Music for Schools

Our Music for Schools instrument lending library allows students to participate in their school’s band or orchestra program without the financial barrier that might otherwise prevent them. Working directly with schools and teachers, the instruments are loaned for the entire school year, free of charge. Since its inception in 2000, the lending library has grown from a small collection of core instruments to more than 1,000 of all types, all made possible through the generosity of instrument donors.

The Benefits of Music Education

Music is a Science
Music requires research. It is specific and demands exact acoustics. For instance, a conductor’s full score is a chart or graph, indicating frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once and with exact control of time.

Music is Mathematical
It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions, which must be done instantaneously.

Music is a Foreign Language
The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language. Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French. The language of music also incorporates notations, which represent a highly developed form of shorthand, using symbols to represent ideas.

Music is History
Music often reflects the environment and times of its creation. From music, children learn lessons about historical events, as well as the ethnic and cultural heritage reflected in the piece.

Music is Physical Education
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek, and facial muscles. Children who play music also show extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to sounds heard by the ear and interpreted by the mind

Music is Art
It develops insight and creates emotion. Through music, children learn to share their humanism, express thoughts and feelings, and contribute to the infinite and collective spirit we call “life.”
Provided by the Music Achievement Council

Additional Resources

Resource Lending Library
In addition to instruments, we also offer CDs, games, songbooks, state-adopted materials, and advocacy kits for student and teacher use.

Music Workshops and Presentations
Presentations can be scheduled for teachers, site councils, and community and parent groups.

Assistance with Curriculum Development
Music for Schools can assist schools in developing long-term goals and objectives for their music programs.

Apply for an Instrument

Applications are accepted only from teachers and not directly from students or parents.

Application Criteria
Complete a request for each student applying for an instrument. Please only submit applications for students you know to be responsible and capable of caring for an instrument. The parent(s) of the student and the student’s school will assume financial responsibility in the event of loss or damage to the instrument. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Priority is given to students with demonstrated financial need. However, because we want all of our library instruments to be used in school music programs each year, requests not based on financial need will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis after initial placements are made.

Though most requests occur at the beginning of the school year, applications are accepted throughout the year and are filled according to availability.

The music teacher or principal must check out and return the instrument. Borrowed instruments are on loan for the entire school year. Repairs for non-routine maintenance are the responsibility of the parent(s) or school, as needed. Upon return of the instrument, we ask that all repair and maintenance information be provided.

Teachers are responsible for ensuring proper use and handling of instruments by making the following commitments:

  1. Teach proper storage, use, cleaning, and maintenance of instrument(s).
  2. Ensure the student is attending classes and the instrument is being played.
  3. If a student drops out of music instruction, return the instrument immediately.
  4. Notify Music for Schools immediately in the event of instrument loss or damage.
  5. At the end of the school year, return the instrument by the due date and notify Music for Schools of all maintenance needs.


about Music for Schools and resources available for teachers and schools, please email Tracy Sawyer, Community Partnerships Supervisor, or call 707.800.7529.

Owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID #94-2581084). | Designed by Schipper Design | Built & Maintained by Inbound Design
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