Most everyone enjoys listening to music, but appreciation for music can be further enhanced when one can play an instrument as well. Before you buy one, though, you may want to rent. That gives you a chance to discover just how much you like it (or how good you are) before making a full commitment. Instrument rental is, of course, also necessary for many children taking music education classes at school. Whoever you need an instrument for, these Connecticut music shops — all of which are staffed by professional experts — are where you should look.
JC Music
529 W. Main St.
Meriden, CT 06451
(203) 630-0234

JC Music has always taken music education seriously, which is why it has become a favorite of teachers in central Connecticut. Many of its employees have taught music themselves, and it boasts that all its instruments are endorsed by school band and orchestra leaders. They include both new and used instruments, with rental packages starting as low as $30 for smaller items like flutes and clarinets to $110 for tubas and French horns. Instruments may be picked up at the store or can be shipped for free to the student’s home or school, and JC Music even offers a complimentary lesson with each rental.

Summit Studios
421 Main St.
Manchester, CT 06040
(860) 645-1502

Founded twenty years ago on Summit Street, Manchester’s Summit Studios has since relocated to Main Street, but it still maintains its original mission of promoting a love of music among students of all ages. Not only does it have a staff of experienced, talented instructors who offer lessons, it carries an array of instruments to rent. Four-month rental agreements range from $34 to $100 depending on the instrument, and insurance is included. Select students also have the option to purchase their instrument at a reduced price when their term is complete.

Ridgefield Music
19 Governor St.
Ridgefield, CT 06877
(203) 438-7446

Since 1970, Ridgefield Music has been the premier spot in southwestern Connecticut for both music lessons and instrument rentals. Among their top bargains are three-month deals for aspiring guitarists who can get an acoustic at $70 or an electric for $85. Microphones and related accessories may also be rented for $10 a day, while amplifiers are just $50 for three months. Ridgefield Music has rent-to-own arrangements for their instruments as well.

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Beller’s Music
881 Main St.
Manchester, CT 06040
(860) 649-2036

The music shop that was started over sixty years ago by professional big band saxophone player Ray Beller continues to demonstrate first-rate customer service. It makes renting instruments easy with flexible plans that include monthly options starting as low as $26. Beller’s also offers three-month specials along with schoolyear packages that cost from $160 to $400.  Its other services include lessons, instrument repair, accessory sales, and it even hosts free concerts by local musicians.

Middlesex Music Academy
440 Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 344-0525

Middlesex Music Academy joins with Music & Arts to acquire the highest-quality instruments for school bands and orchestras. You can rent on a monthly, four-and-a-half-month and nine-month basis at a cost of $32 to $140 for smaller instruments, $50 to $200 for alto saxophones, oboes and cellos, and $60 to $300 for heavier brass instruments. Middlesex Music Academy also provides one-on-one music instruction from professional teachers and teaches classes in cleaning and maintaining your instruments. And it is open during the weekend for emergency repairs so students will always be ready to rehearse at the start of the school week.

Related: Top Music Shops In Connecticut

Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on