Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme

Raise the Roof

Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme has been lending young musicians high quality musical instruments since 1932. We are raising funds to complete our new building, to improve the scheme and how it works and to secure and protect it into the future.
raised of £50,000 target
RCN 313755

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Benslow Musical Instrument Loan Scheme began in 1932. Its mission is to help and inspire young musicians from every walk of life to achieve their potential and their dream by lending them a better quality instrument that enables them to improve, inspires them to practise and perfect their technique, and enhances their sound.

13 year old borrower Tehya Dawson playing Schubert's The Bee -

Dear Benslow, In October 2017 I came to visit you with my mum and you kindly lent me a violin as part of the borrower scheme. I had no idea about the memories I would get to make with this violin...

We help students in full time education from the age of 7 until 25. Regardless of exam level or grade and providing that they have been learning for 2 years, we give them the chance to borrow a high quality instrument. To purchase an instrument of this standard is beyond the financial capability of many families; our students can borrow one for at least 3 years and continue to borrow for considerably more, upgrading the standard of the instrument as they progress. Some go onto music college or university, others study different subjects such as medicine, maths or law. What unites our borrowers is their passion and love for music and for their instrument. We are very proud that former Benslow borrowers have gone on to achieve wonderful heights in both musical and non-musical worlds.

Dear Benslow,.....I can't tell you what a joy and privilege you've granted me with this cello - it has been my friend and companion through many years and many wonderful experiences, and I hope that I am able to keep borrowing it for many more years to come. I cannot thank you enough for the times that I have had with it so far.

In the last 87 years the Loan Scheme has moved home quite a number of times; from central London at the home of its founders, to more rural Hampstead, the wilds of western Scotland and the centre of the Rural Music Schools Association in Hitchin (now Benslow Music), where it rapidly outgrew the portacabin in the grounds and has now outgrown the suite of rooms where it is currently based.

Following a legacy from one generous lady, the Scheme has been able to plan its first permanent and purpose-built home. The collection of instruments has grown hugely and now includes stringed instruments from Violins to Double Basses, a few harps and a number of woodwind instruments - a huge development from the original Scheme, backed by Sir Henry Wood founder of the Proms, which lent only violins. We hope to extend the collection to house baroque instruments into the future.

10 year old Finn Anderson-Hendra playing Fauré's Elegie -

The new building has been designed to address the three most important areas of the charity; the Service that we provide to our borrowers, the Storage for the collection and the Security that the collection needs. It will allow us to expand the number of borrowers and the choice of instruments, to improve the service we offer them with a specially built studio and larger administrative area. We will be able to expand the luthier's workshop facilities and offer a more extensive level of service and repair and to create specially designed storage facilities in a fully regulated and temperature controlled environment throughout the building. It will also allow for us to increase the number of instruments available and improve the security and safety of the collection on site.

We have many more news items and videos on our website and social media platforms that show the young and talented musicians who we help. There are articles and stories about the generous lenders and donors who support the Scheme both financially and with instrument loans and donations; visit our website to read more about us and our borrowers at

11 year old Jennifer Wells playing Frank Bridge's Allegro Appassionata -

Please help us to Raise the Roof on our much needed new home and support young musicians. Thank you.

About the charity

Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme has been lending young musicians high quality musical instruments since 1932. We are raising funds to complete our new premises and help more young musicians to achieve their potential, to improve the scheme and how It works, and to secure and protect its future.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £77.50 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations
Direct donations
Donations via fundraisers

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