Help & Ordering

Need Help?

That’s what we’re here for . . .

Have a quick question?

Click the Chat icon bottom right

Call +44 (0)1159 314 513 from 8am to 6pm UK time

Contact Us

Need some in-depth advice?

Schedule a Zoom chat with our Director Andy Gwatkin

Email us details of your requirement, including where relevant, age range and number of players, type of setting, in-house music teaching skills/experience (if any), any special needs, approximate budget and timing

Use our contact form

Need a quote?

Click the Chat icon bottom right

Call +44 (0)1159 314 513 from 8am to 6pm UK time

If you already know exactly what you need, email us details, including product names or codes, quantities, delivery address and timing

Use our Contact form

Placing an Order & Payments

You can order online, you can email, post or fax your order, or you can phone it through.

How to order online (fast & secure)

First browse the website using the menu bar (Pre-School, Primary, Secondary . . .) or the SEARCH bar and add the instruments you’d like to order to your shopping basket . You can delete products from the basket (click the little box to the left of the product name) and you can change the quantity of any product by amending the number and then clicking the “Update Quantities” link at the bottom right of the page. Once you’re happy with the selection, click on “Checkout” and follow the steps below:

Step 1. Log in or register, if you haven’t already.

Step 2. Enter any special delivery instructions or other comments about your order. If you would like us to deliver the order to a different address from your account address, you can enter that here (tick the box top right).  You can also enter your in-house Order Number here (it will be printed on your invoice) and enter any discount coupon code to qualify for extra discount.

Step 3. Enter payment details – you can pay by card, Paypal, bank transfer or cheque.

Step 4. Check that the Order Summary is correct (you can go back to the Basket to change any details) and if it’s all OK, click “Place Order” to confirm the order. At this point if you’re paying by card or Paypal you may get redirected temporarily to your bank or to Paypal as part of current security procedures. 

Once the order has been accepted, an email entitled “Your order # . . . ” will be sent to the account email address and the invoice will be attached to this. Please print this out or forward it to the admin office for processing. We’ll notify you again as soon as the order has been dispatched.

Ordering by email, post or fax

Please use your school or organization’s standard order form and as well as the order items and quantities, be sure to include: 

Your first and last name and job title (if applicable);

A contact telephone number (in case of order queries or delivery problems on the day);

An admin email address. This is very important because we send out order confirmations, invoices, delivery confirmation / tracking numbers and all routine communications by email. It’s much quicker and more efficient this way;

How you found out about us (Googling / via recommendation / exhibition or conference / advert / etc.).

Email to

Post to: 21 Shaftesbury Avenue, Burton Joyce, Notts NG14 5GL

Fax to: +44 115 931 4113

Ordering by phone

Call 0800 1577 686 (FREE from UK landlines) or 0115 931 4513 (better from mobile phones). For international callers use +44 115 931 4513

Can I pay on receipt of goods?

Please note that schools, nurseries, Music Services, local authorities and all UK public sector establishments can pay on receipt of goods but that individuals and other organizations will need to make payment before we dispatch the order, unless credit arrangements have been made in advance. 

Online orders can be paid for by bank or credit card, by Paypal, by bank transfer or by cheque and invoices are emailed out to you as soon as your order is confirmed in the system here.

Contact Us

Can’t find the answer to your query?

Setting up an Account


You can do this at the same time as placing your order. First browse the site and put products in the Basket. Then go to Checkout. The Checkout page will take you through the account set-up steps as well as covering delivery and payment details.

Alternatively you can set up your account in advance at My Account.

If you have any questions at all about setting up an account please get in touch and we’ll talk you through it.

If you are a re-seller or are buying in bulk, please click here for more information.

By Email

Please email us your organisation’s details and we’ll set the account up for you.


We take security very seriously and go the extra distance to ensure the integrity of the website and the safety of your data.
1. Our site runs on a dedicated virtual private server using SSL encryption
2. All credit and debit card payments are made via Sagepay Form under high security direct to the card processing company. Your card data doesn’t get entered into our system at any time.
3. All emails are sent using SSL encryption

Other languages

You can use the translate function in the Google Chrome browser to view this website in your own language. For help see


Quality is our number one concern.

Quality Guarantee

Our instruments are designed for serious, long term educational use and we use traditional materials and methods, modified as needed to ensure the finished instruments are suitable for regular, long term use in the classroom. All our instruments are guaranteed for quality and the length of the guarantee period varies.

PLEASE NOTE: fair wear and tear is excepted and the customer should ensure that the instruments are treated with care and used responsibly. Please refer to the detailed Care & Maintenance instructions on the product page for each instrument.

How long are instruments guaranteed?

African Drumming: drum shells and rope 5 years, drum skins 1 year, other instruments and accessories 1 year

Brazilian Samba: drum shells 2 years, drum heads 1 year, other instruments and accessories 1 year

Caribbean Steel Pans: pans 2 years, other instruments and accessories 1 year

Indonesian Gamelan: instruments 3 years, drum skins 1 year, accessories 1 year

Japanese Taiko: drum shells 5 years, drum heads 1 year, other instruments and accessories 1 year

World Percussion: instruments and accessories 1 year

Pre-School: drum shells and rope 5 years, drum skins 1 year, other instruments and accessories 1 year

Price Guarantee

We aim to be the Best Value supplier for world musical instruments. Should you find the same instrument at a better price elsewhere within 3 months of your order, then we’ll give you free instruments  of your choice from our website with RRP up to 200% of the price difference. This price guarantee doesn’t apply to one-off or time-limited offers or affect your statutory rights in any way.

We will of course replace or refund any unsatisfactory instrument – please send us a photo or two of any issue and we’ll get on to it right away.

Delivery & Returns

Delivery Information

Delivery for most orders is by courier. For goods which are in stock and for UK mainland destinations, this normally takes around 3 to 5 working days from order to delivery, and longer for UK offshore and overseas deliveries, depending on the country and service chosen. Smaller offshore or international deliveries may be sent via Royal Mail.

For goods sent by courier, we will email you the tracking number for your delivery after dispatch so that you can check its progress online, if you wish to.

Please let us know if you need your order very urgently, or if you have a specific delivery date in mind (e.g. beginning of school term). There’s space to do this during “Checkout” – see “Order Notes” at the top of the right hand column – or you can email us at any time quoting our order number.

Delivery Costs

Delivery costs are generally calculated on the basis of an order’s volumetric weight. Our system automatically calculates costs of delivery for UK mainland addresses and for all orders weighing less than 1kg. For other destinations, including Northern Ireland, UK islands, Scottish Highlands and overseas, we’ll obtain shipping estimates from shipping specialists for your approval. You’ll be able to place a provisional order, which can be confirmed once the shipping cost has been approved, and there’s no commitment on your part until the shipping costs have been agreed.

Delivery costs are generally calculated on the basis of an order’s volumetric weight. Our system automatically calculates costs of delivery for UK mainland addresses and for all orders weighing less than 1kg. For other destinations, including Northern Ireland, UK islands, Scottish Highlands and overseas, we’ll obtain shipping estimates from shipping specialists for your approval. You’ll be able to place a provisional order, which can be confirmed once the shipping cost has been approved, and there’s no commitment on your part until the shipping costs have been agreed.

Out of Stock items

For goods that are out of stock, the delivery time may be longer, usually depending on the arrival schedule of our next container. If delivery is likely to be more than a week we’ll contact you to advise timing and to see whether you’re happy to wait, or prefer to cancel or change your order. We’ll be happy to talk you through any in stock alternatives.

International Delivery

We have been supplying schools and private customers all over the world for many years, and have built up an excellent network of shipping contacts, enabling us to send small or large orders economically to almost any destination worldwide.

We can ship to you by air or by sea, or send to your UK shipping agent for consolidation, and we’ll confirm costs with you before dispatch and track the delivery every step of the way. Each order is different and we’ll discuss and agree the details with you and help you to find the best balance of speed, reliability and economy.

Our main warehouse is in Gunthorpe in the UK and we also have warehouses in Singapore, Bali and in Sydney, Australia. We regularly supply schools and other customers in countries all over the world.

Our all-important teaching support is also available internationally, through a mix of hard copy teaching guides, online videos and audio tracks, Skype consultancy, expert email advice and CPD training in regional centres.

When placing your order on the website you’ll see that the delivery cost for international orders weighing more than 1kg needs to be individually costed. In these cases the system will allow you to submit a provisional order (without shipping costs), and then confirm this, once we have quoted and you have approved the shipping costs.

Please note that shipping costs for international orders need to be paid for before dispatch of the goods.


Please let us know straight away if anything arrives damaged or otherwise in a substandard condition and we’ll be happy to replace it, refund the cost or provide you with an alternative product to your satisfaction. Speed is of the essence here as most courier companies will only accept responsibility for damage in transit if the damage is reported within 24 hours of delivery.

In the event of damage, please take photographs, including any damage to the packaging, and email these to us ASAP.

Similarly, if an instrument  develops a fault within 12 months of purchase in the course of normal use (though excluding fair wear and tear), please let us know, and we’ll replace it or refund the cost. It’s also very helpful for us to see photos of the issue as this gives us solid information for changing the design, the production method or the packing materials.

But please do contact us before returning any damaged or substandard items. Once we’ve approved their return, please send to:  Drums for Schools Limited, 21 Shaftesbury Avenue, Burton Joyce NG14 5GL 

We really appreciate your feedback in the case of faults (or if you think an instrument could be improved in any way) and we take all such feedback very seriously indeed.


Can I hire an instrument?

Drums and other instruments can be hired for one-off special events, workshops, performances, open days – and also for short and long term projects, for example for pilot studies, drumming circles, summer schools, filming etc. 

Generally hire costs are a percentage of the purchase price and depend on the length of the hire period.

In all cases customers have the option to convert from hire to purchase and can do so at any time before the instruments are returned, simply by paying the difference between the hire charge and the purchase cost.

Just contact us with an outline of what you need and we will get back to you with a quote or some suggestions.

Are the paints/colours safe?

Yes. they’re all water-based acrylics. No lead or other nasty ingredients. Varnishes are also water-based.

Are the instruments safe for babies and small children?

Babies and small children (and many grown-ups) are so creative that they’re capable of treating inanimate objects as anything from weapons to light snacks. Although our instruments are carefully made and the colours and materials aren’t harmful, they do need to be handled responsibly as some may release small parts, which could pose a choking hazard to children under the age of 3. So to be absolutely safe, please don’t use the instruments with babies or small children.

How long will the drum skins last?

The drum skins are really high quality and should give many years of satisfaction providing they’re treated with respect. Only use the hands or properly designed drumsticks to hit them – never hit them with sharp or pointed objects and always take off any hand jewellery before playing (even smooth metal rings can cause damage). If you use drumsticks frequently you’re likely to shorten the life of the skin as sticks concentrate the force of each impact in a much smaller area. It’s always best to use the hands – it spreads the impact and helps to oil the skin using the natural oils on your skin. It’s also a good idea to put a protective hat or drums bag on the drum when it isn’t being used. Most damage to skins happens by accident (someone mistakes the drum for a side table) and so a protective cover is a really good investment.

What happens if a drum skin splits?

If the worst comes to the worst see “Can I reskin my own drum” below. The process takes several days and the cost depends on the size and type of the drum and on the type and condition of the stringing. But be warned – reskinning drums is an expensive business. It’s much better to take good care of the skin in the first place!

Can I reskin my own drum?

Yes, it’s perfectly possible, though a little strenuous, and you may find that you end up doing it twice as the first time tends to be a bit of a bodge. There’s a really good step-by-step guide of how to go about it at You’ll need a good new skin and some string, both of which you can buy from us at reasonable prices.

How do I tune my djembe?

This is very easy using the tuning wedges that come with each of our Standard djembes and which can also be bought separately. Just insert the sharp end of each wedge between the ropes and the wooden shell about 5 or 6 inches below the level of the playing head and push the wedge firmly in, stretching the rope as you do so. If you insert one wedge every 3 or 4 rope verticals, this should tighten the head uniformly. But if you’d like to tighten the skins like a professional using the Mali Weave method, it only takes a few minutes, once you’ve got the hang of it. Master drummers tend to tune their drums before they play and then slacken them off again afterwards. That way they get those amazing high slaps, but they only keep the drum skins at high stress when they’re actually playing. For detailed instructions and lots of photos, see the brilliant step-by-step guide at

Can you arrange a drumming, gamelan or other workshop at our school?

Yes but these events often work best if there are several schools involved, so it’s worth asking other schools in your area if they’d also be interested in taking part.

What happened to the 30% discount?

In August 2019 we took the decision to discontinue the education discount and instead to reduce all our prices by 30%, making all our instruments available to everyone at the lowest possible price. We did this as 95% of our customers are from the education sector and so it seemed sensible to simplify things.

Can you make a new instrument for us?

We’re always happy to look at making new instruments. The process is often quite a long one but it’s always interesting. Email us with what you have in mind and we’ll get back to you.

Do you use sustainable sources of timber?

Yes, and we’re always looking to change to faster-growing species and to increase our use of recycled and wood waste products. Wherever possible we’ll always use bamboo, local softwoods or fruits instead of hardwood – it’s good for the planet and it keeps costs down too.

Can we have our organisation name or logo printed or carved on our instruments?

Yes. Let us know what you need and we’ll send you a quote.

What are the best sizes of drum for early years?

For two-handed playing (two hands are always best!), it’s good to have a playing head diameter of at least 6″ and so most 30cm high (or taller) djembes are fine and you can probably get away with 25cm. Smaller drums can be played with one hand or beaters. But small children love the bigger drums too (and the bigger the better!) so it’s good to include a 40cm, 50cm or 60cm drum if you’ve the budget for it.

What are the best sizes of drum for primary schools?

For KS1 you’ll need at least a 7″ diameter playing head and 8″ is better. For KS2 go for 8″ or 9″ as a minimum. So try our Standard 30cm and 40cm for KS1 and Standard 40cm and 50cm for KS2. But do include some bigger ones too, if you have the budget, as these will add tonal depth and be good for setting the bass pulse.

What are the best sizes of drum for secondary schools?

9″ playing head diameter is a good minimum so our Standard 50cm and 60cm djembes are a good bet, plus some 10.5″ 60cm and 12″ 65cms for filling out the bass.