I still remember an almost off-hand comment made by an Austin, Texas, musician. She had stopped to drop off a banjo for a musical instrument drive I was spearheading at another station a few years back. As she was filling out the donation form, she said, to no one in particular, "Music saved my life."
The room fell silent as she went on:
"My family was pretty dysfunctional. … Both my parents were alcoholics, and my home wasn’t really a safe place … so music was my escape. It gave me a way to express myself and something to work toward."
Almost anyone who has ever taken a music lesson or played in an ensemble has a story to tell about the life-changing effects of music. Some are humorous, and many are moving or even poignant. But most of those stories start with someone putting a musical instrument into the hands of an eager child.
The cost of buying, or even renting, a musical instrument is often beyond the means of many families—but that doesn’t mean that every child shouldn’t have the opportunity to reap the social, academic, developmental and emotional benefits of studying music.
Providing access to instruments is the idea behind Replay!, Classical 101’s instrument drive for Columbus City Schools music programs. We'll be collecting your new and gently used instruments, dusting them off and getting them into the 109 Columbus City Schools that offer music programs.
If you have an instrument that no one in your family is currently using, let that instrument sing again! And if you’re worried the instrument may need repairs, donate it anyway; those repairs are often minor and can be done by the music teachers. In any case, the cost of repairing an instrument is usually far less than the cost of buying a new one.
Cases, reeds, strings, rosin, cork grease, mouthpieces—all those accessories and more add to the cost of a child's music education, so please consider providing any of those if you don’t have an instrument to donate.
We'll be collecting Monday, July 31 through Friday, Aug. 4 at our WOSU Public Media offices in the Fawcett Center on Ohio State University's campus. We’re located at 2400 Olentangy River Road, and our offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day of the drive.
You can find more information at wosu.org/replay. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us share the joy and power of music. Donate your idle musical instruments to Replay! and help kids in Columbus learn and grow.
After all, the gift of music is lifelong.