Service for your instrument

End of the school year: returning or extending your rental?

We hope you have been enjoying the sounds of stringed instruments playing around your house this year. Now that the school year is ending, it's time to decide about continuing.   

If your child will continue with their music next year, you will want to extend your rental.  please scroll down for information about your options.  

If your child will not continue, you will want to return the instrument.  

Returning is simple. You can return the instrument at the school. Your child's teacher will tell the students (and you) when and where to return the instrument after the last class. (Usually this is near the school main office.)  We will send an email confirming the date and location for the return. All this is in a few weeks, but if you miss the return dates at school you will have to return it to our shop. This is still possible, but a nuisance. 

This part is important!   Please confirm that the instrument case still has your child's name on the luggage tag. If the tag has been lost please mark the case (using masking tape) with your name and "return to Spencer Brook Strings" so we will be sure to log it in as "returned". If the case is unmarked, we may not be able to log it as returned for your account; you might get charged for continuing the rental! After we log the instrument as returned, we will send you a confirmation by email. Please contact us if you do not get a confirmation by the end of June.

If your child wants to continue their music, hooray! You have options about extending your rental--yearly or monthly. Renting on an yearly plan provides about two months free rental compared to the monthly rate. (You can compare on our rentals page.) Annual rentals would start on June 30, 2023 and go through June 30, 2024.  Just let us know your preference. If you don't choose an option and do not return your instrument, your rental will default to the monthly plan.

Don't worry about instrument size for your growing child. You can exchange sizes when needed, that's part of the deal.

If your child is in a full-size instrument, this is a good time to consider buying your child an instrument of their own.  50% of your rental payments may be applied as a discount towards purchase, so you may have a nice discount available! We have a collection of beautiful , great sounding instruments, inspiring for any player. They are available in all the price levels, from $600 to $15,000. Please contact us and we can help you think through your purchase options.

If you have any questions, please email or call 978-897-6382. Our website address is 

And of course you can come to our shop at 15 Nason Street in Maynard.

Thanks for choosing Spencer Brook Strings for your instrument rental!


Important information about your instrument rental

Instrument care: Your instrument is made by hand, using the same tools, materials, and skills that have been handed down since the 1600’s and the days of Stradivarius.  It is carefully adjusted to sound and look beautiful. Remember, stringed instruments are delicate. Consider that for some parts, the wood of a violin, or even a great big cello, is only two or three millimeters thick!   So the key to keeping the instrument in good shape is simply to treat it gently.   When it’s not being played—even for a few minutes—be sure to keep your instrument and bow in its case or bag. 

Temperature and humidity: Protect the instrument from direct sunlight or sudden changes in temperature or humidity. When not in use, store in a place with moderate humidity, and especially, away from radiators or other heat sources in winter. Never leave an instrument in a car in extremely hot or cold weather.

Cleaning:  After playing you can wipe the instrument or strings gently with a soft cloth to remove rosin dust or finger prints.  Never use alcohol, soap, or household cleaners and polishes!  These can seriously damage the varnish.   

Repairs and other service: Your instrument may need repairs or other service during the year. Bow hair and strings wear-out, sometimes edges and seams come unglued; students might need the next size.  This is all normal and it’s all included with your rental.   Please do not try to fix things yourself! Home repairs often make things worse, and you may get charged for fixing the mistakes! We like keeping the instrument in good condition for you, and we will do it quickly. If you have any problem with your instrument, please contact us right away to arrange the repair ( or telephone 978-897-6382). Repairs and other service are done at school on our weekly service visit.  You can also come to our shop for service right away. 

Returning your rental: Returns can be made at school, but you need to contact us first.  At the end of the school year you may want to return the instrument if your child will no longer be playing or will stop for the summer. We will be in touch by email about the details of instrument return and your teacher will also go over the procedure.  This information will also be posted on our website. If your child will be continuing in the next year, this would be good time to switch to a yearly rental, which would save about $50.00 yearly.  

Insurance: Insurance for accidental damage or theft is included.  The insurance is in effect as long as you are current with your rental payments.  So, while we hope you don’t drive off with the violin on the roof of your car, if this does happen, insurance will cover the damage. The insurance does not cover intentional damage, abuse, or problems due to attempts at home repairs.  For example (and this might seem obvious) varnish damage from absent-mindedly scratching the top of a cello with the metal end of the bow or scratching initials in the back with a ballpoint pen—not covered.  Damage claims must be made within 14 days of the incident; theft claims require a police report. 

Buying an instrument: When children begin a stringed instrument they start with a small sized instrument, switching sizes as necessary until they are ready for a “full size”—usually around or 7th or 8th grade. For this reason it often makes sense to wait until your child is in the full size before buying. You get a discount based on your rental payments.  Send us a note! We would be happy to discuss all the options about buying and renting.