Teachers pick up instruments from Bringing Music to Life

For music teacher Amy Woodley, it's like Christmas in August. 9NEWS at 10 p.m. 08/29/15.

DENVER - For music teacher Amy Woodley, it's like Christmas in August. 

"Our kids are begging to play every year and we don't always have enough instruments," Woodley said.

She teaches instrumental music at nine different schools in Arvada. Woodley travels between them because each school does not have enough funding to support a full-time music teacher.

"We don't have a budget. So, this is lifeblood right here. This is how we get everything done," Woodley said.

But, she applied for help from Bringing Music to Life, a 9NEWS sponsored music instrument drive, which asks people from around Colorado to donate their old music makers to support schools.

"It's kind of recycling, I guess," Steve Blatt, Bringing Music to Life executive director, said. "People are taking something that they've used, that they've loved and are handing it off to kids that they never have met."

Locations around Colorado collected instruments over a two week period in March. The Colorado Institute of Music Instrument Technology repaired and restored the donations so they can be used the classroom. Saturday afternoon, teachers from 42 schools picked up more than 620 instruments that will be reused year after year.

"We estimate these could impact thousands of children, realistically could 3,000 or 4,000 kids," Blatt said. "Yeah, it's pretty big."

Woodley picked up 20 guitars to start at Mariachi program at two different schools in Arvada.

"This is amazing. This is our program right here," Woodley said.

Graham Lisman teaches music at Barnum Elementary in Denver. He picked up enough instruments to start an orchestra program.

"Instruments are very expensive," Lisman said. "We're a Title I school. You know, there's not a lot of opportunities like this so we're just so excited."

He estimates that he picked up instruments worth tens of thousands of dollars for a school of students who are mostly from low income families.

"Anytime they see instruments, you can see their faces light up," Lisman said.

At the end of the drive, more than 1,100 instruments were donated. However, Blatt says many of them were past the condition of being used in the classroom. However, he says they are being used to teach music technicians instrument repair at CIOMIT.

For the instruments that were repaired and donated the schools, technicians estimate that they used 100 yards of cork, eight pounds of glue, and $15,000 worth of string to restore the 620 instruments.

Woodley says this day is like Christmas in August. But, she can't wait for next week.

"Next week, we get kids in our room who are excited to play these instruments and it's going to be pretty awesome," Woodley said.

(© 2015 KUSA)


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