Are you a musician who has an extra instrument lying around that you’re not using? Or are you a music enthusiast looking for a way to give back to your community in a meaningful way? Have you ever considered donating your musical instruments?
Donating your unused or gently used instruments is an incredible way to support new and aspiring musicians in the community who may not be able to afford the cost of purchasing their own. Not only that, you are helping the planet by reusing rather than someone buying new.
Donating your unused musical instruments can have a huge positive impact on communities locally and around the world. From providing students with access to music education to inspiring adults with newfound creativity, donating an instrument is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. To make sure your donation has the biggest possible impact, here are some tips to help you get started.
Which Instruments Can Be Donated?
Let’s take a look at which instruments can be donated.
String instruments such as violins, cellos, and guitars are all great options for donation. String instruments require some basic maintenance such as restringing and cleaning but with just a few supplies from any local music store, these repairs can be done easily. Most schools and organizations that accept donations require that the instrument is in playable condition before they will accept it.
Woodwind instruments like flutes, oboes, clarinets, and saxophones are also great choices when it comes to donations. These types of instruments tend to need more maintenance than string instruments as they have many more small parts that need periodic replacing or repair. Before donating woodwind instruments, it is important to have them checked out by a knowledgeable technician who can make sure all the parts are in good working order.
Brass instruments like trumpets, trombones, and tubas are also great candidates for donation. Brass instruments can be quite expensive so if you’re looking for ways to give back without breaking the bank then this could be an excellent option for you. Make sure that all valves work properly before donating any brass instrument as leaking valves can make them difficult or impossible to play correctly.
There is a great diversity of percussion instruments that make great donations. Simple percussion instruments are great for beginners, while drum sets can be prohibitively expensive for aspiring musicians. Always take a careful look to make sure the instruments are in good working condition before donating them.
Large instruments can be challenging but there are also great organization like Keys 4/4 Kids that work specifically with them. They can be difficult or expensive to move, but they can also be a wonderful gift to individuals, schools, community centers and music centers. When working with a large instrument like a piano, it may often be best to be in contact and have details set out before moving forward with the donation. That ensures everyone has a good outcome.
Unique and unusual instruments may be more difficult to find, and therefore in greater demand, especially by smaller organizations or aspiring musicians without great means. It might take a little more to find the right home, but like any treasure hunt, well worth the effort .
In short, any musical instrument can be donated - It just needs to find the best new home.
Where Can You Donate Musical Instruments?
The first step in donating an instrument is finding organizations that accept donations. This can be a daunting task if you don't know where to start, Here are our top three suggestions to get you there without hassle.
Use a Search
Donate Good Stuff is one of the easiest one-stop shop for finding a new home for any donation. There, you can type donations into the search and you'll find out what nearby organizations need them, what they do with them, when, and how to donate, all with one click.
Look Locally and Abroad
There are popular organizations like Youth Advantage in Stillwater, MN which focuses on the opportunity for children to find and pursue their passion and helps providing instruments and resources to do that; Instruments in the Cloud in Minneapolis, or (in and outside of the US) Hungry for Music which shares instruments and musical experiences to children who would not otherwise have the opportunity can experience a kind of freedom and self-discovery that is often stifled in an atmosphere of economic hardship.
A very personal and simple way to start is by reaching out directly to musicians you know to find out if there are people in your neighborhood or city that could benefit from donated instruments. You an also consider contacting your local community center or music school. Many schools are always looking for donations so they can provide students with access to quality instruments. You can also reach out directly to teachers or directors who may be able to connect you with someone who needs an instrument. Additionally, there may be churches or other places of worship near you that would benefit from donated instruments—you just need to reach out and ask!
Before You Donate: Repair and Prepare
Before donating your instrument anywhere, check if it needs any repairs done beforehand. Depending on the instrument's condition and age, it may need some TLC before it's ready for its new home—but don't worry! If you contact any of the organizations mentioned earlier they will likely be able to connect you with a technician who can help repair your instrument for a reasonable fee. That way, when you donate it won't require additional investment from its new owner before they're able to start using it. If it has been sitting for a while in a closet or basement, make sure it is free of dust and dirt, and hasn't been exposed to mold or strong smells. This way, the next musician can enjoy it from day one. If there are issues or the instrument is beyond repair, or if you have any reservations, don't donate it. However, some instruments can be donated for artistic purposes or for materials re-use. Consider other ways for the item to be enjoyed in more creative ways.
Donating a musical instrument is a great way to bring joy into someone else’s life - from stringed instruments like violins and cellos, wind-powered woodwinds like flutes and clarinets, and brass horns such as trumpets and trombones, to drums and pianos. Donating an instruments is a wonderful opportunity to give the gift of music while helping the environment because you are reusing existing instruments instead of someone having to buy new ones! All it takes is some basic cleaning or maintenance before donating your unwanted musical instrument so your instrument is in good repair so its recipient (possibly a new and aspiring musician!) has a great experience. Taking a little time to find organizations that accept donations is worth it so that your contribution makes an impact. By following these simple steps we guarantee that your donation will have maximum impact.
Share the Gift of Music