A quarter of UK musicians consider their musical instrument their most prized possession

Published 27th October 2022
  • New research from Allianz Musical Insurance reveals 66% of musicians say playing boosts their mood and relaxes them
  • 22% of musicians turn to their instrument when dealing with financial worries
  • 40% reveal they would feel devastated if they lost their instrument
  • Allianz Musical Insurance launches new website to help reunite musicians with their lost instruments

New research conducted by Allianz Musical Insurance, the UK's No. 1 musical instrument insurer, shines a light on the emotional benefits of playing music, as research reveals adults turn to their instruments when in need of a pick me up. A poll of 1,000 people who play a musical instrument found a quarter experience a sense of escapism when they play. Meanwhile, 35% of musicians say playing boosts their mood while 31% feel more relaxed.

New data also shows three in 10 instantly feel more positive when they pick up their instrument, with a further 29% feeling inspired to be more creative. The research also found that those who are musically inclined are most likely to play their instrument after a stressful day at work (26%), whilst 22% will turn to their musical instrument when they have money worries.

Incidentally, a further 22% find they deal with an injury or illness better when bashing out a tune. As a country of budding musicians, it comes as no surprise that the research revealed adults spend on average four hours a week playing their instrument, with a further quarter claiming it is their most prized possession.


Emotional toll of losing an instrument

Sadly though, 24% of musicians have had their instrument stolen, with a large amount being seriously emotionally impacted by the loss. Nearly four in 10 said the loss of their instrument devastated them, and a further 22% said they would feel lost or empty if their instrument went missing. However, an encouraging 42% did go on to recover their lost item.

Reaching out to family and friends (50%), going back to the last known location (47%) and asking for CCTV footage (40%) were the top lengths people went to in order to retrieve their instrument.

This research is released as Allianz Musical Insurance today launches MissingInstruments.co.uk, a website that allows musicians from across the UK – irrespective of whether they are an AMI customer – to register lost, stolen and found instruments online for free.

Famous musicians to have lost instruments

Many musicians have been parted from their instruments over the years, with many making headlines in musical history. Famously, Paul McCartney 1 had his Hofner Violin bass stolen in 1969 during the sessions for Get Back/Let it Be. Eric Clapton 2 was also a victim in 1966, when he had his Gibson Les Paul guitar stolen. In 2016, a famous Les Paul collector made headlines claiming he knew where the guitar was, but it hasn’t been found. And Rosanne Cash 3 had her 1948 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar, which was a gift from her father, stolen from the sidewalk at Los Angeles International Airport nearly 40 years ago.

One musician to have lost her instrument is Nicole Boyesen, co-principal double bass with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Speaking about the impact the loss had on her, she said:

“As a co-principal double bass with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, losing your instrument is heart breaking. Whilst travelling on tour in Europe many years ago, my double bass went missing on a train from Paris to Pisa – and 42 years later it is still yet to be found! 

“Having a place to register my instrument as missing all those years ago, allowing me to alert the musical community and increase my chances of finding my double bass, would have proved invaluable.”

Speaking to the importance of the research and the launch of the new website, Sandeep Jassi, Claims Team Leader from Allianz Musical Insurance, said:

“Playing a musical instrument has many benefits – with mood boosting being one of them. They provide a sense of escapism that’s difficult to find elsewhere, so it’s no wonder people turn to instruments for relaxation and happiness.

“It’s clear how much instruments can mean to their owners, so seeing the impact it can have when it is stolen is really sad. We understand that not only are instruments an invaluable tool of the trade for a professional musician, but they also often hold huge personal and sentimental value – which is why we’re committed to reuniting as many musicians as possible with their beloved lost instruments.”

Non-musicians also keen to play

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also surveyed 1,000 adults who don’t play a musical instrument to gauge their opinions on the topic.

It emerged 28% admit being able to play one would help them relax while a quarter claim they would generally be happier if they could play.

In fact, 41% of those surveyed admitted they envy people who can play an instrument, with 29% penning learning a musical instrument as something on their ‘bucket list’. However, 26% have previously tried to learn one – only to give up after a short period of taking it up.

The instruments people would most like to learn include the guitar (38%), piano (34%) and the drums (16%).

Allianz Musical Insurance provides insurance for musicians at all levels, providing cover for loss, theft and accidental damage of their instruments and equipment, but you don’t have to be a customer of Allianz Musical Insurance to use the new website and help reunite musicians with their instruments.

Visit the website

To find out more or start the search for your missing instrument visit MissingInstruments.co.uk

About Allianz Holdings plc

Allianz Holdings plc is the non-regulated holding company which owns the principal insurance operations of Allianz SE in Great Britain including Allianz Insurance.

About Allianz

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with 126 million* private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 716 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage nearly 1.8 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2021, over 155,000 employees achieved total revenues of 148.5 billion euros and an operating profit of 13.4 billion euros for the group.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

*Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
** As of June 30, 2022