Borrow a musical instrument from the library

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

A team at McGill University studying the neurochemistry of music revealed through research that music has mental and physical benefits to help manage moods, reduce stress, and increase immunity!

After the last year, we could all use a little help in those areas. If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of playing music, the County of Prince Edward Public Library Musical Instrument Lending Library (MILL) is a great resource for you.The MILL provides the opportunity for any PEC resident to borrow a musical instrument!

The instruments are housed at the Milford Branch Library but can be sent to any of the library’s branches. There is a $10 fee for your two-year membership. That fee covers instrument maintenance so if you break a guitar string, for example, it’s covered! Milford Branch librarian Aaron Nash is an experienced musician and is keen to guide you through the process of selecting an instrument to try. He explains that there are instruments to help you play any genre of music.

If you like rock music, try rocking out on a full five-piece drum set, complete with hi-hats, crash cymbal, and drumsticks!

If classical is more your speed, learn to play a Bach suite on a cello that’s just the right size for you, 1/2, 3/4, or 4/4. Jazz fans can borrow a trumpet, cornet, or trombone, and join a brass section in an old-time swing band. The instruments have all required accessories – you’ll leave the library ready to start playing!

Curious about the available instruments? Search “MILL” in the library’s catalogue at or call Aaron at (613) 476-4130. Most of the instruments in the collection arrived as donations from people who had instruments they were ready to part with, and Aaron is happy to receive instruments in good working order to add to the collection. Ruth Dwight, another musician on the library’s staff, has been leading virtual drumming sessions throughout the pandemic and shares those with nursing and retirement homes across the County. You can find the on the library’s YouTube channel at and enjoy playing along. You can even play along with just a coffee can and a spoon! You can also check the library’s channel for a forthcoming video featuring Aaron and David Allen (another library staffer/musician) as they overview the collection and show you some of the great instruments available for loan. As we return to more in-person programming in the fall, we will be restarting our musical programs that have been well-received in the past – including ukulele, guitar instruction and more.

The location will be determined by community interest. Aaron welcomes any suggestions you may have.

-Liz Zylstra