An 11th annual effort to bring donated, restored instruments to underfunded Colorado Schools

The Instrument Drive at a Glance

  • The 2021 drive is Now through March 21 with 15 donation locations throughout the state.
  • While it is called an instrument drive, instruments are really the means, not the ends. What the drive is truly about is transforming children’s lives through music.
  • Mastering an instrument helps children develop life skills and self-esteem.
  • To date, more than 5,500 instruments, worth more than $2.5 million, have been awarded to hundreds of under-funded schools throughout Colorado, impacting the lives of 17,000 children.
  • All instruments are repaired so they are in excellent playable condition before they are put in the hands of students.
  • Even with deep discounts from our repair partners, instrument repairs are the single greatest item in the Bringing Music to Life budget.
  • All Colorado Title 1 schools with music classes are eligible to apply for instruments. Other schools with a majority of students on free or reduced-cost lunch can also apply.
  • School applications are reviewed by the Bringing Music to Life board.
  • Schools that are selected to receive instruments are notified and invited to an Instrument Presentation Event held in early August.
  • Bringing Music to Life was founded in 2014 to continue the instrument drives begun by executive director Steve Blatt at Colorado Public Radio.
  • The nonprofit is administered by an 11-member board of directors.

Nothing lifts spirits in troubled times like making music, and the annual Bringing Music to Life Instrument Drive intends to bring that gift to Colorado students in underfunded music programs. The annual drive, now in its 11th year, and adapted to ensure safe social distancing, will run from March 8-21.

Coloradans are asked to bring the gently-used band and orchestra instruments they no longer play to any of 15 donation locations across the state. All locations can be found on the Bringing Music to Life website donation page.

Even if you don’t have an instrument, you can still help by contributing to the repair fund. Donations go to repairing and refurbishing donated instruments, ensuring that they’re in excellent condition when awarded to students. Technicians at the Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology (CIOMIT) and Boomer Music Company in Fort Collins will repair the donated instruments for delivery to deserving school music programs before the start of the 2021-22 school year.

“Instrument repairs are the single greatest expense of the program, with the average repair costing us about $165,” explained Music to Life executive director Steve Blatt. “We especially thank CIOMIT for continuing to appraise and repair instruments at a 40% discount on labor.”

Title One schools that have a majority of students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches are encouraged to apply for instruments now through March 21 using the online application form. Bringing Music to Life will match qualifying schools with donated instruments.

For more information about Bringing Music to Life, visit Bringing Music to Life. See the online brochure here.

Bringing Music to Life is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center

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