It is key that we provide Ready-To-Play Musical Instruments
This is our whole purpose. We ask participating public school districts to provide instruments first to the youngest students possible. Normally, that’s at whatever grade the district begins providing instrumental music instruction. We leave instruction up to the schools. Further our presumption is that every musical instrument will be in a serviceable case.
Why This Is Important
Providing ready-to-play musical instruments that the school districts need is the “coin of the realm” for Music4Life. If we don’t do that, what value do we have to the school districts or, even more importantly, to their students?
Try as we do to fill the need, many students have to wait months to get a musical instrument. Once told they’ll be getting a trumpet (or flute / clarinet / violin / etc.), can you imagine their disappointment if the instrument they’re provided doesn’t work!
“Ready-to-play” means they can start playing it right now. Other repairs aside, a trumpet without a mouthpiece is not ready-to-play. A violin without a bow is not ready-to-play. If the instrument needs a mouthpiece or bow, we’ll buy them. Not all of our instruments are pretty, but they are playable. Or should be. If they’re not for any reason, contact David Endicott directly.
Music4Life gets musical instruments donated by people who don’t use them anymore and wish to put them back into play. Once they contact us, we ask them to fill-out a Music4Life Donor Form, put it into the case with the instrument and drop them off at one of our participating vendor/partner stores. The vendor then analyzes the instrument, estimates its cost of repair and fair market value once that work is done and reports the results to Music4Life. It’s on the basis of this information that we can then e-send a Thank You letter to the donor that s/he can use for tax purposes. The completed Donor Form is critical in this process. Without it, nothing can happen. In some cases, we may sell a valuable instrument to replace it with several student-level (beginner) instruments.
How Music4Life Distributes Instruments to Participating School Districts
There are Booster Clubs and other means of fundraising for each school district-based program. Instruments are distributed to programs in proportion to the fundraising success of their booster clubs. The more funds they raise for Music4Life, the more instrument/instruments value they get. This is the concept of “proportionality.”