SEATTLE, Washington Music4Life™ today reports delivering 298 Ready-to-play musical instruments during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 school year to its 11 participating public school districts. The instruments are free of charge to all school districts and represent a 24 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. The instruments have a fair market value of $145,632 as determined by independent vendor experts.
Music4Life.org is a non-profit that provides donated and repaired musical instruments at no charge to eleven local public school districts so all students may participate in school-based instrumental music activities. The organization is designed to benefit students of families in-need. "Need" is often demonstrated by participation 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 this was done in a pandemic environment." During 2019-20, Music4Life delivered 240 ready-to-play musical instruments to school districts. Participating are Auburn, Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Kent, Marysville, Northshore, Riverview, Seattle and Shoreline Public Schools.
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 education 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." Each instrument has a remaining useful life of three-to-15 years, meaning that multiple students may benefit from its use.
"Local enthusiast who share our values of service to 'kids,' 'instrumental music' or 'education' are welcome to join us," Endicott says.