We hope you enjoy your newly hired instrument. Please take the time to read this document in order to keep the instrument in its best condition.

Caring for your instrument

Bassoons are expensive instruments and extra care needs to be taken when assembling, disassembling, and caring for them. Do not attempt to assemble the instrument prior to having a lesson showing you how to do so.

Each Use

A swab should be used to mop any moisture from inside the instrument after playing. Moisture that is not mopped can cause wood to swell and distort causing serious problems, as well as reducing the life of the leather pads.

Be careful of the crook (bocal) when assembling and moving the instrument, as they are easily damaged, and are very expensive to replace.

Wiping the keys after playing will help to keep them in good condition.
Always keep the bassoon in its case when not in use.

Periodic Maintenance

Cork grease should be applied to cork tenons to avoid parts sticking together when disassembling. If you find two parts have stuck together please do not attempt to force them apart as you could damage the joints. Take it to your tutor for advice and then if necessary contact us.

The Crook (Bocal) should be cleaned monthly to avoid a build-up of dirt. This should be done with a brush and warm water.


The hirer is responsible for any loss or damage to the instrument and as a result we highly recommend taking out insurance. You may be able to insure the instrument under your household policy, alternatively there are many companies specialising in musical instrument insurance. Please contact us for the insurance value of your instrument.

Damage and Repairs

In the unfortunate event that your instrument is damaged, Essex Music Services should be consulted to seek approval and advice before any repairs are undertaken. The hirer is responsible for any costs incurred to repair the instrument through a result of misuse, accident or neglect. We may either ask to receive the instrument back whilst it is repaired, or alternatively we may be able to recommend a repairer for you to take the instrument to.

Returning your Instrument

Instruments may be returned either by leaving with your school’s reception, or returning in person to us at county hall.
If returning through your school, please notify us once the instrument has been left with reception. If returning in person to county hall, please call or email us to arrange a time beforehand.

Please ensure the instrument is clean and that all accessories that came with the instrument are present to avoid any charges. If any accessories are missing we encourage you to purchase these yourself before returning the instrument.

Accessories provided with the bassoon, along with their respective replacement costs are shown below.

Bird (thumb rest) £15.00

Cork grease £1.50

Joining pin £5.00

Mops – set £18.00

Sling £30.00

Crooks – each: £225

If accessories are missing when you return the instrument, replacement costs will be deducted from your deposit, if the value of missing parts exceeds your deposit you will be charged.

Prices given above are indicative only and are subject to revision.

Please clean the instrument according to the Care & Maintenance instructions before returning it. A reed (medium strength) is supplied free of charge. Please dispose of all reeds before returning the instrument.

Lessons and Ensembles

Essex Music Service provide quality music tuition and ensembles to schools and colleges throughout Essex, covering all major orchestral and band instruments and musical styles. Playing or singing together with other people (ensemble) is one of the most exciting and enjoyable musical experiences. We provide a whole range of opportunities for young people of all ages and abilities, covering almost all instruments and voice. Many of our groups offer students the chance to tour in the UK and abroad!

If you’ve never played or sung in a group before, one of our workshops would be a great way to get started. In collaboration with our partners, we offer regular workshops in singing , jazz , strings, wind, brass, guitar, percussion and rock.

If you’re a bit more experienced you could join one of our groups that meet regularly, either monthly or in the school holidays.

Monthly Groups

Essex Youth Jazz Orchestras

Essex Youth String Orchestras

Essex Youth Brass Ensemble

Essex Youth Percussion School

Holiday Groups – For most experienced players

Essex Youth Orchestra

Essex Youth Chamber Orchestra

Essex Young People’s Orchestra

Essex Youth Symphonic Wind Orchestra.