Read the PDF of the endorsement from Dr. Jon Holmen by clicking here.

Music4Life provides donated-and-repaired musical instruments at no charge for use by the public school students of families in-need. At the request of Superintendent Jon Holmen (see letter above) we added a Chapter serving students attending the Lake Washington School District in January 2024.

This Chapter was inspired by Dr. Gary Cohn, 2023-24 president of the Rotary Club of Kirkland, based on his experience with our successful Program serving Everett Public Schools. Gary retired as Everett Superintendent in 2019, having been named 2017 Superintendent of the Year for all of Washington state.

The Founding President of the Lake Washington Music4Life Chapter is Professor Jocelyn Reiter Ellison. Jocelyn retired as Professor Emerita from the University of Arizona where she was Director of Graduate Studies in Music. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Kirkland, where she serves as Chair of its Youth Service Committee.

Both Professor Ellison and Dr. Cohn welcome members of the community to the new Lake Washington Schools Music4Life Chapter. Anyone who shares our values of “kids,” “instrumental music” or “education” is welcome to participate. Financial donations to repair lovingly used musical instruments are provided by companies, foundations, government agencies and many individuals. If you have a musical instrument you’d like to donate click here, fill it out and follow the simple instructions.

Why do this? It’s because research shows that students who participate in school-based instrumental music activities do better in math, science, history, literature, international languages, reading and writing, even in computer science, in addition to what it teaches in terms of teamwork and self-discipline. Not all children want to participate in instrumental music activities, of course. But for those who do and whose families cannot afford a musical instrument, they are effectively barred from getting the full basic education guaranteed by the Washington Constitution. And the sad fact is that, even in today’s post-pandemic economy, many families cannot even afford to rent a musical instrument. So Music4Life is just as much an education program as it is an instrumental music program.

Dr. Jon Holmen
Lake Washington School District Superintendent