Total Instruments Delivered

Music4Life™ has delivered 133 full-size and ready-to-play musical instruments, plus 1,290 recorders for our program with the Seattle Symphony, all valued at $92,172, to its 12 participating public school districts since Sept. 1, 2023. All instrument values are after repairs have been completed and are estimated by our independent third-party vendor-experts.

Intended for use by the students of income-qualified families, each instrument is a “loaner” that must be returned when the student leaves the school district (due to graduation, family moves to another school district, etc.) so another student of a family in-need can benefit from its use.

Largest Single Grant Ever

An anonymous donor has provided the single largest financial contribution ever received by Music4Life: $26,000. This is intended as a matching grant. Further, the donor has pledged that this will be an annual donation and that they will consider including Music4Life in their will. Our Rule No. 1 has always been “to honor the donor’s wishes” (whether of a musical instrument or a financial donation), so details about how the grant will be used are being worked out with the donor. Participating public school districts should expect a sizeable impact starting this new fiscal year, 2024-25, if not sooner.

New Chapter Serves the Lake Washington School District

picture of Superintendent Jon Holman Our newest and 12th Chapter is officially serving the students of the Lake Washington School District. Kudos go to Dr. Gary Cohn, President of Kirkland Rotary and former State Superintendent of the Year (2017, Everett Public Schools). Already endorsed by Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen, the Founding President of the Lake Washington Chapter is Prof. Jocelyn Reiter Ellison, Professor Emerita from the University of Arizona where she was Director of Graduate Studies in Music. Jocelyn welcomes all who care about “kids,” “instrumental music” or “education” to join the Chapter team. Soon expected to be announced is our 13th Chapter serving the students of Issaquah P.S.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

picture of Claire Hawkins Foster Garvey PC and attorney Claire Hawkins have provided invaluable pro bono legal assistance to Music4Life. Since Music4Life's inception in 2007, Claire and her team have been instrumental in key initiatives for Music4Life, including the challenging process of establishing non-profit status. Our collaborative partnership together reflects Foster Garvey’s strong commitment to supporting community programs nationwide and engaging in pro bono efforts across various causes to promote educational and artistic development. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Claire and the entire team at Foster Garvey for their ongoing support and immense dedication to making a positive impact with their exceptional legal acumen.

Linked Up Program with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Picture of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra audienceAs many as 1,290 Highline Schools students, mostly fourth graders, received recorders (the flute-like instrument that sticks straight out of the mouth) late last year. They spent a couple months learning to play their first musical instrument and were then invited to Benaroya Hall to play their recorders WITH the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO). Part of the SSO’s Link Up program, the students nearly filled the main floor sections of Benaroya Hall, with teachers, parents and others in the balconies supporting them. Highline Music4Life Chapter President Cathy Thompson says, “I can see that it could be life changing for children who do not otherwise have access to professional performances.” Yup. That’s Music4Life!!!

Music4Life Is A “Community Service” Activity

Music4Life has Chapters that are public school district based. Twelve in all right now. All have local team members, so we have our feet on the ground in all participating school districts. Even though we started as a Rotary activity, we’re now an independent 501-c-3 non-profit organization. We welcome members of Kiwanis, Lions, Soroptimists, Chambers and anyone else who shares our values and dedication to “kids,” “instrumental music” or “education.” Looking for something meaningful to do with your time? Just contact any of our Chapter presidents.

Instrument Repair Shops Are All Backed-Up

Many would like to think that the pandemic of Covid is behind us and resolved. Don’t try to tell that to the vendor/repair shops that do our work. Many skilled technicians were laid off or just lost their jobs during the pandemic and have had to go on to other things. As the shops started recovering, they found it difficult to get many of these workers back. The result has been a huge backlog of instrument repair work by nearly all vendor/repair shops. We’re trying to find more shops, but a result has been slowed delivery of instruments we approve for repairs.

We Use Two Metrics

How does Music4Life keep track of its impact on student musicians? We don’t identify individual students who get our ready-to-play musical instruments because family income information is VERY privileged. But we do keep track each year of the number of each musical instrument delivered to public school districts and the fair market value of each. The reason is simple: A piccolo and a piano are each counted as one instrument, but they have vastly different values. Same for an alto saxophone or a bassoon, etc. We not only track these two metrics by year, but by each participating public school district and by month of delivery. It’s all part of our ongoing effort to provide accountability.

Looking for Governing Board Members

Music4Life seeks volunteer Governing Board members. Those who share our values of “kids,” “instrumental music” or “education" are welcome to apply. We particularly seek those with marketing, development (fund raising) or finance expertise. Also welcome are those who are interested in service on one of our 12 local Chapter teams. If one of these describes you, just contact us at