Returning a Rental Instrument

Before you turn in a rental instrument, be sure to consider the following:

  • The benefits of playing a musical instrument are numerous. They range from improved cognitive skills to social skills like teamwork and individual character development. Amid all the non-musical benefits, it's worth keeping in mind that playing a musical instrument is itself a valuable skill that can provide lifelong enjoyment. Don't give up without carefully considering the reasons for that decision.
  • Most people continue to rent through the summer because it makes sense. Your instrument rental continues month-to-month throughout the year. Rather than regressing and having to re-learn, the young musician can continue to practice and improve. You continue to build up equity toward owning an instrument. And while everyone else is frantically making arrangements to get an instrument at the beginning of the school year, you can relax because your child will be prepared for the start of lessons.
  • The first instrument tried may not necessarily be the right fit for your child. Many students end up finding the instrument they like through trial and error. Talk with your music teacher to see whether switching to a different instrument is an option. You can rent a different instrument from Ellis Music and the equity you have accumulated will be transferred to the other instrument; to switch instruments, you would simply complete a new rental agreement online or in the store.
  • If your child's interest in playing an instrument has faded or they seem to be having difficulty playing the instrument, the issue may just be that the instrument needs a tuneup to get it back into great playing condition. Instruments need routine maintenance in order to work properly. Having the Ellis Music repair shop check the instrument won't cost you anything, and it may renew your child's enjoyment of playing it.
  • After three months, any equity that you have accumulated will expire. Once you return an instrument, you have just three (3) months to re-rent if you wish to keep the equity you have accumulated toward purchasing an instrument for this particular student. This equity can be used toward not just the instrument you have been renting but also toward a more advanced (intermediate or pro model) instrument.

After you have read the information above, if you still wish to return a rental instrument...

  1. Talk with your child's music teacher. This decision will affect scheduling and may also affect the rest of the group (the other kids in the orchestra or band).
  2. Refer to the Important Instrument Return Instructions below. (Select either School Year or Summer, as applicable, to display the instructions.)


(Click on either SCHOOL YEAR or SUMMER, as appropriate, to view instructions)

Step 1: Call Ellis Music at 802-234-6400 or submit our online Rental Return Form (the online form has been disabled for the summer). It is very important that you notify Ellis Music of your intention to return the instrument.

Step 2: Write your name, the student's name, the date, and "Return to Ellis Music" on a piece of paper and put it inside the instrument case. If you know your account number, include that on the paper as well. Make sure that the student's name is clearly visible somewhere on the outside of the case as well (on a name tag, for example).

Step 3: Have the student give the instrument to the instrumental music teacher at the school you indicated when completing the form, and tell the music teacher that the instrument is being returned to Ellis Music. Our representatives also pick up instruments for repair, so it is important to specify that it is being returned. Most schools have an established Ellis Music pickup/dropoff location. The instrument must be left in the proper location to ensure that our representative can easily find it.

If you wish to return an instrument at the end of the school year, please contact Ellis Music before the last day of classes.

Ellis Music representatives do not travel to schools during the summer. To return an instrument outside of the academic year, you have two options: drop off the instrument at Ellis Music's store during business hours or ship the instrument directly to Ellis Music.

Outside of the school year, please call Ellis Music at 802-234-6400 to notify us of your intention to return and to let us know how you plan to get the instrument back to the store. If you plan to ship the instrument, be sure to click and read "How to Ship an Instrument to Ellis Music" (link below).

Refer to the contact page for current business hours and directions to the store.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the instrument you rented has made it back to Ellis Music. If you are unsure, it is advisable to call Ellis Music at 802-234-6400 to confirm that the instrument has been received. Due to standard check-in procedures, it takes one or two days after an instrument is picked up at a school for it to be marked as returned in our computer system. Instruments returned directly to the store are typically checked in immediately.

Rent will continue to be charged on a monthly basis until the instrument has been received by Ellis Music. Once the instrument has been checked into our computer system, rental charges will stop accruing and automatic billing (if applicable) will end.

If you have further questions, please contact Ellis Music by phone or email.