“Bringing Music to Life Donates Used Instruments to Low-Income Schools”


Students of East Middle School in Grand Junction with their donated instruments.

In 2009, Steve Blatt noticed something missing in many schools’ music programs: instruments. Working as the head of community outreach at Colorado Public Radio, he decided to launch an instrument drive.

“In talking with a number of musicians who were also music teachers, [it came up] that even when schools had music programs, they often didn’t have enough instruments,” Blatt explains. “So all the kids who wanted to take part couldn’t take part. So we thought, ‘Well, why don’t we try this — people probably have old instruments in the house that they’re no longer playing. What if we collected those and made them available to schools?’”

In its first year, the drive collected ninety instruments. Then Blatt’s group took a year off to refine the logistics and ensure that each instrument was actually playable.

During that time, Blatt met with the president of the Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology, Dan Parker, who offered to contribute repairs at half price.

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