Forte Instrument Rentals Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are the benefits of renting, and why rent a Forte Instrument?

This is one of the most common questions asked by parents of beginning students. There are several reasons why renting a instrument is the most advantageous option for most of our customers:
  • Most children are in need of a smaller instrument when they first begin, and they may change sizes several times before they reach the full adult size (which usually occurs during later middle school years as they reach adult heights). Renting allows for maximum flexibility for size changes as your child grows. Rentals are inexpensive on a monthly basis, and your investment is minimal if your child chooses not to continue. However, most children do continue after their first year, and are able to take full advantage of our rental program as they grow and progress.
  • As you rent, you accrue rental credit that can be used towards purchase, and you are never limited to only purchasing the outfit you are renting.
  • We will maintain our rentals in excellent playing condition, at no additional charge to you.
  • Lisle Violin Shop is a string specialty shop, and we maintain an inventory of instruments for every player, from beginners to advancing students. Each instrument is professionally prepared in our shop, with careful attention to detail and adjustments critical for your child’s success.
  • We provide delivery services to most public schools in the Greater Houston area as well as  frequent service to Beaumont, Belton, Brazosport, Bryan, College Station, Hays Consolidated ISD, Kilgore, Killeen, Longview, Manor, Marshall, Midway, Nacogdoches, Temple, Tyler, Waco, and the Greater Austin area. If you are outside of Houston, we can also ship rentals via UPS Ground. There is no additional charge for these services.

2. How does the Forte Instrument Rental Program work?

Our instruments are not “rent to own”. This is simply because not everyone would like to own the instrument they are renting. We believe that our rental program offers the most flexibility. Students are able to trade up anytime and select from a wide range of instruments.

Our monthly rental charge is broken into three parts:

  • Rental Fees: Over time, this accumulates into rental credit, which can be used towards a future instrument purchase-you do not have to purchase what you’re renting! 100% of the rental credit can be applied towards 80% of the purchase price. For Example: If you would like to purchase an outfit priced at $1000, you could use up to $800 of rental credit towards that purchase. If you had $750 in rental credit then all of your credit could be applied towards that purchase. But if you had $900 in rental credit then only $800 could be used towards that outfit. In those cases where customers have more rental credit than they can use towards the outfit they are renting, we recommend upgrading to a higher level outfit or upgrading the bow or case.

  • Protection Plan (Insurance) Fees: The Protection Plan is automatically included in the price of every rental. We will maintain the instrument, the bow, and the case in excellent playing condition. We will also replace strings that are worn, or have broken. Accidental damage and theft are also covered. The Protection Plan virtually covers everything, with the exception of intentional damage, neglect, or loss. No strings attached.

  • Tax: State sales tax on the Rental and Protection Plan fees.

3. What kinds of instruments are available for rent?

We have wide variety of models that we offer for rent, both new and used instruments. Each of our models has a unique number rather than a name since most names assigned to student instruments have little relevance to the instrument itself or its origin. Most of our instruments, even our finer ones, are from China. The quality of Chinese instruments has rapidly improved over the past decade due to the number of instruments being produced and the fierce competition between workshops. However, we are always open to carrying instruments from any country that meet our high standards of craftsmanship and quality at reasonable prices. We offer both new and used instruments for rent. Our used instruments have previously been rented, and are inspected thoroughly when they return to us. Aside from minor aesthetic imperfections, there is nothing wrong with these instruments. They are guaranteed to perform like their new counterparts, and you will be paying much less for them!

4. My child is just a beginner. Why not get the cheapest instrument I can find?

Please take this new adventure seriously! Learning a string instrument is fun, but it is also a serious endeavor. Beginners need all the help they can get, and it is especially important to obtain an instrument that meets the standards of music educators. Many of these “shrink-wrapped” violins are not set-up and the fittings and fingerboard may be plastic or a softer type of wood not adequate for student instruments. Soundposts and bridges are not cut or fitted. These factors lead to poor playability and tonal quality. Most of the time, repairs for these instruments will greatly exceed the cost of the instrument itself and little can be done for the tone quality of these instruments which suffer from poor workmanship and materials. At Lisle Violin Shop, we employ teachers and players, including four graduates of violinmaking schools, to ensure that we have highly qualified staff to help you select the appropriate instrument and to make sure that instrument is adjusted to the highest standards. Playing a stringed instrument is an exciting and challenging endeavor and we want to make sure that all students have instruments which support their efforts, not hinder them.

5. How do I know what size instrument my child needs?

String instruments come in fractional sizes to meet the needs of children who are still growing. If your child has yet to reach adult heights, it is very important to obtain the correct size instrument-many beginners will struggle on instruments that are too large, and this may lead to posture problems. Since the size is not dependent on age or height it is necessary to see the child in order to size him or her. . For most parents with children participating in school programs, the orchestra teacher can size your child to the appropriate instrument. Or if you are able to make a trip to one of our shops, our knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to assist you with sizing.

6. What if the instrument is in need of repairs?

There are several options. You may call us to arrange for the rental to be picked up at your child’s school. Depending on the type of repair needed, we can usually deliver the instrument back to school the following week, once the instrument has been repaired. For customers outside of our delivery area, we suggest shipping the instrument via UPS Ground or USPS. You are responsible for paying the shipping charges to us, but your instrument will be shipped back to you at no cost. And of course, you are always welcome in either one of our shops-some small repairs can be completed while you wait, but other repairs will require more time. We will be more than happy to provide loaners in any instance.

7. Will the rental include everything I need to get started with?

We will provide the instrument and the appropriate bow and case/cover to accompany it. Rosin will also be included. You may need to purchase some accessories separately. Please consult your private teacher or Orchestra director for any specifics.

8. I think I’m ready! How do I place my order?

You may place your order via our convenient Online Rental site or by telephone for delivery or shipping, if the size of the instrument is known. Orders can be taken in person at either location as well. Remember that our best instruments are reserved early, especially cellos and basses. Used cellos and basses are often all reserved by mid-summer, so placing your order as soon as possible guarantees availability.     


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