Student leads drive to collect musical instruments for kids | March 28, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Arts & Entertainment - March 28, 2012

Student leads drive to collect musical instruments for kids

Inspired by his experiences working with under-privileged kids whose schools don't have enough money to offer music classes or buy instruments, Woodside Priory senior Ryan Young has launched a drive to donate musical instruments to benefit local students in need.

Ryan is partnering with the nonprofit Music in the Schools Today (MUST) in the instrument donation campaign, which is accepting new and used musical instruments of any kind.

As a guitar teacher at the Bridge summer program for under-privileged middle school students, Ryan encountered kids who had never played an instrument, but who were so enthusiastic and dedicated "that I wanted to enable more students (to have) the opportunity to learn to play music," he wrote in a press release.

"Lots of families have used musical instruments that their children have outgrown or simply no longer use, and they are just taking up space," he said. "Now they can give another child the joy of music and themselves a tax deduction."

The instruments will be distributed by MUST, which funds and facilitates music programs in K-12 schools in the Bay Area.

Learning to play an instrument helps develop "life-long attributes including strong self-esteem, discipline, creativity and focus," MUST executive director Meg Madden noted in the press release. "Additionally, these skills can enhance a child's capacity to learn other academics like math and science."

The instrument drive ends on April 15. People interested in donating a new or used instrument can drop it off at any of three sites: Woodside Priory School's main office, 302 Portola Road in Portola Valley; Stanford Shopping Center's concierge office, next to the Polo-Ralph Lauren store; or Peninsula Music and Repair, 4335 El Camino Real, Suite 201, in Palo Alto.

Donors can also contact Ryan at to arrange for an instrument pick-up.

MUST will mail donation receipts for a tax deduction to donors.