About us

Instrument hire, purchase & donations

As a result, Trafford Music Service can provide most musical instruments for hire.  This is charged termly, and must be paid in advance either online, or upon collection.  Once a student has been learning their instrument for a few terms and you have decided to purchase an instrument, please take advantage of our Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (details below).  Musical instruments make excellent Christmas and birthday presents.

We are also gratefully accepting instrument donations so we can continue to provide this service to our pupils.  If you or someone you know has an instrument they no longer play, please consider donating it to the Music Service!

Why hire an instrument?

We recommend that you hire an instrument at the commencement of lessons.  We do find that students sometimes want to move to another instrument (for example cornet to French horn, or violin to viola) or that they have grown out their smaller sized instrument and need to move up a size.  This is particularly the case with stringed instruments as they come in many sizes.  Students can also wish to move to a completely different instrument; hiring can improve flexibility for this greatly.

Special note for guitar hire: you are welcome to hire a guitar, but please be informed that the purchase price of a student guitar is very similar to that of the hire charge.  You may wish to consider purchasing a guitar in the first instance, or hire for a term to see if the student takes to the instrument.

Check out our assisted purchase scheme if you are considering buying an instrument for your student!

Instruments available through our scheme include:

Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon, Baritone Horn, Tenor Horn, French horn, Trumpet, Euphonium, Cornet, Tuba and Trombone.

We do not hire out: Pianos, Keyboards, Ukulele, Pbuzzes, Pbones and Recorders.


To ensure fairness to all students, our instrument hire fee is a flat rate.

Standard hire price: £48 per instrument per term

Internal hire price: £34 per term (student is participating in Trafford Music Service’s lessons, ensembles or other activities)

Prices correct for 2023-2024 academic year.  Payment can be made before collection via your online student account, or upon collection via card or online transfer.

Ordering and collecting your hired instrument

If you are interested in hiring an instrument, please complete the details on our Hire Request Form.

If you already have an account, please ensure you are logged on before filling in the form.  If you are new to Trafford Music Service, you will need to register as a ‘New Student’.

You will then be assigned an instrument and given an appointment by email.

Why is an appointment important?

This gives us time to seek out an instrument and ensure that it is clean and in ready-to-play condition.  We sometimes also need to check with a teacher to ensure that the instrument is appropriate for the student, which can sometimes delay the process.

Instrument Purchase

Assisted instrument purchase scheme

If your child attends a Trafford school or plays in one of Trafford Music Service ensembles you may be eligible to purchase an instrument for your child through Trafford Music Service. This is a national scheme known as the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme. Trafford Music Service is part of the Greater Manchester Music Hub and we therefore hold large purchasing contracts with instrument suppliers meaning that we can often get better prices on instruments. Another benefit to you is that your purchase will not incur VAT, but we do add a 5% charge (or £5, whichever is greater) to cover the administration time associated with the purchase.

How does it work?

Please use our AIPS Request Form to make an application.  Further details are explained in the first section of the form.

We will tell you how much we can purchase the instrument for and, if that is suitable, will take payment from you and place the order.  You will then pick up the instrument from The Claremont Centre once it has arrived, or select to have it delivered to a home address.  If you have any queries regarding this, please email: music.service@trafford.gov.uk

How long does this take?

When we have confirmed that the instrument is in stock, please allow for around two weeks from receiving your payment for the instrument to be delivered.

Instrument Donations

As a not-for-profit organisation, we appreciate all the support we receive from our customers and the wider community.  This includes donations of musical instruments, of which we have been lucky to receive many over the last couple of years.

If you have an instrument that you wish to donate, please email music.service@trafford.gov.uk to discuss this with our team.  If we are able to accept, we will then make an appointment to drop them off at The Claremont Centre in Sale.

Due to limited available space, we are unfortunately no longer able to accept instruments that would require considerable repair to bring them up to full working order.  While we appreciate the generosity, we may also decline a donation if we have a surplus of that instrument, or if we would otherwise not be able to put it to good use.

Thank you for your support.