Instrument hire, care and purchasing

Information on instrument hire and returns, looking after musical instruments and the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme.

In this section

Instrument hire - 2022/23 termly fees







Concessionary rates are available if:

  • you receive Universal Credit and your household income from employment is less than £617 per month
  • you meet any other criteria for your child to receive free school meals, ie you receive income support, income based jobseeker's allowance, or if you receive child tax credit with an income below £16,190 (but do not receive working tax credit)
  • you can provide evidence of the above.

Pay for music service fees

Collecting or returning instruments

With the exception of recorders, guitars, keyboards and drum kits, if you are having lessons with the service, you can hire an instrument from us.

Some instruments are only available for the first 2 years of tuition. When string players progress to a full-size instrument, they are expected to purchase their own.

We are now running the collection and return of instruments from the Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW. 

Please note: Parking is not available at the Civic Centre; however, the Civic Centre is easily accessible by public transport and parking is available in Uxbridge town centre.

All timing and available dates are visible on the collection and return forms. Please give at least 48 hours' notice, so that our staff can prepare your instrument for collection.  

Arrange collection of an instrument

Arrange the return of an instrument

Recommended instrument purchases for entry level

To fully benefit from music lessons, children need an instrument to practice on at home. We do not hire out keyboards, pianos, drum kits or guitars, so you will need to buy your own. Instrument prices and quality vary greatly; please use the table below to help you purchase a suitable entry level instrument.

Please note: Students having lessons with us can benefit from purchasing instruments over £100 (minus the cost of VAT) using the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme.

InstrumentMakesSpecificationsEntry price
Acoustic drum kitMirage (lower end), Pearl (better quality)
  • Ensure it comes with kick drum pedal, snare stand, sticks and throne (stool)
£80 to £200
Digital drum kit  £200 to £300
Acoustic guitar 
  • Ensure you buy the size recommended by your teacher
Digital pianoYamaha, Roland, Kawai
(Can be bought second hand)
  • 88 notes
  • Weighted keys
Keyboard Casio and Yamaha
  • 61 full-size keys
  • Touch sensitivity (optional)
£65 to £200
ViolinStentor II, Forenza Prima, Hidersine Inizio
  • Ensure you buy the size recommended by your teacher
(Cheaper violins than this will not stay in tune)

Instrument care

All instruments present a potential risk of contact transmission and should be kept clean and hygienic at all times. Please care for your instrument.

  • Brass instruments - it is extremely important to clean the mouthpiece using an appropriately-sized mouthpiece brush to remove all dirt and debris.
    How to care for your brass instrument (PDF) [47KB]
  • Recorders - can be cleaned in the top rack of a dishwasher.
  • Woodwind - do not immerse or soak woodwind instruments with cork joints or key work, as it may damage pads; this includes flute headjoints, as it will damage the headcork. After playing, woodwind instruments should be dried in and out with swabs or pull-throughs to limit microbial growth. 
    How to care for your woodwind instrument (PDF) [40KB]
  • String instruments - wipe the chin rests of violins or violas if preferred/desired. The neck and fingerboard and the lower end of the bow of all bowed strings can also be wiped.
    How to care for your string instrument (PDF) [39KB]

Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS)

For purchases of more than £100, through the AIPS, Hillingdon Music Service students can buy musical instruments or replacement parts through us without paying the cost of VAT.

To benefit from this scheme, follow the steps below.

  1. Obtain a quote for an AIPS purchase from your chosen supplier.
  2. Complete the AIPS request form, making sure you upload a scanned document or PDF file of your quote, including any delivery charge.
  3. Call the Music Service Office on 01895 558108 to make the payment. Please note: There will be an additional £5 administration fee. 

    We will contact you to once your instrument/replacement part is ready to collect from the Music Service Office (Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW).
  4. Complete the AIPS transfer of ownership form.

For general enquiries about the Music Service, please  

Page last updated: 06 Sep 2022