In a nutshell…
To hire an instrument, parents must apply for an instrument at the EMS offices at the Dominion Centre & Library in Southall. In order to speed up the process, you may fill in an EMS401 (contract) and EMS402 (direct debit), and bring them with you (DO NOT send in the post). Pupils must be resident in the London Borough of Ealing to hire an instrument. If you have not completed an EMS402 direct debit form, please bring the bank account details for an account you have signing permission.
If you are picking up a violin or cello, since they come in different sizes, it is best to bring the child who will be using the violin or cello with you – if this is not possible, you will need to know the length of your child’s arm (please measure from neck to wrist with arm held out).
Violin & Cello Sizes chart.
When you need to upgrade to a bigger size, please return your original instrument to the EMS office and exchange it for a larger one (please check availability on the right before you come in).
Availability of instruments cannot be guaranteed – please check the list on the right (or bottom if on a mobile device)before traveling to EMS. If the instrument you wish to hire is limited, please call 020 8843 9121 to check availability. Instruments are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although priority is given to new learners. Only parents or legal guardians will be issued with an instrument. This is Council policy, as you will have to sign and enter into a legally binding hire agreement. We can only issue instruments to other adults if the parent/legal guardian is registered disabled. Please contact the office to tell us about your circumstances.
Check here for our opening hours.
Instruments are categorised into 3 bands for the purpose of charging.
(Please see availability above)
|A||Djembe, Tabla,||Viola, Violin,||£19||£19.50||£20||£20.50|
|B||Cello, Clarinet, Cornet, Flute, Alto Saxophone,||Santoor, Sitar, Trumpet, Trombone,||£24||£24.50||£25||£25.50|
|C||Baritone, Bassoon, Euphonium,||Double Bass, French Horn, Oboe, Tenor Horn,||£32||£32.50||£33||£33.50|
Instruments are hired for a minimum of one term and will be charged at the above rates.
For more details, download an extract of the EMS Instrument Hire Policy. Parents are responsible for buying all consumables e.g. strings, reeds, oil, etc.
Therefore it is the hirers responsibility to insure the instrument. This is often possible through basic home contents or renters insurance – please check that your instrument will be covered on your insurance.
If not, here are a few companies that we have managed to get good musical instrument insurance quotes from in the past:
If you need to pay for the damage or loss of an instrument, you can do so online HERE.
Note: please only use this option if you have been instructed to do so by EMS staff.
Hired instruments should be returned either when your child leaves school or when they no longer use the instrument. Instruments can be returned Monday to Friday during term time between 10am – 4.45pm. It is possible to return instruments during holidays, however, please call first to check our opening hours. Please return instrument at least 10 days before your next direct debit payment for this to be cancelled in time. No refunds will be given for any direct debits that are taken before that time.
For more details, including terms and conditions, please see our Instrument Hire Policy.
Click here for our contact details and a map.
We would like you to take good care of your instrument. The downloads below have lots of useful information on looking after your instrument and what to do if youhave a problem:
EMS451 How to look after your String Instrument (Violin, Viola, ‘Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Ukulele)
EMS452 How to look after your Woodwind Instrument (Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Cor anglais, Bassoon)
EMS453 How to look after your Brass Instrument (Trumpet, Cornet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba)
EMS454 How to look after your Percussion Instrument (Tabla, Dholak, Dhol, Djembe)
EMS455 How to look after your Tuned Percussion Instrument (Steel Pan, Marimba, Xylophone, Glockenspiel)
EMS456 How to look after your Guitar Instrument (Guitar, Ukulele)
EMS405 Instrument Repair Slip (Must be filled in by an EMS Teacher)
Find “How to…” videos for Violin, Viola, Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone and Trumpet on our YouTube channel
Parents may wish to purchase an instrument for their child. Your child’s teacher is always the best person to give advice on what to buy, however, there are initiatives available that may help you when making a purchase:
Take it away aims to make musical instruments more accessible to children and young people by providing interest-free loans of up to £5,000. Find out how it works and what you can buy below.
If you are unable to hire from EMS, you may wish to investigate hiring an instrument from commercial businesses such as those listed below:
The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme enables pupils having music lessons at LEA-maintained schools to purchase musical instruments without paying VAT.
Once the parent/pupil has chosen an instrument and supplier, they should ask the school to place a formal order with the instrument retailer.
Alternatively parents whose child is taught by an EMS teacher may use the EMS Assisted Purchase Scheme as detailed in EMS408 below.