as Double French Horn, Baritone Saxophone, Intermediate Oboe
*When taking advantage of our Early Bird Special each June.
The Magic Flute offers high quality student brass, woodwind, string, and percussion instruments at the most affordable long-term rental rates and with the most generous rent-to-own terms around.
Here are the detailed Instrument Rental Rates(PDF). We invite you to read our Rental Agreement (PDF) and fill out our Contact & Credit Card Info Form (PDF) prior to visiting our store. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you might have regarding our rental program.
The Magic Flute has been renting instruments to generations of budding musicians. We are proud to offer the most affordable and most extensive selection of rental instruments in the Bay Area. All of our instruments are maintained in excellent playing condition by our full-service repair facility.
Our rental instruments are organized into 4 price groups, with each price group containing initial and renewal rates. We require a minimum initial rental commitment of 3 months. Renters enjoy discounted pricing if they commit to 9 or 12 month periods. There is no refund for early return of rental instruments.
All of the rent and tax portions of the rental rates can be applied toward purchase of the rental instrument at its Rent-To-Own (RTO) price (roughly equal to the non-discounted retail price of the instrument). Renewal rates include a finance charge, which allows continued accrual of purchase credit throughout the life of the rental.
Renters are always offered a discounted Buy-It-Now price after the initial rental period (typically a 25% discount off of the remaining RTO balance).
During the first 9 months of continuous rental, for a $25 fee, renters can make one exchange to a different instrument of equal or higher RTO value. Renters of fractional size instruments enjoy free exchanges to the same but larger-sized instrument throughout the life of the rental.
Rental rates include a nominal Service Policy fee. We have an highly skilled repair facility staff, and they pride themselves maintaining a well-functioning fleet of rental instruments. If for any reason your rental instrument needs some TLC, we are happy to give it our expert attention. The Service Policy covers normal use; damage due to negligence is not covered.
All rentals must be secured by a major credit card (the number of which will be kept securely on file by The Magic Flute).
The Magic Flute offers high quality intermediate and professional instruments at the most affordable long-term rental rates and with the most generous rent-to-own terms around. Please contact us for pricing and availability
The Magic Flute offers high quality guitars, basses, amps, and drums at the most affordable long-term rental rates and with the most generous rent-to-own terms around. Here are the current Guitar, Amp, and Drum Rental Rates (PDF), but please do contact us for availability.
The Magic Flute has a small selection of instruments available for rent from 3-14 days. Please contact us for availability.
Is there a refund for early return?
We do not give refunds for early return. However, for a $25 fee, we do allow you to exchange to another instrument during the initial rental period.
Can I call to reserve a rental instrument?
Sorry, we do not take reservations. Rentals are first come, first serve. Please come in as early as possible in the school year to select and rent your instrument.
Why are the renewal rates higher than the initial rates?
The renewal rates include a finance charge that allows you to keep and continue to accrue purchase credit (equal to the rent portion of payments) toward the purchase of the rental instrument. If you are not interested in accruing purchase credit the instrument, we are happy to re-rent the instrument to you at the initial rental rate.
Can I pay monthly rather than pre-pay for 3 or 9 months?
Our rent to own plans require at least an initial commitment of 3 months, and the 9-month plan is deeply discounted when compared to the 3-month plan. In order to take advantage of the 9-month discount rate, you will need to pre-pay the entire 9 months. When it comes time for renewal, we do offer 1-month, 3-month, and 9-month pre-pay renewal rates. You always save money by pre-paying for more than one month.
What does the service policy cover?
We have a full-service repair shop that maintains the playing quality of our rental fleet. If your rental instrument needs servicing due do normal playing, we will do the work for free (excluding strings, reeds, other accessories). However, any damage not due to normal playing will be charged to the renter.
What if my child decides to change instruments during the rental period?
For a $25 fee, we do allow you to exchange to another instrument during the initial rental period. Renters of fractional size instruments (violins, violas, cellos) are able to exchange to the next size instrument throughout the initial and subsequent renewal periods.
Do you rent the books, music stands, shoulder rests, and other accessories that I might need?
All instruments come ready to play (e.g., reed instruments come with a couple reeds). However, you will have to purchase any additional accessories.
Does any of the rent go toward purchase of the rental instrument?
100% of the rent portion of the rental rate applies as credit toward the purchase of the instrument on rent. We also offer discounted "Buy It Now" pricing for the instrument on rent when we send you renewal statements.
Isn't it sometimes better to buy than to rent?
Sometimes it is better to buy than to rent. If the student is committed to playing for several years, then it might make sense to buy. However, we typically recommend that you do not purchase a fractional sized instrument, since the student will grow out of it.
Why rent an instrument when I can purchase one online or on Craigslist for less than the rental rate?
Caveat Emptor! Buyer Beware! The value of the instrument that we rent is several times higher than the rental rate. Instruments that are sold online or on Craigslist at prices lower than our rental rate are likely to be far inferior in quality to the ones that we rent. We have seen $99 "trumpets" and $300 "saxophones," and while they may look pretty, they are often barely playable and not serviceable.