OXFORD — Do you have an old instrument stored in a closet or attic?

The Oxford Elementary School is starting a loaner program for youngsters whose families may not be able to afford to buy or rent one.

Students in grades four through six are provided music lessons at the elementary school but because of the high cost of instruments, not many get involved, Carol Lundberg, a guidance teacher at the Oxford Elementary School, said.

“When I talked with students about a “Ted Talk” (a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks) I’d seen about how the brain fires up while the person is playing an instrument. The sad response was that most of them could not afford the cost of a rental,” she said.

Lundberg said the realization that very few students were involved in the instrument program because of the cost, sparked her longtime dream to create an instrument loaner program.

In June, she said she heard an announcement on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network about the return of the Music That Moves ME series to Maine Public Radio and, this year, to Maine Public Classical. As part of its music initiative, the station was also launching an instrument drive across Maine.

“I sent a quick note about my dream of a loaner program and asked if I might be able to receive some of the instruments,” Lundberg said. “I arrived in July (to the station headquarters) to a large room full of instruments. Cory Morrissey from MPBN and I filled three shopping carts with instruments that looked good enough.”

Lundberg said Brian Nadeau of Music Services and Main Street Music Studio in Brewer found the instruments were in good shape but needed some repair. Cost for repairs ranged between $75 and $400, she said.

Lundberg said Glen Sargent of Second Wind Music in Lincolnville is making the repairs and has not only provided a discount but donated a lot of his work.

“He is very excited about getting more student hands on instruments,” she said. “Our financial debt to Glen is currently $2,300. For a carload of 30 instruments, it is actually quite a bargain.”

Lundberg said she will fundraise throughout the school year, including having school dances.

Eventually she would like to expand the loaner program districtwide.

The instruments will be loaned for the school year. Program details are being worked out.

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PLEASE BOX IN

Donations sought

Lundberg is looking for donations of musical instruments (no pianos or drum sets, please) or a financial donation to pay for repairs.

Instruments may be dropped off at the following locations:

Oxford Elementary School, 79 Pleasant St., Oxford

Oxford Police and Fire Department, Route 26, Oxford

TD Bank, 1586 Main St., Oxford

MSAD 17, Central Office, 232 Main Street, Paris

Rainbow Federal Credit Union, 172 Pine St., Paris

Oxford Federal Credit Union, 54 Fair St., Norway

Financial contributions for instrument parts and repairs may be sent to:

Oxford Elementary School, 70 Pleasant St., Oxford, ME 04270. Please include a memo that the contribution is for the instrument program


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