Does the instrument have to be a certain age, maker or type?

No, Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme welcomes high quality hand-made instruments of all makes and ages. Full size violins and violas should have a minimum insurance value of approximately £3000, and full-size cellos of £3,500. Smaller instruments will need to be high quality, but will have a lower value.

Must a stringed instrument have a bow with it?

No, You are welcome to lend us an instrument without a bow.

Can I lend a bow on its own?

Yes, we are very grateful for the loan of high quality bows.

Who makes the valuation?

We are grateful for copies of any valuation and documentation that you can provide concerning the cost, value or provenance of your instrument/bow. We will additionally ask out resident luthier to provide an insurance valuation. Should there be a discrepancy between your personal valuation and that of our luthier, we will discuss the matter and come to an agreed figure with you before the instrument goes out on loan. All valuations are updated regularly.

Who pays for the maintenance and insurance of my instrument?

Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme pays for both the maintenance and insurance of all the instruments on loan to us whilst on the premises and for the first 24 hours when it goes out on loan. Under the Terms and Conditions of Loan for the borrower, it is mandatory for the Guarantor to take out a personal Specialist Musical Instrument Policy covering the instrument/bow for all risks within 24 hours, and to inform Benslow of the Insurance Company and Policy Number. Replacement strings and rosin are the responsibility of the borrower. 

What happens if my instrument is damaged by the borrower?

Every instrument must be covered by an all risks Specialist Musical Instrument insurance policy. We will ask the borrower to obtain a quotation for repair from one of our approved luthiers. We will inform you of any damage and necessary repair, and you will be fully involved at all times. In the event of the value of the instrument decreasing, you will be involved with any negotiations with the insurance company as regards the sum of devaluation. The instrument will then be insured at its revised value. The necessary repair will be carried out to restore the instrument.

Will you collect the instrument?

Wherever possible we ask you to deliver the instrument to us. If you have difficulties please contact the office and we will be pleased to discuss ways to help you in this matter.

Can I specify the type of student who I would like to borrow my instument?

A: You can specify that you would prefer only postgraduate students or students of a certain level of attainment or age to borrow your instrument. It is a general policy at Benslow ILS to restrict very high value instruments to those at postgraduate level. We are very conscious of the responsibilities borrowing such instruments places on the student. We take great care to ensure that our borrowers are at the age, level of maturity and standard to be able to rise to this responsibility.

Can I specify an individual student to benefit from the loan of my instrument?

No, we are not able to make special arrangements of such a personal and individual nature.

I would like the instrument, bow and case to be kept together. Is this possible?

Yes. Please make a note of this on the Loan Form.

What condition must the instrument be in to go out on loan?

All instruments coming into the scheme for loan must have an up to date valuation, and be in a condition ready to be lent. Our resident luthier will check all instruments and we will contact you if there are any concerns or any servicing work, maintenance or repair needed. When the instrument goes out on loan a condition report form showing any marks, scratches, cracks or notable previous damage is completed and signed by the luthier. The student is required to return the instrument in condition in which it was lent. All instruments are photographed when they come into the Scheme.

How can I find out if my instrument has gone out on loan?

You are welcome to contact us at the office to make enquiries.

Are my details given to the student who borrows my instument?

Yes. Unless you would prefer to remain anonymous we encourage our students to write to you with news of their progress and activities as often as possible.

Am I allowed to have contact with the student borrowing my instrument?

We pass your details to the student and parent/guardian borrowing your instrument. They are welcome to share their address with you, but are not obliged to do so. We do not give out student's addresses ourselves.

What happens if a student doesn't contact me?

Please contact us and we will encourage the student to do so, but cannot guarantee that that the situation will change. Students are required to complete an annual update on the use of the instrument which will be sent to you as a matter of course.

What happens if my instrument is not chosen for loan?

Occasionally an instrument takes some time to be chosen. In the event of your instrument not being selected over a period of time, Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme will write to you and inform you of this, allowing you to decide whether you wish it to remain on offer in the Scheme.

How much notice must I give when I want to recall my instrument?

After the initial loan period of three years you may recall your instrument at any time giving 3 months written notice to allow us time to find a replacement for the student to whom it is on loan.

Will you deliver the instrument back to me when I recall it?

We ask that you collect the instrument from us in person. When you collect it you will be required to produce proof of identity in the form of a current passport or driving licence.

What happens if I cannot collect the instrument myself?

You can arrange for a friend to collect your instrument, but we will need to have a letter of authorisation from you, naming your representative. Your representative will need to bring a copy of the letter together with proof of identity in the form of a current passport of driving licence.

What happens to instruments lent to you after three years if the owner does not contact you?

Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme will contact you at the end of the three year loan period to ask for your instructions. It is vital that you keep us informed of your contact details and update us immediately of any changes. Instruments on loan remain the property of the owner and will be retained here at Benslow until collected by you the owner, a member of your family, or your representative.

Will Benslow ILS buy my instrument?

Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme is a small charity with limited resources. We do to buy instruments as a rule, but occasionally consider special instruments or those by a named maker with provenance. Please contact the General Manager with any queries.