Timeout New York Kids

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Music stores in NYC for kids

These city shops strike a chord with young musicians.

  • Photograph: Christopher Hill

    Rayburn Music

  • Strings and Other Things

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Virtuoso Resources

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Virtuoso Resources

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Virtuoso Resources

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Virtuoso Resources

Photograph: Christopher Hill

Rayburn Music

Colony Music Center
Little gleeks yearning to play along to "Defying Gravity" needn't look any further than this Times Square institution. It's worth elbowing your way through the throngs of tourists to browse the unbeatable selection of Broadway sheet music and cast recordings. 1619 Broadway at 49th St (212-265-2050, colonymusic.com)

J&R Music and Computer World
The Financial District behemoth has built an empire out of electronics, but it also stocks eighth-, quarter-, half- and three-quarter-size violins for pint-size players. If your commitment-shy tyke wants to fiddle around, sans lessons, the eMedia My Violin starter pack includes a mini instrument and interactive teaching software. 23 Park Row between Ann and Beekman Sts (212-238-9000, jr.com)

Maggio Music Center
This family-owned music mecca is a one-stop shop for instruments, lessons and repairs. In addition to the wide array of purchase-only music makers—from kid-sized violins and guitars to drums and electric pianos—the store also stocks sheet music and accessories. 8403 18th Ave at 84th St, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn (718-259-4468, maggiomusiccenter.com)

Rayburn Music
During a trial period, aspiring Satchmos can try out an instrument at a reduced rate; once they decide to stick with it, rental fees are credited toward the purchase. Generous trade-in policies allow kids to switch between different instruments or, in the case of strings, graduate to the next size up. 44 W 62nd St at Columbus Ave (212-541-6236, rayburnmusicny.com)

Sam Ash Music Store
Founded in Brooklyn more than 80 years ago, this store has become popular with the likes of middle-school band students and Suzuki-weaned preschoolers. The Theater District outpost specializes in brass, woodwind and string instruments, and also offers children's sheet music, instrument trade-ins and on-site repairs. 155 W 48th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-398-6052, samashmusic.com)

Strings and Other Things
The shop—mere footsteps away from Juilliard and Lincoln Center—rents and sells string instruments to kids. Short-term contracts and instrument upgrades make for less of a hassle should your little one decide she wants to abandon her beginner's cello, or trade it in for a better-quality Atelier Landon model. 1995 Broadway between 67th and 68th Sts, sixth floor (212-362-0857, stringsandotherthings.com)

The Times Square shop carries First Act Discovery music makers, geared toward children ages three to nine. Kids choose from electric guitars with amps, mini DJ turntables and flower-adorned drum sets (earplugs not included). 1514 Broadway at 44th St (646-366-8800, toysrus.com)

Virtuoso Resources
Kids who dream of Juilliard and the Philharmonic flock to the European-style shop for one-on-one appointments with owner Harold Hagopian, an Upper West Side dad, who helps them choose their instruments based on size, skill level and sound preferences. Hagopian sources his custom-made violins, violas and cellos from luthiers around the globe and rents them out to fledgling musicians for as low as $10 per month. 261 W 93rd St between Broadway and West End Ave (917-365-7808, virtuosoresources.com).

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