Delaware program puts used musical instruments back in use

A Delaware school district hopes to put used and refurbished musical instruments into the hands of youngsters who otherwise might not be able to afford them. 

The Colonial School District has collected about 20 instruments so far through the “Instruments for Kids” program, and is hoping for more.

“We have found that a lot of times our students would rent instruments, but because of their family situations, weren’t able to continue the payments on them,” Colonial Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Franklin “Bud” Read says.  Since the word went out to the community, Read says “we have collected everything from flutes to euphoniums at this point.”

Often, the instruments have been gathering dust in basements or attics and had gone unused since an adult’s days in a high school band or orchestra.  Some of the instruments needed to be fully refurbished, while others that were more gently-used needed just minor touch-ups.  The Colonial Education Foundation is funding the costs of the repair work.

The program targets students in fourth or fifth grade, when a youngster is most likely to take up an instrument. 

While Read says having more youngsters involved will help build up the music program throughout the district, he believes it’s the young musicians who will benefit the most.

“They’re going to be building on their academic skills.  They’re going to be building on their social skills.  They’re working collaboratively with a group,” Read says.  “These are all skills that are going to benefit them as they go into adulthood.”

Anyone who is interested in donating a used musical instrument may bring it to any school in the Colonial School District.  Forms for a tax deduction are available.  For more information call the district at 302-323-2728.

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