Author | Photo Kelly Sikkema

Give a Deserving Kid the Gift of Music This Year

If you’ve got an old musical instrument that is just collecting dust, now you can donate it to a great cause—and give a deserving kid the gift of music.

Music Canada Cares’ Three Rs Music Program rescues, restores and reunites musical instruments with students. School music programs are facing increased enrolment combined with aging inventory; students often have to share instruments, fundraise or even rent them. “Research showed that as instruments in the school system age, they require more frequent repair or replacement, the cost of which often exceeds the schools’ annual budgets. In addition, as our communities grow, demand for musical instruments increases,” says Sarah Hashem, the Managing Director of Music Canada Cares. “Our program was started out of a concern for equity access to music education.”

Sarah Hashem, Managing Director of Music Canada Cares

While The Three Rs Music Program is available to all schools, they pay special attention to students living in low-income housing, rural and remote communities. The instruments are refurbished at repair shops in their local communities (when possible) and connected with the young musicians.

Besides being able to provide instruments to young people across Ontario, they are also able to create a connection between their learning journey and members of their communities—sometimes even famous artists. “We recently made a surprise delivery accompanied by Jeremy Jury, the drummer from the Canadian Band the Strumbellas,” says Hashem. “It was heartwarming for us to see his donated drum set put into good use.”

Their hope is to inspire others to act in support of music education and for all instruments trapped in the dark to be played again. “No child should be denied the opportunity to experience the magic and power of music,” says Hashem. “Learning an instrument can spark a passion, a career interest, a life-long friendship and more importantly a means for self-expression. Music has many social and cognitive benefits that enrich the development of young minds and bring people together. ”

Want to help? You can drop off your unused musical instruments at locations throughout the GTA and Hamilton. Learn more here.

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