Great Music Store!.
As a local flute teacher (in the area for 18 years) West Valley Music has been one of the best resources in the Bay Area for instruments and music. It is one of the surviving music stores for good reason,solid and knowledgable service and a willingness to work with customers. I can send students there with full confidence. I've found that the owner is also flexible in working with students that may need some financing help, or advice with repair work (the advantage of a small single-owner store). And the sheet music section can't be beat!
Great place for instruments, accessories, lessons or books.
I've been coming to WVM ever since I found out about them in high school, and I would have gone there earlier than that if I'd known about them. They're a small local business that values their customers, and the people there are happy to answer any questions you might have about music
They specialize in flutes, but they also have a respectable line of other wind instruments. If you're looking into learning to play an instrument, they can help choose the right one for you. They have a few programs , such as renting used ones, leasing new ones, or buying a new one at a significant discount. One cool thing about them is their buyback program. If you purchase a student-level instrument from them, it's guaranteed they will buy it back at a fair price (within 1 year, it's half of the sale price, no matter what it looks like coming in the door, even if it's completely ruined; after a year, the amount just depends on the instrument's condition but they will always make an offer). They also back up their instruments with a free maintenance warranty for normal wear and tear (damage excluded, of course) and they have an on-site repair shop.
They also carry a ton of sheet music and accessories, and nearly anything they don't have in stock can be ordered (all you have to do is ask and they can see what they can get for you; anything they can't get, they'll try to recommend a source). They don't do much in the way of guitars, short of some quality nylon-string ones and some basic strings and accessories. For percussion, they carry some drumsticks and practice pads, but anything more than that they recommend you go somewhere like Lemmon Percussion in San Jose.
Basically, just talk to them about what you need, and they'll do what they can to help you. They won't try to sell you the most expensive thing in the shop; they'll find what will work best for your circumstances.
West Valley Music - Beware of Rental Policy and Poor Condition of Instrument before leaving the office..
Renter Beware - My 5th grader was excited to start learning to play the saxophone. We rented a used Saxophone from WVM. At the first school lesson, the instructor told him that the instrument was did not work. We promptly took it back to WVM and were told that the damage was our responsibility. When we asked to verify that the instrument was properly checked before renting they told us that it was our faolt for not knowing what a good saxophone should work like. To make matters worse, they quicly charged us $60 to fix something we did not break and promptly reminded us that there is a minimum of 3 months we have to rent a damage instrument from them without any recourse. Unfortunately, there are a small number of business that offer this rental sevice...RENTER BEWARE of this outfit!! Be sure to bring some one that knows what a good conditioned instrument looks like. You won't be able to depend on WVM to assure you.