Music4Life, the Seattle-based non-profit that provides ready-to- play musical instruments for use by public school students in need, reports it experienced double-digit growth last year. The organization delivered 276 instruments to participating public school districts by the end of August, compared with 143 instruments delivered the previous year. The total value of the instruments also increased significantly to nearly $169,000. Fair market value is determined by independent third-party music experts.

Music4Life provides musical instruments to participating schools for students in need. The Seattle-based non-profit acquires instruments from adults who no longer need them, gets them repaired (if possible) and then provides them to participating public school districts for use by students in need. Besides Seattle Public Schools, Music4Life also operates programs supporting Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Mukilteo and Shoreline Public Schools. Programs for Bremerton and Northshore Public Schools were recently added. The program acquires used instruments from those who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. Music4Life also accepts donations to help pay for instrument repairs.

“This growth was unexpected but certainly appreciated,” says David Endicott, Music4Life Co-Founder and President/COO. “We believe it was mainly because of the addition of the Everett program last November, significant new free advertising support and the simplification of internal operating procedures.” He says the organization operates with local booster clubs on a fiscal year that begins each September 1st.

Growth reports being reported to participating booster clubs were (the fair market value of instruments delivered is in parentheses):

Endicott says several other instruments were provided to Seattle Music Partners, another non-profit providing after-school lessons, and to new programs for Bremerton and Northshore schools at the end of August. Decreases are reported for Edmonds and Mukilteo because both are rebuilding their Music4Life Booster Clubs.

Music4Life encourages school districts first to provide the instruments to the youngest possible students to give them something meaningful and fun to do with their time. Students receiving instruments may use them for anything they wish as long as they are enrolled in the school district. If they leave the district for any reason, such as graduation or their parents change residencies, the instruments must be returned to the school
district so other students in need can use them. “We estimate that a repaired instrument has a useful life of anywhere from two or three years to as many as 15 or more,” Endicott says. “This means that three, four or even five more students can benefit from their use.”

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 the First Choice Health; the Hazel Miller Foundation, 4Culture (formerly the Seattle-King County Arts Commission); the Knossos Foundation; various local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs; the Highline and Northshore Schools Foundations; as well as by the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer; Seattle Symphony Orchestra; the Seattle Folklife Festival; Rafael Carrabba Violins; Seattle Music Partners; Lamar Advertising; Encore Media Group; GMA Research; Cascade Symphony Orchestra; Randy Oxford Entertainment; the Edmonds Center for the Arts; Kennelly Keys Music stores; Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah; Donn Bennett Drums; Emerald City Guitars; Ted Brown Music; Bischofberger Violins; Olsen Violins; and others.