Who can be my guarantor?

Your guarantor can be your parent, grandparent, or other adult, not necessarily a relative. The guarantor must be domiciled in the UK, and must be available on the day of your appointment to sign necessary forms.

What should I write in the Guarantor's statement?

Information about the student including achievements, musical experiences, character and personality. Appropriate details of family background and situation can also be helpful. 

What should I write in the Student's Statement?

Tell us about what playing your instrument and music means to you. How would it help to have a better instrument? What help does your playing need in terms of creating the sound?

Does my Head Teacher need to sign the forms?

A signature from your Head Teacher may required to support your application in affirming your identity and place of education. It is also important that the Head is aware of the value of the instrument which you may be using in school from time to time.

Can I return the forms by email?

Scanned forms can be returned by email, but we will also require the originals with a live signature.

If I want to apply for a bursary where do I obtain the form?

The application for a bursary must come from the guarantor on whose income the bursary is assessed. Students cannot apply for bursaries themselves. Please request a Bursary Application Form from Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme when you come to your appointment.

What information will I need to provide when applying for a bursary?

The guarantor will need to provide evidence of all household income and benefits paid. Proof of income will be required. The letter accompanying the Bursary Application Form sets out everything needed. Please only send copies with the completed form.

How long does it take before I will be able to come and chose an instrument?

This entirely depends upon your requirements and the availability of stock. Please be aware that there is a waiting for most instruments.

What happens when when I arrive at Benslow Music for an appointment?

When you are invited to your appointment we will schedule a 2 hour slot for you to try the instruments on offer in our dedicated studio. The appointment is informal and relaxed, and we would encourage you to take as much time as you need in making your choice. Staff will be on hand to assist you if necessary.

What do I need to bring with me to the appointment?

We suggest that you bring your current instrument, shoulder rest, some music and bow if you have one. It is useful to bring your current instrument with you so that you can make a comparison.

How do you select instruments for me to chose from?

Your application form guides us as to the type of instrument suitable for your standard. We aim to match instruments with your level of playing and experience. Stock availability is an important factor. Some instruments are available to postgraduate students only.

What happens if I do not like any of the instruments offered?

We may be able to offer an alternative instrument if none offered is suitable, but we can not guarantee to do so. Where this is not possible you would have the option to go back onto the waiting list.

Who can come with me?

You are welcome to bring your parents and guarantor (if different) with you. We welcome teachers accompanying their students but would like to stress that the student must come to the appointment. The final selection of instrument remains the choice of the student. Whilst we appreciate the opinion and expertise of teachers, we carefully select instruments from the stock available to suit students requirements based on our in-depth knowledge and experience.

Please Note

We strongly discourage young siblings under the age of 5, or dogs, to come to the appointment. Our venue is not a suitable place for babies, toddlers or very young children; the studio is limited in space and damage can easily occur to valuable instruments.

If after the 4 weeks trial period I am not happy with the instrument what can I do?

Depending upon stock available we may be able to invite you back to chose from a further selection. This may not be possible however, and in this circumstance we would suggest that you either keep the instrument selected or return it to us and go back on the waiting list. We are only able to offer this review on one occasion, and it is important that you take your time making your decision in the first instance.

In the event of my instrument needing repair or maintenance can Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme advise me where to go?

Yes. You will be given the name and address of the approved luthier/repairer who you are required to use.

In the event of damage, Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme must be informed within 48 hours.

No repair or restoration work may taken place without the prior written permission of the Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme.

Can I take my instrument abroad?

Yes, you can take it outside the UK as part of an organised educational trip such as an orchestra tour, musical competition or study. You are not allowed to take it abroad for leisure trips such as holidays. Instruments must always be carried on aircraft as cabin luggage and never checked into the hold. You must contact us prior to going on tour for written permission.

Can I carry on using my instrument in a gap year?

Provided that you have a guaranteed offer and have accepted the place to study in 12 months time, Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme will allow you to continue your loan in a gap year between school and university/college. The instrument must remain in the UK during your gap year and you will be expected to be continuing your instrumental lessons.

Can I take a gap year between undergraduate and postgraduate study?

A break between undergraduate and postgraduate study is not normally alllowed. Each case is individual however, and we advise you to contact the General Manager in the first instance to discuss the possibility.

Can I buy my instrument at the end of the loan?

Unfortunately we are not able to sell instruments to students. Our instruments are lent or donated for public benefit and to help future generations of musicians.

Can I return my instrument by post?

No. Instruments are far too valuable to be returned by post and must be returned in person. A receipt must be signed by a member of Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme.

In exceptional circumstances we may allow a bow to be returned by post. This will only apply to bows of less than £1000 value. Permission must be obtained from Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme in writing and in advance as special packaging will be required.