Buying/Hiring an Instrument

RMT recommends the following shops for hiring and buying instruments. Please take your child with you to the music shop so they can test out variously sized instruments before you buy or hire.


Instruments to hire (brass and woodwind) and to buy (all except strings)
Hampton Hill
020 8977 7788

Old Violin Workshop

Stringed instruments to buy.  Repair service offered.
Hampton Hill
020 8977 2952

Ritz Music Shop

Instruments to hire and to buy
020 8332 1488

Prozone Music

Woodwind and Brass instruments to hire and buy
01494 776 262

The Music Hub

Social enterprise musical instrument and supplies business.When you buy from us you are directly supporting music education in your local area and helping transform young lives.
020 8467 6354

Instrumental Tips for Buying/Hiring

It is very important to buy a suitable instrument for your child to practise on. This can be an upright piano, digital piano or keyboard with weighted keys. A piano stool will also be needed to allow for good hand position/height and a set of headphones if you choose a digital piano or keyboard.

Please choose a keyboard with a minimum of 61 keys.  You will also need a stand to allow for correct playing position and a set of headphones. When starting with grades, a sustain pedal will also be needed.

Casio keyboard
61 keys, unweighted. Good beginner model.
Yamaha keyboard
61 weighted keys.
Yamaha digital Piano
88 weighted keys. Sustain pedal.
Keyboard stand

String Instruments
It’s essential that you take your child to the shop with you.  Getting the right size string instrument is like buying shoes; it needs to fit properly. For more information on hiring/buying an instrument, please see which has an excellent guide for how to measure your child for the correct instrument.

As a rough guide, most children in Years 2-3 will start with either a 1/4 or a 1/2 size violin but there’s a huge difference between the two and it’s important to ensure your child has the right instrument or they will be very uncomfortable.  If learning the violin or viola we also recommend that you purchase the correct size shoulder rest.

Classical/Acoustic Guitar
If you are learning classical or acoustic, ensure you ask for a “Nylon strung classical guitar”

As a very rough size guide, a small Year 3 child would need a 1/2 size whereas a larger Year 3 child would most likely need a 3/4 size.

  • 1/2 size: 5 – 6 years
  • 3/4 size: 7 – 9 years
  • 7/8 size: 9 – 11/12 years

Electric/Bass Guitar
Please consult with your guitar teacher before purchasing an instrument or an amplifier so that they can help you find the right equipment.

It is important to choose the correct size of flute for your child. For the younger children a flute with a curved head joint is generally more suitable as it prevents bad posture and is easier to handle. You can purchase/rent flutes with both a curved and straight head joint so as the child grows they can simply switch to the straight head joint. Always make sure that the instrument comes with a cleaner as it is important that the instrument is cleaned after each time it is used .

It is important that you choose the correct size of instrument for your child. There are a variety of saxophones/clarinets of different sizes so we recommend you take your child into the shop to be sized for the type of instrument. These instruments are generally more suitable for children in year 4/5 and above as they are quite heavy and more physically demanding. The instruments should always come with a cleaner as it is important that it is cleaned after each practice. Both the Sax and Clarinet need to be played with a reed which is attached to the mouth piece. To begin with we recommend to start your child off on a size one and a half and as they improve they will gradually go up a size.


Finding the most suitable brass instrument for your child is a process which should be guided by a brass specialist/your child’s brass teacher.  Below is a list of recommended makes for beginners.  It is possible to hire instruments in order to make the cost manageable.

Phil Parker London S1 Student Trumpet £225.00
Phil Parker Student Trumpet

Besson BE110-2-0 Trumpet Silver £300.36
Besson BE110-2-0- Trumpet

Phil Parker S1 Cornet-Lacquer £254.00
Phil Parker S1 Cornet

Besson BE120-2-0 Student Cornet-Silver £418.36
Besson BE120-2-0 Student Cornet

Bach Elkhart TB100 Trombone £312.55
Bach Elkhart TB 100 Trombone

Eastman ETB221 Trombone £383.00
Eastman ETB 221 Trombone

Bach Elkhart Baritone Horn £489.00
Bach Elkhart Baritone