All public school students who want to participate in Marysville instrumental music activities may soon be able to do so. That’s the goal of a new program called Marysville Music4Life, according to Superintendent Jason Thompson.

Initial funding to start and sustain the new program is being sought by the Marysville Music4Life Booster Club, led by resident Lee Hudson. Other officers are secretary Amy Kiffe and treasurer Deanna Hudson. The group is comprised of about 15-20 local enthusiasts.

Music4Life ( www.Music4Life.org ) is the non-profit that acquires “lovingly used” musical instruments from adults who no longer need them, repairs them (if possible) and then provides them at no charge to participating public school districts for use by students in need. Music4Life also operates nine other programs supporting Auburn, Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Kent, Northshore, Seattle, and Shoreline Public Schools. The program acquires used instruments from those who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. Music4Life also accepts donations to help pay for instrument repairs.

“Partnering with our community to bring the Music4Life program to our district will open doors for many of our students,” says Superintendent Thompson. “Music4Life has a long history of working with local public school districts to provide instrumental music opportunities for students. This partnership is exciting for the Marysville School District and we are appreciative of our community members who have joined in this effort.”

“We are proud to be a part of this program and can’t wait to see the success of Music4Life in Marysville,” says Lee Hudson. “The Marysville School District has a free-and-reduced-lunch-rate of nearly 47 percent, meaning that the students of many families are likely to need help in acquiring a musical instrument to participate. We can do this. And should.”

The new Marysville effort will be led by the “Marysville Music4Life Booster Club” recently authorized by the Music4Life Governing Board. The Marysville booster club currently is comprised of Lee and Deanna Hudson; Kiffe; Maria Ascencio; Bob Clark; Melissa Cook; John Dougherty; Elizabeth George; Elva Henry; Jolanta Perry; Luz Romero; Marysville instrumental music teacher James Orr serves as a representative for the school district on the booster club. Also serving from the school district are Jodi Runyon, Director of Engagement and Outreach, and Brynn Marcum, Director of Curriculum and Assessment.

Mark Wilder, local instrumentalist/composer and owner of Wilder2 Marketing Partners, serves as the Music4Life Program Coordinator. Other community members who are interested in kids, instrumental music or education are welcome to participate.

The booster club develops resources for musical instrument repairs. Music4Life has relationships with several local musical instrument repair shops, including Bigfoot Music of Marysville/Arlington, Kennelly Keys Music in Lynnwood, Ted Brown Music in Tacoma and Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah. All vendors provide discounts to Music4Life for instrument repairs, as well as for purchases of new musical instruments. A downloadable Music4Life Donor Form must accompany all donated musical instruments.

Music4Life enjoys the support of notable music advocates and other community leaders. Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, has endorsed the program, saying, “This wonderful program begins with children in elementary school at a time when, if they’re interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that direct knowledge of instrumental music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all our children.”

Music4Life™ is supported in part by grants from 4Culture (formerly the Seattle-King County Arts Commission); the Highline Schools Foundation; the Everett Public Schools Foundation; OpenSquare; Knossos Foundation; the Hazel Miller Foundation; the Auburn Schools Foundation; the Kent Arts Commission; various local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs; the Community Foundation of Snohomish County; as well as by the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer; Seattle Symphony Orchestra; the Seattle Folklife Festival; Rafael Carrabba Violins; Encore Media Group; Lamar Advertising; 98.1 Classical KING FM; KNKX Radio; GMA Research; Cascade Symphony Orchestra; Randy Oxford Entertainment; the Stacy Jones Band; the Edmonds Center for the Arts; and others.

Music4Life™ has closed another record year by providing 2,036 ready-to-play musical instruments at no charge for use by students at eight Puget Sound public school districts. The instruments are valued at nearly $183,000. This is an increase of 12 percent in instruments and nine percent of the total value of those instruments from those delivered the previous school year. Included were 311 full-size instruments and 1,725 recorders (the little flute-like instruments that stick straight out of the mouth) to third- and fourth-graders to two public school districts.

“We are very grateful to all those donors of ‘lovingly used’ musical instruments who make our work possible,” says David Endicott, Music4Life Co-Founder and President. “It is people who have a trumpet, flute, clarinet, violin or other used musical instrument in their garage or attic and donate it to Music4Life who make participation in school-based instrumental music activities available for students in need.”

Endicott says “the reason we do this is because research show that students who participate in instrumental music activities do better in math, science, history, literature, international languages, reading & writing, even in computer science, in addition to what it teaches in terms of teamwork and self-discipline. These are advantages that should be available to all public school students regardless of a family’s ability to provide them a musical instrument. The sad fact is that many families today can’t even afford to rent a musical instrument for a son or daughter to play.”

Music4Life provides ready-to-play musical instruments at no charge to public school districts for use by students in need. The Seattle-based non-profit acquires instruments from adults who no longer need them and decide that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. Music4Life operates programs supporting Auburn, Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Northshore, Seattle and Shoreline Public Schools. Music4Life also accepts donations to help pay for instrument repairs. At least two other local public school districts are being considered for the program.

Music4Life enjoys the support of notable music advocates and other community leaders.  Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, has endorsed the program, saying, “This wonderful program begins with children in elementary school at a time when, if they’re interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that direct knowledge of instrumental music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all our children.”

Music4Life is supported in part by grants from 4Culture (formerly the Seattle-King County Arts Commission); the Highline Schools Foundation; the Everett Public Schools Foundation; OpenSquare; Knossos Foundation; the Hazel Miller Foundation; various local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs; the Community Foundation of Snohomish County; the Auburn Schools Foundation; as well as by the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer; Seattle Symphony Orchestra; the Seattle Folklife Festival; Rafael Carrabba Violins; Encore Media Group; Lamar Advertising; 98.1 Classical KING-FM; KNKX Radio; GMA Research; the Early Music Society of Seattle; Cascade Symphony Orchestra; the Washington State Blues Society; Randy Oxford Entertainment; the Stacy Jones Band; the Edmonds Center for the Arts; Kennelly Keys Music stores; Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah; Ted Brown Music; and others.

Pianos have been weighing heavily on our minds for the last few years. Why? Because Music4Life™ gets two or three calls nearly every week from people who want to donate their pianos. But most public schools already have pianos and what they need the most is to have those pianos tuned, a cost most find prohibitive.

Historically, when we’ve been offered an upright piano, we have to tried to sell it so we can take the cash from the sale and convert it into musical instruments that elementary school-aged kids say they want to play, such as trumpets, violins, flutes, clarinets, etc. And then in turn, we have to get most of those instruments professionally repaired, which requires even more cash.

All the while that this has been going on, we’ve had this feeling that we’re leaving money on the table by not accepting piano donations. No explanation was in sight, until we discussed the issue with Beth Wojick, former CEO of Seattle SeaFair and a member of the Music4Life Advisory Board.

Beth’s suggestion was to turn the whole concept inside-out. She advised that we:

  1. Inventory the pianos in our school districts that need tuning (likely to be hundreds);
  2. Get bids from several geographically-distributed piano tuners to do this work (probably 40-50 pianos for each tuner);
  3. Raise funds separately from our normal repair budget to pay for their work; and then
  4. Get the work done!

Result? The education of MANY STUDENTS will be enhanced! We call this innovative new program “Beth’s Piano Strategy.”

We have developed a list of local piano tuners that we have shared with each of our school district representatives to see if any are considered unqualified. After direct calls to several tuners, it appears they are interested in participating.

Next steps will be to ask for bids from those piano tuners, which will give us a dollar goal for fund raising. As we begin this program, no funds will be used for other mechanical repairs that might be needed. In fact, if a piano needs other mechanical repairs, it will be disqualified for tuning at this time. Also, no funds from our normal repair budget will be used.

“Beth’s Piano Strategy” is an emergent program. If ultimately successful, it can be done for hundreds of school pianos at the beginning of each school year. Stay tuned for more updates, and please spread the word to anyone who would like to contribute to the success of this program that we would gratefully accept donations here .

May is “Music4Life Month” say County Executives Dow Constantine and Dave Somers, as well as the mayors and city councils of several cities in King and Snohomish Counties.

Music4Life the Seattle-based non-profit that acquires “lovingly used” musical instruments from adults who no longer need them, gets them repaired and then provides them to participating public school districts for use by elementary-aged students of low income families. Besides Seattle Public Schools, Music4Life also operates programs supporting Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Mukilteo, Northshore and Shoreline Public Schools. The program acquires used instruments from adults who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. With adequate resources, Music4Life also buys new musical instruments for school districts.

“Summer is when we have to focus on getting used musical instruments repaired and ready-to-play so that students this fall can start to use them as soon as they are enrolled in school,” says David Endicott, co-founder and president of Music4Life. “We’re very grateful to Dow Constantine, Dave Somers and the mayors of our participating communities for their support in drawing attention to this critical educational need.”

Proclamations declaring city support for the Music4Life initiative have been enacted by Burien, Des Moines, Shoreline in King County and by Edmonds, Everett and Mill Creek in Snohomish County. Endicott expressed thanks to the mayors and city councils of those communities for supporting the initiative.

“The reason this is so important is because research shows that students who participate in instrumental music programs tend to do better in math, science, history, literature, computer science, international languages, reading, writing and other academic disciplines,” Endicott says. “This is in addition to what they learn in terms of teamwork and self-discipline.

“All this is true, unless their parents can’t afford to get them a musical instrument in the first place. And in today’s economy, many parents can’t afford to rent a musical instrument. To this extent, Music4Life is just as much an ‘education program’ as it is a ‘music program.’”

One recent national report found that half of all public school students are from income-eligible families that qualify for participation in the Free-and-Reduced-Lunch program. The Puget Sound area is no exception.

“Our hope is that adults who know of Music4Life will donate their musical instruments to us now so we can get them repaired over the summertime,” Endicott says. “An instrument Donor Form that must accompany the instrument is available for downloading on our website.”

Music4Life enjoys the support of notable music advocates and other community leaders. Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, has endorsed the program, saying, “This wonderful program begins with children in elementary school at a time when, if they’re interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that direct knowledge of instrumental music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all our children.”

Music4Life is supported in part by grants from the Hazel Miller Foundation, First Choice Health; 4Culture (formerly the Seattle-King County Arts Commission); the Knossos Foundation; various local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs; the Highline and Northshore Schools Foundations; as well as by the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer; Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Cascade Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonds Center for the Arts, Kennelly Keys Music stores, Ted Brown Music, Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah, the Guitar Center stores and others.

Here’s a great article from the Everett Herald about the recent donation of a grand piano to Everett High School.

This award from Washington Music Educators Association is another indication that Music4Life™ is making a difference in kids’ music education!

Would you love to know how Music4Life did in 2017? We sure want to tell you!

Our 2017 Annual Report is now available! Download it here.

Thanks to Q13 TV News for the great feature about Music4Life. Check out the link below:

Music4Life Program Puts Instruments into Hands of Hundreds of Local Students

Music4Life, the Seattle-based non-profit that provides ready-to- play musical instruments for use by public school students in need, reports it experienced double-digit growth last year. The organization delivered 276 instruments to participating public school districts by the end of August, compared with 143 instruments delivered the previous year. The total value of the instruments also increased significantly to nearly $169,000. Fair market value is determined by independent third-party music experts.

Music4Life provides musical instruments to participating schools for students in need. The Seattle-based non-profit acquires instruments from adults who no longer need them, gets them repaired (if possible) and then provides them to participating public school districts for use by students in need. Besides Seattle Public Schools, Music4Life also operates programs supporting Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Mukilteo and Shoreline Public Schools. Programs for Bremerton and Northshore Public Schools were recently added. The program acquires used instruments from those who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. Music4Life also accepts donations to help pay for instrument repairs.

“This growth was unexpected but certainly appreciated,” says David Endicott, Music4Life Co-Founder and President/COO. “We believe it was mainly because of the addition of the Everett program last November, significant new free advertising support and the simplification of internal operating procedures.” He says the organization operates with local booster clubs on a fiscal year that begins each September 1st.

Growth reports being reported to participating booster clubs were (the fair market value of instruments delivered is in parentheses):

Endicott says several other instruments were provided to Seattle Music Partners, another non-profit providing after-school lessons, and to new programs for Bremerton and Northshore schools at the end of August. Decreases are reported for Edmonds and Mukilteo because both are rebuilding their Music4Life Booster Clubs.

Music4Life encourages school districts first to provide the instruments to the youngest possible students to give them something meaningful and fun to do with their time. Students receiving instruments may use them for anything they wish as long as they are enrolled in the school district. If they leave the district for any reason, such as graduation or their parents change residencies, the instruments must be returned to the school
district so other students in need can use them. “We estimate that a repaired instrument has a useful life of anywhere from two or three years to as many as 15 or more,” Endicott says. “This means that three, four or even five more students can benefit from their use.”

Music4Life enjoys the support of notable music advocates and other community leaders. Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, has endorsed the program, saying, “This wonderful program begins with children in elementary school at a time when, if they’re interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that
direct knowledge of instrumental music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all our children.”

Music4Life is supported in part by grants from the First Choice Health; the Hazel Miller Foundation, 4Culture (formerly the Seattle-King County Arts Commission); the Knossos Foundation; various local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs; the Highline and Northshore Schools Foundations; as well as by the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer; Seattle Symphony Orchestra; the Seattle Folklife Festival; Rafael Carrabba Violins; Seattle Music Partners; Lamar Advertising; Encore Media Group; GMA Research; Cascade Symphony Orchestra; Randy Oxford Entertainment; the Edmonds Center for the Arts; Kennelly Keys Music stores; Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah; Donn Bennett Drums; Emerald City Guitars; Ted Brown Music; Bischofberger Violins; Olsen Violins; InMove.com and others.

With the delivery this morning (August 30th) of four musical instruments:

  1. a French horn to Shoreline Public Schools and
  2. two violins and a French horn to Everett Public Schools

Music4Life™ has delivered 286 ready-to-play instruments since Sept. 1, 2016 to our participating schools/school districts and very nearly doubled its productivity from last year (2015-2016).

When asked how that can happen, all we can say is:

  1. We benefited from new ads that began appearing in Encore Media Group publications (Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific NW Ballet and about a dozen others) starting February
  2. We added a new program, Everett Public Schools, that has a very active Booster Club and received at least 90 of those 286 instruments
  3. We benefited from some management changes that clarified and simplified our processes

Music4Life is starting a new program to provide ready-to-play musical instruments to students attending Everett Public Schools. The announcement comes from Dr. Gary Cohn, Everett Superintendent, and David Endicott, President/COO of Music4Life.

“We’re delighted to launch this new partnership with Music4Life for our kids in the Everett Public Schools,” Superintendent Cohn says. “As we re-establish strings at our elementary schools and a full orchestra program in the district, and we continue to seek ways to make our remarkable band programs accessible to children whose families cannot afford instruments, Music4Life comes to our aid. The Music4Life folks will make it possible for many more of our students to gain the thrill of fully participating in a band or orchestra without worrying about where they will get an instrument. Bravo to David Endicott and the Music4Life team!”

Get the complete Press Release

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Music4Life™ helped 143 students in need with the delivery of ready-to-play musical instruments across our five-school district-based programs during the 2015-16 school year. The instruments had an estimated retail value of $102,323. Each instrument has an expected life of five to ten years, so other students will benefit in future years, as well.

This 3/4 double-bass was presented in September to Edmonds Public Schools. The hard-to-find instrument was donated by Kathy Bloomerand her husband Ed Weinberger as they were downsizing from their Wedgewood-area home. Kathy said to use the instrument wherever we wanted. It’s an example of how Music4Life™ brings added value to schools and school districts by providing instruments they never would have found. Shown with the double-bass is Dave Wilson, Co-Owner of Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah, who did the work on the instrument.

The seventh annual “Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Festival” was a sunny success this year with gross receipts of $65,000. Produced by the Rotary Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park, the event is expected to produce $15,000 for the Music4Life™ program supporting Highline Public Schools.

Music4Life™ is on the lookout for a Baby Grand piano for Superintendent Gary Cohn of Everett Public Schools. “We’ll put it to good use,” Dr. Cohn says. Please let us know if you know someone willing to donate a Baby Grand by calling 206-409-3275.

This is one of four Tang (Chinese) drums donated to Music4Life™ by the coffee giant Starbucks. We’re looking for a school that has a special appreciation for Chinese music and can use four original Chinese-made Tang drums.