Buying A Beginner Snare Drum
With a beginner snare drum you have to think about a few things. Generally, starting out with just a 5 x 14 snare is good and metal shell is best. They're not too expensive and you may want to start out looking on ebay or your local musician's store. They usually have some kind of exchange program so you can pick up a used snare for a pretty good price.
What About Sticks?
Don't be too concerned initially with the name brand. Probably the most important thing to a beginning snare student is the proper sticks. I would spend some money buying several different brands and sizes. Again, your local drum store would be a great source of info on what size and weighting would be best for your snare student. Ultimately, it comes down to which sticks feel the best to the young student as this helps increase confidence and can give a sense of security so important early on.
Don't Forget The Accessories
Make sure to purchase a snare drum stand, snare silencer, a metronome for timing and a carrying case to transport your drum, stand and sticks. Again, the brand name of either of these things is not that important as long as the stand is sturdy and is adjustable and the metronome keeps accurate time.
Some Final Thoughts
One of the best resources I've found for detailed info on all of these products including reviews and ratings is the Amazon website. Here you'll find all of the products a beginning snare student can use and the product information to make a smart purchase choice. Besides our own product reviews it's one of the best sites I've found for beginner and pro drummers alike.