You can give the gift of music!!!!

By
Real Estate Agent with Five Star Real Estate

I was at a holiday party last evening and ran into Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and his wife Susan.  As we were talking, I remembered that I'd seen an article in the Grand Rapids Press that the Grand Rapids Public Schools Student Advancement Foundation  has launched a campaign to raise funds and accept donations for musical instruments to update/upgrade the inventory so that all of the students who wish to play in band, have that opportunity.

It's a worthy program and wonderful goal!  Music can change the life of a young person, and there are many among us who may have a gift and a passion, but for purely lack of financial means, may never discover it.  In my travels through people's homes as they are preparing to move, it seems that the majority have some sort of musical instrument in a closet, in the basement, wherever, gathering dust.  Those instruments are just waiting for someone to hold them in their arms and press their lips against them and the result could be beautiful music. (Shame on you if you thought I was going in a different direction with that). :)

When Kirstin graduated from high school 5 1/2 years ago, we had her marching trumpet which she indicated she would be unlikely to ever play again.  I thought about putting an ad in the paper to sell it, but realized the $25 or $50 I might be able to get for the horn wouldn't change my life one bit.  So I took it to the store where I was taking my cello lessons and asked their techs to go over it, fix anything that needed fixing and get it back to me.

 I remembered when Jared was in 5th grade,I was new to real estate and the dollars were tight.  It was a HIGH PRIORITY in our home that the kids play in the band, so I found a way to buy a beat-up old trombone for him to start on.  Turns out, it was exactly the right thing to do.  He's now a professional Bass Trombonist who lives and works in the Cincinnati areas.  I wonder how many kids are out there that would fall into the same category if given a chance. Then I wonder how many of them have no chance short of this type of school program, to find out if it's their passion?

Then I reached out to a band director who was the son of a client to see if he had a student who had the desire but lacked the funds.  He did!  So I took the trumpet, together with a letter of encouragement to the student and one of my favorite trumpet cd's so he'd know what a well played trumpet sounded like.  It felt so good, I kept going.  I bought a few horns on e-Bay, sent a letter to my database asking if they had instruments that were gathering dust to consider letting me have them rehabbed so I could put them in the hands of these special students.

I got some very nice thank you notes from the young people.  I knew 6 or 7 directors around the area and I reached out to them when I had a horn ready to go.  Sadly, there was never a time that there wasn't a need. 

So if you are in or around the Grand Rapid area, and have a serviceable band instrument, I encourage you to reach out to Susan Heartwell to make arrangements to donate it to the cause.  If you do not, but are looking for a place where a monetary donation could REALLY CHANGE A LIFE!  Please consider writing a check. The need is great, the goal is $500,000 in instruments and dollars.

I'm confident that wherever you live, there's a similar need.  If you have musical dust collectors, please dust them off and help a young person discover their passion.  I know that for me, the thought that one of the instruments that I provided would light a fire, uncover a passion, was pretty compelling.  The hope that one day, I'd hear from a professional musician or band director that many years ago, they were given an opportunity by someone they didn't know, to have an instrument of their own, and that it changed their life, was all the thanks I needed.

 

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Tags:
band instruments needed
grand rapids public schools
grand rapids public schools student advancedment foundation
eric webster
five star

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
136,806
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate
This is a worthy cause Eric and I hope you get some results from your post.  The only dusty instrument I have around the house isn't musical!(:>)
December 16, 2007 08:03 PM #1
Rainer
48,135
Eric Webster
Five Star Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty
But I expect that he toots. :)
December 16, 2007 08:17 PM #2
Rainmaker
148,331
Tom Plant
WINEormous.com - Murrieta, CA
Eric - Music is such a wonderful gift. Thanks for this inspiring post.
December 18, 2007 08:30 AM #3
Rainmaker
374,933
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Eric, I've always admired your participation in this worthwhile project.  I love music and am so thankful that I was given the gift of learning how to play.  Thank you for contributing this to the Greater Grand Rapids Group.  Perhaps others who have instruments which they can donate will see it and participate too.
December 18, 2007 07:53 PM #4
Rainmaker
376,714
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Eric, this is a truly fantastic post!  I have met famous musicians whose first instrument was one that was given to them. 

Talented kids shouldn't lose their chance to experience learning an instrument because of a lack of finances.

December 18, 2007 08:09 PM #5
Rainer
48,135
Eric Webster
Five Star Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty

Lola: Thanks.  I was surprised when my program was mentioned at the Association Installation Breakfast last week.  Made me blush. :) It's very gratifying.

Last week a client put a Grandville band dad in touch with me.  It seems that they are getting ready to have a big event and premier a wonderful movie about a marching band and are thinking about doing a band instrument drive.  I talked to him today and told him about the GR Public School drive, and it sounded like it was the opportunity that they were looking for.

Stay tuned for more information about Grandville event. I'll write a blog post when I have more details.

Eric: Thanks for stopping in again and for you kind words.  There's a lot of talent out there, and I believe some of these kids could be excited enough about music that it may help them steer away from trouble.  Wouldn't that be a nice side benefit?


Happy Holidays to All!!!

December 18, 2007 08:19 PM #6
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Rainer
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Eric Webster

Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty
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