Getting an Instrument
Getting an instrument for your child can be costly (depending on the type and quality) and also a little intimidating if you haven't done it before. So here are some guidelined that might help:
1) If you have already found a teacher, ask them first! Instrumental teachers are almost always 'in the know' when it comes to suitable and price friendly instruments because they deal with this issue all the time. They will recommend a make/model, give you an idea of the price you will be expected to pay and point you in the direction of trusted retailers in the area.
2) Hire one. This can make a lot of sense, especially in the early stages. The Devon Music Hub (DMEH) have literally thousands of instruments in their warehouses and you can hire one through SaMM for £40 a year! NB: You need to be a registered family with SaMM before you can take advantage of this offer.
With some instruments, such as strings, your child may start with a 1/4 size, move onto a 1/2 size, then a 3/4 and only when they are physically big enough to manage one, onto a full size model. That can mean changing instrument every 2 years or so, and although these intruments do have a resale value, hiring can be a very good option, especaially if you do it through SaMM.
3) If you do buy online or from a shop, make sure that it is Sale or Return - ie: that you are allowed to take the instrument home and also take it to the next lesson so the teacher can evaluate it.
4) Above all make sure that your child likes the instrument - he/she is going to be spending a lot of time with it!