Playing A Musical Instrument Can Change A Child’s Life. Here’s How You Can Give The Gift Of Music In Columbus

From a very young age, I knew that music was going to be important in my life.

I come from a giant, musical family. With a piano in our house, a dad who played jazz trombone, and 4 older sisters who didn’t just love singing but were actually good at it, music was ever-present in my daily life as a child.

When it came time for me to choose an instrument in the 6th-grade band, I wasn’t sure which direction I’d head in. The only thing I knew for certain was that I didn’t want to play anything that anyone else in my family could play.

Being the youngest, I already knew that coming up in school behind my sisters would be a struggle. They had beautiful voices, played their instruments well, and were, in general, better than average at their chosen extra-curricular activities. I didn’t want to be compared to anyone else so I went with what I thought was the most off-the-wall option: the French Horn.

I was incredibly fortunate that my parents were able to find an instrument for me to use and that they didn’t have to buy one new, because that wouldn’t have been a feasible financial option.

Picking up an instrument has the power to change a student’s life. While I eventually switched from french horn to euphonium in high school, that decision to choose a challenging instrument literally changed the course of my life. Being a part of the band was hugely important to me. I made lifelong friends, learned valuable lessons about hard work, and even met my husband in band.

No matter what their parent’s financial situation is, each child deserves to have access to a musical instrument. The Columbus Music Commission thinks so too, which is why they are hosting The Gift of Music musical instrument drive. In partnership with Columbus City Schools, the collected instruments will be provided to students as a way to ensure access to music education and development.

2019 Gift of Music instrument drive, via Columbus Music Commission.

“Mastering a musical instrument is a key catalyst to the development of self-esteem, socialization skills, good citizenship and the mental health of our kids,” said Columbus Music Commission Executive Director Bruce Garfield. “Given school budget cuts and the financial hardships many families have faced due to COVID-19, the need to ensure children have access to musical instruments and music education is greater than ever. As a collective body, the people of central Ohio can come together to make a tremendous impact in a young person’s life.”

So if you have an instrument that’s sitting around collecting dust, please consider donating it to a student who needs it. On August 29-30 and September 5-6, new and gently used instruments, amplifiers, strings, electric keyboards, and accessories will be accepted. You can find the closest of 11 no-contact, curb-side drop off locations around central Ohio right here.

Last year, the Gift of Music campaign partnered with WOSU Classical 101’s Replay program to provided Columbus City Schools students with over 300 instruments. That’s $64,868 worth of instruments. So if you aren’t ready to part with your lucky Yamaha trumpet you’ve had for 20 years, I get it, and there’s still a way you can help.

You can donate money towards the purchase of new instruments by visiting the Gift of Music GoFundMe page. All donations are tax-deductible.

If music has made a difference in your life, please consider donating what you can to help another young musician find their place.

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