By Music4Life Co-Founder and President David Endicott, July 23, 2019.
Music4Life is starting an assertive effort to reach out to families with students who qualify for free school meals.
The new program’s purpose is to tell families that their students may be able to receive a playable musical instrument at no charge.
The new outreach effort begins with students attending Highline or Everett Public Schools.
Music4Life provides donated and repaired musical instruments 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 that their highest and best use is to put them back into play.
Music4Life operates programs supporting Auburn, Central Kitsap, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Kent, Northshore, Seattle, and Shoreline Public Schools.
Music4Life also accepts donations to help pay for instrument repairs.
We are convinced that many families in-need don’t allow their children to participate in school-based instrumental music activities because they know they cannot afford to buy a musical instrument.
Many families can’t even afford to rent a musical instrument. Not all children want to participate, of course, but the loss of many of these children is detrimental to school music programs and to the students themselves.
We encourage the parents of these students to contact their school instrumental music teachers to establish their eligibility. Teachers understand that family need is very privileged information and will keep it confidential.
The music teacher then can contact their school district’s Music4Life coordinator, who’s been appointed by the superintendent of a participating public school district, to see if a musical instrument the student wishes to play can be made available.
Not all instruments may be available. They are donated to us for repair and we can’t provide what we don’t have. But I’ve found that many things are possible when you have the will. It’s unfortunate when a family opts-out before they see what we can do.
Music4Life has launched an assertive program that includes notices in school district publications, publicity, advertising in partner publications, booth appearances at school district fairs and other activities.
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 Auburn, Everett, Highline & Kent Schools Foundations; Windermere Real Estate; Knossos Foundation; the Hazel Miller Foundation; various local Rotary, Kiwanis & other service 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; Lamar Advertising; Encore Media Group; 98.1 Classical KING-FM; KNKX Radio; GMA Research; 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.