Yes. Music4Life is a registered 501(c)(3). Our federal EIN is 26-4733898 and was granted on of April 23, 2009. A copy of our letter from the IRS is available on our Website or upon request. Our state of Washington UBI number is 602-919-066.

Music4Life™ started in 2007 as a demonstration project to help kids in the Seattle Public School District. Since then, additional programs have been started at the request of the Superintendents in many school districts, including Highline, Shoreline, Edmonds, Everett, Marysville, Northshore, Bremerton and Auburn.

Trumpets, clarinets, flutes and violins are needed most. But we can use all musical instruments right now, including trombones, guitars, cellos, saxophones, baritones and others. The need out there is so great that we rarely turn down any musical instrument.

Not all students want to participate in instrumental music programs, of course. Music4Life is for those who do.

Music4Life provides donated and repaired musical instruments at no charge to participating public school districts, and asks the Superintendent to identify a primary contact (usually an instrumental music teacher) with whom we can coordinate district needs with available resources. We encourage that the instruments be provided to students in need.

Music4Life encourages participating school districts to let the students use their musical instruments for any musical activity, public or private, inside or outside of school, because every musical experience is a learning experience. The ONLY qualifier is that the student must be enrolled in the school district. If the student leaves for any reason (graduation; the parents move outside the school district; etc), the instrument must be returned to the school district so another student can benefit from its use.

The consolidated Music4Life organization is run by a Governing Board that has legal responsibility for the organization. The Governing Board appoints a President who runs the day-to-day operations.

Each of the school district-based programs (i.e., Highline Music4Life) is run by a Chapter comprised of community leaders who understand the unique value of instrumental music in the life and education of a child.

A special group of local community leaders comprises the Music4Life Advisory Board. Each member is selected based on his/her special knowledge and advises the President on an on-call basis.

Music4Life is dedicated first to making each of its existing school district-based programs (Auburn, Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Northshore, Seattle and Shoreline) enormously successful. Still, we have received requests from about a half dozen superintendents in the area to start programs for their school districts. Each is evaluated on the bases of local need (the higher the rate of free-and-reduced-lunch population in the school district the better), likely local support to start and sustain the effort, the ability to establish a local chapter to energize the program, the willingness of local Rotary, Lions and other clubs to endorse and financially support the program and other factors.

You don’t. Resources that are raised within a participating public school district are used for the benefit of students within that school district. About one-third of the time, donors put no restrictions on the use of resources, so we use them where they’re most needed and according to donor wishes.

Musical instruments that are donated to or purchased by Music4Life are provided at no charge to participating public school districts.

Good quality beginner instruments (often referred to as “student-level”) usually range from $300 to $3,000. Large or unusual instruments may cost even more.

No, this is the responsibility of each participating school district. Most school districts now recognize that instrumental music instruction is a core component of any child’s basic education.

In every possible case, Music4Life has repaired the donated instruments, but some are simply beyond repair. That’s okay, we like to try. After the initial repair, the school district maintains the instrument. But we never want to see a student trying to play a broken instrument. We can try to make arrangements to provide another instrument to him/her while the instrument is being repaired. Just contact your school district’s music coordinator.

Yes. Most students start instrumental music programs in the fourth, fifth or sixth grades. By expanding instrumental music programs at the elementary grade level, we also help secondary music programs to grow. Some musical instruments we get are so sophisticated that they should only be provided to older, more musically accomplished students who can appreciate and care for them.

The basics for a student who wants to participate in the school district’s instrumental music activities are a working musical instrument, plus either a mouthpiece or bow and a case in which to carry them.

Beyond that, Music4Life does supply other equipment when it is donated to us, such as amplifiers, strings for violins and other stringed instruments, even reeds for woodwinds or cleaning equipment. The key here is that, in most cases, we can only supply that which is given to us by adults who want to pass on the gift of instrumental music to the next generation.

Choral music is important, too, and we do support it. For instance, we have provided pianos and electronic keyboards to the choral music departments of participating public school districts. But most students arrive at school already equipped with the instrument required to sing.

Like choral music, world music is also important. Music defines generations and cultures, and is an important part of our heritage and our diverse communities. A number of schools here have hip hop, jazz, mariachi, marimba, steel drum bands, electronic music and other instrumental ensembles. We like to see these thrive, based on student interests, and support them as best we can.

Music4Life tracks all donations of musical instruments and financial donations to repair them and provides a personal thank you letter to each donor that can be used for tax purposes. We do not get into the business of evaluating the worth of any instrument. That is between the donor and the IRS. To make this possible, it is critically important that a donor fill-out the donor form that is available on the Music4Life website and attach it to the donated instrument. This form not only allows us to track the instrument through the repair process, but to generate the thank you/tax letter, as well. Donors are advised to consult with their personal financial advisors regarding individual tax benefits.

The Seattle area is fortunate to have many fine music stores and instrument makers. Music4Life is proud to recommend Kennelly Keys Music, Ted Brown Music, Hammond Ashley Violins and others credited in every e-newsletter for any and all musical instrument needs. For a full list of our Preferred Vendors, please go here.