Instrument hire

If you are a child or adult and have booked music lessons with Surrey Arts or if you are a member of an ensemble, Surrey Arts Instrument Hire Store has a wide variety of instruments available for you to hire.

Once you have booked your music lessons and have received confirmation of your booking, please contact us if you need to hire an instrument and we will discuss the availability of the instrument.

If an instrument is available, we will then arrange an appointment for you to collect it from us at the following address: Surrey Arts, 14 The Pines, Broad Street, Guildford, GU3 3BH


  • Band A - £33.50 per term
    Flute, clarinet, violin, viola, trumpet, cornet, tenor horn, glock pack, keyboard outfit.
  • Band B - £22 per term
    Guitar, plastic trumpet, plastic cornet, plastic bone, (junior) flute, (junior) sax, clarineo (a small clarinet ideal for younger children).
  • Band C - £38.70 per term
    Alpha saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, oboe, bassoon, cello, double bass, trombone, bass trombone, French horn, baritone, euphonium, tuba.
  • Band D - £47
    Premium instruments

What instruments can you hire?

You can hire the following instruments subject to availability.


One of the most popular instruments young people want to learn is the guitar as it is a very diverse instrument that can be approached and learnt in different ways.

  • The acoustic guitar generally refers to a steel strung guitar that historically comes from a folk background of America, and this developed into the electric guitar.
  • The classical guitar comes from Spain and has nylon strings: this involves learning to read music from a music score and requires a disciplined approach in order to lay a good foundation in playing technique.

When can you start to play?

Getting the correct size and quality of instrument is imperative for the younger student. The nylon strung classical guitar is much kinder to the beginner student and this can be further aided by a guitar foot-stool to ensure a good sitting posture. Students may be able to learn the guitar from Year 2.


Stringed instruments are very versatile in their sound and can play almost anything, pop, jazz or folk music. Strings can be played solo or as part of an ensemble and produce a rich and full sound.

Strings are the largest family of instruments in the orchestra and are as follows:

  • Violin and the viola are the smallest and produce higher pitched sounds
  • Cello and the Double Bass are the biggest and produce low and rich sounds.
  • Guitar (Acoustic)

When can you start to play?

All the stringed instruments come in different sizes from the small 8th size for the very young to full size. Strings are taught from age 4 (using the Stringbabies programme designed especially for ages 4 to 6 years) through to Year 13.


The woodwind family of instruments are great instruments to play as they are used in classical and jazz music. Bassoons and oboes are played more rarely, but are extremely rewarding. Musicians who play these instruments will always be in demand.

Woodwind instruments are as follows:

  • Piccolo
  • Flute
  • Oboe and Cor Anglais
  • Clarinet
  • Bassoon
  • Saxophone

When can you start to play?

Younger children are normally best advised to work at recorder and transfer to their choice of woodwind instrument when they are old enough (or continue on recorder.)

The starting age is usually Year 4 (aged 8 to 9 years old), although Year 3 may be possible, but pupils may have problems because their hands are small, and they do not have their front teeth.


The instruments of the brass family are very versatile. The trumpet and trombone are particularly adaptable to all kinds of music and are found in orchestras, wind bands, jazz bands and pop groups.

All brass instruments are played in a similar way which involves producing a buzzing sound into a mouthpiece. Like all orchestral instruments, brass is lots of fun and come to life when played with other people.

The brass family contains a variety of instruments:

  • Trumpet
  • Cornet
  • French Horn
  • Tenor Horn
  • Trombone
  • Baritone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba

When can you start to play?

Most people start to learn a brass instrument from Years 3 or 4. It is helpful for pupils to have their adult front teeth before they start to learn. Cornets and tenor horns are particularly good for younger pupils as they are easier to hold, but it is quite straightforward to change instruments should you wish to.

Alternatives to hiring

Assisted Instrument Purchasing Scheme

Our Assisted Instrument Purchasing Scheme enables you to purchase an instrument without VAT.

Take it Away

Take it Away is subsidised by the Arts Council and provides interest-free loans to help you purchase an instrument.

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