About the WQXR Instrument Drive

Nothing compares to the magic of playing your first note of music except giving that experience to someone else.

The WQXR Instrument Drive collected musical instruments between March 28 and April 7, 2014 from more than 2,000 generous donors throughout the Greater New York area. Working with our partners Sam Ash Music Stores, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, and the New York City Department of Education, WQXR will repair the instruments and proudly distribute them under-resourced school music programs throughout New York City beginning in the fall of 2014.

Teachers and administrators can submit an application for their school to be considered to receive instruments.

Inspired by Colorado Public Radio’s instrument drive and many other successful efforts nationwide, and in partnership with Sam Ash music stores and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, WQXR seeks to promote and strengthen music education throughout New York City. The WQXR Instrument Drive is generously supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support has been provided by a gift in memory of Dick H. Lewent, the Tiger Baron Foundation, The Heckscher Foundation for Children, The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, The Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

For specific questions, send us an email at InstrumentDrive@WQXR.org. But first, please consult our FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did you do an Instrument Drive?

A: WQXR believes in the power of music to change lives. Students who study music in school have higher grades, self-esteem, and graduation rates. Teachers have said that access to supplies is one of the biggest challenges they face.

Q: I donated an instrument. Where will it end up?
A: Most donated instruments go to New York City public schools that can support a successful music education program but are currently underfunded. Some select instruments may go to community music schools or programs within New York City.

Q: Is my donation tax deductible?
A: Yes. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and all community music schools eligible to receive instruments are 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations. Your donation form will serve as an acknowledgement for your records.

Q: How are the schools selected?
A: The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation works closely with schools to determine their needs. The criteria guidelines for applying are:

  • Public, private and charter schools may apply, however, schools must serve a population of at least 65% that participate in the National Lunch Program. Private schools that do not participate in the National Lunch Program must serve a minimum of 65% of students that attend at no cost due to low income status.
  • Schools must have an established instrumental music program (i.e. concert band, marching band, jazz band and/or orchestra) that is at least three years old and takes place during the regular school day. If your school offers Orff/classroom music only, it is not eligible to apply.
  • Schools must have an instrumental music teacher who has been with the school for a minimum of two consecutive years.
  • Schools must have an existing inventory of instruments.
  • Schools must apply individually. Please provide information for the applying school only, do not include information for other schools within the district even if the music teacher teaches at more than one school.

Q: How can my school get donated instruments?
A: Teachers and administrators can submit an application for their school to be considered to receive instruments.

Q: Are charter schools able to apply?
A: Yes, as long as they meet the above guidelines.

Q: Will I know who gets my instrument?
A: We will absolutely let you know which school or music program your instrument will benefit in September when the placement has been determined.

Q: I wasn’t able to donate an instrument, are there other ways in which I can support the Drive?
A: The Instrument Drive is one of the many ways in which WQXR serves our community. You can make a monetary donation to support WQXR and all the work we do by clicking here. We also encourage you to help us spread the word. Please share the information on wqxr.org/kids with your social networks, colleagues, friends and family.

Q: Can I still donate an instrument?
A: We are no longer collecting instruments in the WQXR drive, but if you have instruments you would like to donate, please contact the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation here

Q: Will this be an annual event?
A: We will be continuing the drive in 2015.  We hope to be able to continue annually.



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