SEATTLE, Washington Music4Life today reports delivering nearly as many musical instruments in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 school year when compared with its previous 12-month period. The western Washington-based non-profit delivered musical instruments worth $157,099 in 2019-20 compared with $157,221 of instruments delivered in 2018-19 to ten participating public school districts. Each musical instrument receives a fair market value after repairs are completed as determined by independent vendor-experts.
Music4Life is a non-profit that provides donated and repaired musical instruments at no charge to ten local public school districts so all students may participate in school-based instrumental music activities. Music4Life mainly benefits students participating in free or reduced lunch programs.
“This really is an astonishing accomplishment,” says Music4Life Co-Founder and Chairman/CEO David Endicott, “especially when you realize that we basically did in just six months what had taken us the entire previous 12 months to do.” The program delivered 240 ready-to-play musical instruments to Auburn, Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Kent, Marysville, Northshore, Seattle and Shoreline Public Schools. Each instrument has a remaining useful life of three-to-15 years, meaning that multiple students may benefit from its use.
Research shows that students who participate in school 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,” Endicott says, “they are effectively barred from getting the full basic education guaranteed to them by the Washington State Constitution. And the sad fact is that, in today’s pandemic economy, many families cannot even afford to rent a musical instrument. So Music4Life is just as much an equal opportunity program as it is an instrumental music program.”
Ready-to-play musical instruments are provided to these school districts for use by students in any musical activity they choose, as long as they stay enrolled in that public school district. “We figure that the more they use them, the better they’ll get,” Endicott says. “If they leave the school district for any reason, such as graduation or the family moves, the instrument needs to be returned to the school district so another student can benefit from its use.”
“Local enthusiasts who share our values of service to ‘kids,’ ‘instrumental music’ or ‘education’ are welcome to join us,” Endicott says.