MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you have an instrument collecting dust at home, consider donating it. Instrument donations made to the Memphis Music Initiative will go to students whose family may not have the means to get them one.
The Memphis Music Initiative increases free or affordable opportunities in music for primarily Black and Latino students. They do that through partnering and investing with programs in school, after-school and summertime.
The instrument donation drive begins Tuesday at 10 a.m. and runs through May 27.
“This is a wonderful way to pass that instrument on to somebody who is going to love it and play it and be able to really build their skills making great use of that gift," Rychetta Watkins, Memphis Music Initiative, Director of Grantmaking and Capacity Building program said.
MMI is accepting instrument donations like string instruments, guitars, band instruments (i.e., horns, flutes, clarinets, and the like), keyboards (no pianos), drum sets, and unused accessories (i.e., drumsticks, reeds, cleaning kits, valve oil, etc.).
Donations will be accepted at the MMI office near 198 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Ave. (former firehouse on the corner of BB King and MLK next to the FedEx Forum)
On Thursday, MMI will host a virtual showcase to highlight upcoming summer camps and art programs that are free and affordable for youth.
“The research shows us that music underscores and supports academic achievement but at the same time, especially in light of the trauma and isolation of the last year, that music helps with social emotional learning," Watkins said.
Watkins said the goal of MMI is to show students that they can pursue music in Memphis and not have to go to other cities to be successful. They can be successful here.
The virtual showcase begins at 7 p.m. on MMI's YouTube channel.
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MMI's showcase also serves as kickoff to a great weekend highlighting music organizations and talented youth at Stax Music Academy's Youth Music Biz conference, hosted in partnership with Ty Boyland Consulting. The event will run from May 21-22. The conference is a free virtual event that brings together music students, teachers, and professionals throughout the region for a complete youth workforce and skills development program. On the final day of the conference, Stax Music Academy will host the After The Bell Showcase on their Facebook page live, featuring spotlight messages from students on the joys and benefits of music education and recorded video performances from participating organizations. It is open to all middle and high school students and some will win door prizes during the conference. Conference participants must register here.