In suburban youth orchestras, a student owns or rents an instrument.  When it starts to crack or rattle, several adults interact.  Meanwhile, in the 'hood", tuition free music schools, which provide rent-free instruments, are tasked with procurement and upkeep.  The teaching artists (TA) that they hire are often part-time gigging professionals, who are paid by the hour to give group lessons to the kids.  Each TA FIRST has to tune up to 20 sets of strings before class can start. 

These TAs don't have the time or the training to address warped bridges or frozen fine tuners.  In too many small, independent inner city music schools, sound and appearance issues are just endured not repaired, due to lack of routine inspection and of subsequent cost.

These free schools do incredible work. The city has several hundred more violinists because these schools are willing to take on the challenges, and operate on a shoestring budgets.   


Elijah is a Palestinian refugee.  We had no instruments except an 3/4 size double base.  It tips him over when he tries to get it up the stairs.  There was no saying "no!"   If you have an idle bowed instrument collecting dust in your house, please consider kids like this.‚Äč