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Where to Get a Good Flute for Cheap??

My daughter is starting the flute next fall and we've been told she MUST have a Yamaha YFL 281 or a Yamaha YFL 361H. I looked online and these things are $1000!!! We're in Allen and they "tell" you what you'll start with (flute, clarinet, trumpet or trombone) in 6th grade, then after the first semester, you can try out for another instrument. So here's my thought...there should be lots of flutes out there from those who STARTED with one but then switched to another instrument. I looked on Craig's List and there were only a couple, listed for high prices. Any thoughts?? Is it possible to rent a flute?? I could (maybe!) swallow the price if I knew she were going to stick with it but for all I know, she'll try out for a different instrument or quit altogether.

TIA for any ideas or suggestions!!

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Call them and ask for Carolyn (the owner). This is a very nice shop which only sells flutes and related items. I've known her for 12 years. The store is called the Carolyn Nussbaum Music Company ###-###-####
625 Digital Drive
Suite #300
Plano, TX 75075

That is ridiculous!!! I played flute when I was in middle school and I still have my flute. I do not think it is a Yamaha. I know it is in excellent condition, just needs to be tuned up. Let me know if they will accept any other names. I am willing to part with it.

More Answers

Williamson Music in Plano has instruments for rent. They are in Plano by Collin Creek Mall. Their phone number is ###-###-#### and website is www.williamsonmusicco.com. You should call them and ask them about what you were told. As a flute player of over 25 years, I think you be able to try one out without having to be told what you should buy, especially if you can try different instruments in the middle of your first year playing any instrument. It is a very big investment for only a few months.

On the other hand, I do still enjoy playing my flute whenever I can and I think it is the best instrument in the band. (Personal preference, obviously, but I love it)

There is no need to buy a flute, you can rent one by the month at the music stores. There is a Brook Mays on 75 and a Williamson Music store on Plano Parkway just before 75. We are in Plano and they do the same thing about telling them what instrument is best for them. We rented a flute for $35 a month for the 6th grade year. My child excelled in the flute but then switched to the Tuba in 7th grade and is still playing it in High school.

I would not allow her to switch instruments until the 6th grade year is over. She needs to learn how to play the flute first then move on - if she starts jumping from different instruments then she will have a hard time getting really good at one or knowing which one she wants to continue.

Have you tried Williamson Music in Plano off Plano Pkwy and 75? They do a lot of rentals for band and orchestra involving beginners.

My daughter (now a 7th grader) started with violin and we rented a violin until she actually showed some talent and advanced into a higher grouping within the school.

We just recently purchased a violin (not cheap, looking at $3000+) but she intends to take it through senior high school and possibly more. We did not make our purchase through Williamson ( we did rent through them) but they do have a program that applies a portion of your rental costs toward credit for a purchase if you purchase from them.

The band/orchestra director at your school should be able to give you info on where they recommend you to rent an instrument. Most all 6th graders rent and take private lessons to see if they really do want to stick with it. After a year or 2, you then decide if your child is going to stick with it or not.

My daughter was given a choice as to what she wanted to do band? Orchestra? or Choir? THEN....the instrument choice. When she chose violin, we were given options as to where to go to rent or purchase. I live in Allen but I am in the Plano ISD system.

Good luck to you and your middle schooler. Things change so fast.

I got a flute for my daughter for school from a pawn shop for about $100.00, when she was in band and they let me take it to a music store to see if it needed to be repaired. Hope this helps.

Blessings to you!
R. C.

Try B&C Music in Plano, we got a trumpet for about 480.00 and he allowed us to make payments with no interest. He is very elderly but SHARP .. He has been in music for years, my son is at wilson..


I was shocked to learn recently that our (PISD) upcoming 6th graders are required to take a fine arts "elective", so all kids must either sing or play something. Try outs are in April, where it's not clear exactly how much choice children actually have. It's really up to the assessors as to who gets to play what instrument. I had a choice in 5th grade, and I picked the flute. Played it up thru college. I have two flutes, but the oldest was cheaper and is mostly worn out and would need pads. Otherwise I'd loan it to ya. The other one is my more expensive one, but my 5 yr old has put her name tag on it. Keep looking around. I certainly wouldn't want to purchase one for the very reasons you point out. Guess I'm not getting why the districts nowadays are requiring all kids to either sing or play, when not every child is cut out for such. I'd much rather see 6th graders who perhaps don't have musical interest/inclination to be able to take money management, drama, foreign language, life skills, etc..

Have you tried e-bay or your local paper? You could also check with the band director to see if he/she knows of any of the upperclassman who are trying to sell their "old" one.

Hi P.,

I certainly can relate to your situation.

My son needed a good used trombone two years ago. I came acrossed a retired band director who repairs and sells used band instruments. He didn't have one at the time but he actually found one for me and now my son is doing very well with it...the best part is...it was in the price range we were willing to pay....under $200!!

His name is David Foerch, his email is ____@____.com and his phone number is ###-###-####. Good luck...I hope he will be able to help you as well.


I am amazed that the school is requiring you to purchase a flute when they are the ones saying what she will play. This does not seem right to me. I played the flute for many years. I had four different ones while growing up. Three of the four flutes were used gemeinhardts. They played wonderfully and I was able to learn on them. My parents finally bought me a new flute my Junior year of high school. It was a Yamaha. It played as well as all of the other flutes that I owned. I received multiple offers to colleges to play and did accept a scholarship. I would have to laugh at the school that does not provide for students their first year. As you said you would hate to make such an investment when you don't even know if she will stick with it. If my parents had had to invest that much in my first year of flute, I would not have ever gotten a scholarship to college because I would not have been playing the flute. I would like to think that you could go to the school board and ask for assistance in this matter. This is really bugging me! I am not in the Allen school district. This seems like a really a good reason not to be. My daughter will start 6th grade next year and I still have my flute. If she chooses to join the band then I will encourage her to try my flute, however not all are cut out to play it. I wish you luck with this.

I purchased my daughters flute from Carolyn Nussbaum Music in Plano. www.flute4u.com She is a flute specialist & only sells flutes & I believe they are wholesale prices. I looked at the retail music stores & flutes were around $1000. I bought my daughter a Jupiter 511 open hole & it was only $400 (2 years ago). There is Holtze Music in Frisco on the corner of Lebanon & Ohio (tucked back behind Christian Bros Automotive). You can rent one there. Honestly, if you pay $50 a month to rent + insurance, you will end up paying about the same as if you bought it. I chose to buy & in the event that if my daughter decided to drop out, I could turn around & sell it & recoop my money. You might also try the band directors at school. Many kids sign up for band, buy the instrument, & drop out. These instruments are only a year or two old & can be purchased for a bit less than new. Plus, if the students continue, they usually upgrade to a better instrument for High School. Mr Katz at Clark Middle School ###-###-#### or Mr Dunham or Mrs Amato at Fowler Middle School in Plano / Frisco can probably help you with that. Good Luck! I would also ask the band director about getting something other than a Yamaha. The Jupiter is a great flute & our band director gave us several "brands" to choose from & Yamaha wasn't on the list.

We bought our daughter's flute on eBay 4 years ago. I watched the listings for a couple of months and then was able to win an auction for right under $300. Brook Mays is no longer in business. We have also been to Williamson Music which is a fine store, but The Music Store in Garland (972-686-BAND) guarantees the lowest prices in the state on purchase/rental instruments. I would contact both stores when comparing prices. Good luck!


Call them and ask for Carolyn (the owner). This is a very nice shop which only sells flutes and related items. I've known her for 12 years. The store is called the Carolyn Nussbaum Music Company ###-###-####
625 Digital Drive
Suite #300
Plano, TX 75075

I found a used beginner's trombone in great shape last year for my son at a pawn shop in Frisco. It's true, even if your daughter doesn't stay with band, you could easily resell the instrument for what you paid for it or maybe a little less. Anyway, you aren't out near as much money as renting. And certainly don't buy brand new. Start checking pawn shops, the newspaper, craigslist, etc. You'll find one, I'm sure of it. Good luck!

Hi P.,
We rented a sax at Music and Arts there in Allen. My son doesn't wish to continue band next year so all I have to do is take it back to Music and Arts after school ends in June. They have all kinds of instruments you can rent-to-buy. Hope this helps.

It's very unfortunate that they handle things this way, but there it is. Please call Jerry Cline of B&C music. He will find you a solution. He is a wonderful man, past retirement time, that lives to make sure every child has the instrument they need. He works limited hours (doesn't come in until noon) and is located in a small office on the corner of Custer and Parker in Plano. Tell him Tommy Fain's wife sent you! If Jerry can't make it happen no one can. My husband is a band director so I know what I am talking about.
phone ###-###-####

Do NOT believe the school!! I think that they are asking way too much! We live in Rockwall, and they literally herded us into the gym like cattle, told us what you needed to buy, had us sign on the dotted line, and herded us back out....all courtesy of Brook Mays music store. Ouch! Look in the newspaper, ask private flute teachers, and double check with the school. I have a wonderful old flute, but can't bear to part with it. My youngest daughter used it despite what the school said she needed. I had it overhauled, which wasn't cheap, but it did the trick till she gave up Band. Good luck! Also a good student flute is made by Gemeinhardt.
C. M

Williamson Music is the way to go. Brook Mays is out of business.

Contact the school's band teacher and ask for rental references. It may even be posted on the school's website. There is no expectation that a beginner should spend that kind of money on an instrument. When my daughter joined orchestra, there was actually an "open house" held months before school started so that we could meet with various rental companies. All I can say is, don't invest in anything before getting more information from the band teacher.

A friend of mine owns a flute store in Plano. Maybe she can help you out. Her website is flute4u.com or her phone number is ###-###-####

That is ridiculous!!! I played flute when I was in middle school and I still have my flute. I do not think it is a Yamaha. I know it is in excellent condition, just needs to be tuned up. Let me know if they will accept any other names. I am willing to part with it.

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