Musical instrument hire


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As instruments can be expensive to purchase, we offer a hiring service for those who are taking tuition from Brent Music Service or are members of the Brent Music Service ensembles or attending one of our musical evening centres.  

The service enables the student to take the instrument home for practice so that they receive the same opportunities to improve and develop their playing as a child who owns their own instrument.

Instruments can be hired on a termly basis, giving you time to confirm which instrument is ideal for your child. 

If you want to hire an instrument for your child, you should: 


Arrange tuition

First you need to approach your child's school to ensure they have secured and have available the tuition services of Brent Music Service for your chosen instrument.

Once your school agrees that your child can learn their chosen instrument, lessons will be organised.

When to hire your instrument

If your child is learning an instrument in the autumn term of a new academic year, please note that instruments are not delivered until just before the half-term. 

For the few weeks leading up to their arrival your child will be taught how to: 

  • look after their instrument
  • remove the instrument from its case and put it away safely
  • put their instrument together/set it up. 

The first few lessons will also include basic playing skills for your chosen instrument. As your child will be using an instrument at school, there is no need to hire or purchase an instrument at this point. 

The tutor will also use this time to assess whether your child's chosen instrument is physically and musically suited to them. 

At this point a hire/agreement form can be supplied for completion and return with the appropriate payment to the Brent Music Service.

If your child is learning an instrument outside the autumn term you are able to apply to hire an instrument as soon as their tuition from a tutor has been confirmed by your child's school.

At this point a hire/agreement form can be supplied for completion and returned with the appropriate payment to the Brent Music Service. 

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Hire costs

Instruments are subject to availability and you will be informed of any issues at the time of submitting your hire/agreement form.

The current cost of hiring an instrument is:

  • £25 per term (£12.50 for autumn term hire)
  • £5 if your child is receiving free school meals.

Please note that Brent Music Service is unable to process payments made by debit or credit cards.

For continuity of hire, you will be invoiced for each subsequent term of hire.  However, if you discontinue your lessons with your tutor, you will need to inform the Brent Music Service office as soon as possible so we can arrange the safe collection of your instrument. 

If notification is not received, we will have to invoice you for the instrument's hire even if it is no longer being used.

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Receiving your instrument

As instruments are limited, they are allocated according to the date the instrument hire/agreement form is received at the Brent Music Service office.

Once all the paperwork has been completed and the instruments are available, you will receive your instrument through your school. 

Please note that instruments can not be collected from the Brent Music Service offices.

Once you receive your hired instrument, it is yours to use for home practice, to bring to school for use in your lessons with your tutor and to use at any of the Brent Music Service ensembles you may join.   

Whilst it is being hired it remains the property of the council throughout the duration of the hire agreement. All hire instruments are provided with reeds, strings, resin, mouthpieces and valve oil, as appropriate. 

If replacements are needed, these can be purchased through your BMS tutor or by visiting one of the music shops local to the borough.

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Looking after your instrument

It becomes the dual responsibility of the student and their parent/guardian to ensure that the instrument is cared for and appropriately protected from damage or accident. 

As the instrument hire/agreement entrusts the instrument to the student and their parent/guardian, any problems you may encounter need to be reported immediately so that professional repairs can be carried out if necessary.

As a matter of course, Brent Music Service will carry out routine instrument repairs incurred by wear and tear either on-site or by sending the instrument to a professional repairer. 

Whenever possible, a replacement instrument may be offered for the duration of the repair, subject to availability. 

However, please be aware that if an instrument has been damaged due to negligence or is lost or stolen, a charge will be made for its repair or replacement. The repair service is only available for hired instruments.  

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Buying an instrument

Brent Music Service does not sell instruments and so you are free to purchase your instrument from whichever supplier you wish. 

Brent Music Service has built up a reliable business relationship with Normans Musical Instruments as their preferred supplier based on their value for money, quality of instruments and level of service.

Further details about purchasing an instrument from Normans can be obtained from their website at, or by contacting them direct on freefone 08000 281415. 

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