Music instruments

Here’s how to help kids access musical instruments


Isaiah Jones holds a piccolo as he poses for a portrait at his home in Monroe, Louisiana, July 12.  While Jones usually plays the flute, he doesn't own one and actually built his first from mismatched pieces of old broken ones.

Isaiah Jones didn’t know that talking about his struggle to find a musical instrument could inspire people to help other students.

Jones, 18, was active at the Strauss Theater when his manager asked him to do an interview with the Arts Council of Northeast Louisiana. He told Community Development Coordinator Danielle Kelley Tolbird that he was part of the Carroll High School group and that he wanted more funding for the arts.

“I was playing the flute, and the flute I was playing – I had to put it together from … it was a whole bunch of different flutes, and I had to, for example, get different parts of each flute to make it into it. make one that works and that was right and everything, ”Jones said. “It’s just because there isn’t enough focus in music. There is always more focus in sport.”

Debora Colvin, a board member for the Arts Council, was moved by her story, and a few weeks ago Jones received a text telling her that the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council is hosting a reader of instruments inspired by him.

“I was like, dang, yeah, it’s amazing because we really need that help at our school,” Jones said. Other better funded schools do not have the same problems. “I’m glad she got away with this.

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“Let’s show solidarity! »Until August 17th. Anyone who owns a new or used musical instrument is encouraged to donate it to one of the three drop-off sites in the parish of Ouachita: the main branch of the Ouachita parish library, Matt’s Music or the library of the branch of the Ouachita valley.

Jones said his school’s music program is getting help from additional fundraisers. Group directors pay out of pocket to have instruments repaired and help students raise funds.

Jones performed in a band in college and for three years in high school. During Jones’ senior year, he had a job and didn’t have time for extracurricular activities.

That didn’t stop him from becoming Carroll’s Student of the Year.

He plans to attend Louisiana State University Honors College in the fall and major in computer science, and he hopes to audition for the group in the spring after acclimating to his course schedule.

“His drive and determination to study the arts inspired me and made me realize that too many of us take arts education for granted,” said Colvin. “How many of us have an old saxophone or a trumpet in the closet?” If you haven’t picked it up in a few years, why not gift some music to a local student who might not have the chance to be a part of the marching band otherwise? “

Isaiah Jones holds a piccolo as he poses for a portrait at his home in Monroe, Louisiana, July 12.  While Jones usually plays the flute, he doesn't own one and actually built his first from mismatched pieces of old broken ones.

There isn’t enough funding to support all of the programs, Jones said, so third parties could help band kids who need help.

“I loved playing the clarinet in high school. I learned to play an instrument, but I also learned to work as a team, improvise and solve problems, ”said Barry C. Stevens, President and CEO of the Canada Council. “Generally speaking, band programs are grossly underfunded. Children who want to play in the group need to have access to instruments, and the Arts Council tries to help them.

Matt’s Music will inspect and repair the donated instruments, and MidCity Storage has donated an air-conditioned unit to store them. Instruments will be donated to group programs based on need and impact as indicated by group directors at participating high schools in Monroe City and Ouachita Parish School Systems.

“If you are really passionate about music and have a passion for kids who love music, that would be a perfect reason to donate,” Jones said.

A press release contributed to this report.

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Want to help?

The places of deposit are:

  • Main Branch Library, 1800 Stubbs Ave., Monroe
  • Matt’s Music, 3996 Breard St., Monroe
  • Ouachita Valley Branch Library, 601 McMillan Road, West Monroe

Instruments can be donated until August 17.


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