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

Instrument Size Guide

  • Classical guitars are available in a range of sizes to suit children of different ages and height.
  • Listed below are the recommended sizes of classical guitar for various age groups and heights.
  • These are rough estimates and based on typical sizes for heights for ages.
  • If you have any doubts in sizing please speak with your child’s tutor.
    • 1/2 size suits those aged 5 to 6
    • 3/4 size suits those aged 7 to 12
    • Full size is suitable for those aged 12 and over

Caring for your instrument

After Each Use

  • We recommend that you wipe down the strings of your guitar after each use to extend their life.
  • Sweat from playing causes strings to corrode and rust which results in a dull tone.
  • Always put your guitar back in its bag after playing to avoid damage.
  • Always stand the guitar upright when not being used, a guitar’s neck is under a high amount of tension and will easily snap if accidentally stepped on.

Periodic Maintenance

  • Guitar strings inevitably break and need replacing.
  • Some shops will sell individual strings however most will only sell full sets.
  • Never use steel strings as they will damage the guitar.
  • A full set of classical guitar strings will usually cost between £3 to £10 depending on quality.
  • Your tutor should be able to show you how to replace strings, however many tutorials can also be found online.
  • Some shops will also offer a restringing service for a small fee.
  • Never use cleaning products or polishes to clean your guitar as they can damage the finish.
  • A damp cloth is all that is needed to remove finger marks.


  • The hirer is responsible for any loss or damage to the instrument and as a result we 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.

Damage and Repairs

  • In the unfortunate event that your instrument is damaged, Essex Music Service 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

  • Please contact the Music Service to arrange the return of your instrument.
  • 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.

Lessons and Ensembles

Essex Music Service provides 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 – sign up to our newsletter mailing list to receive details.

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