COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Trying to run a middle school music program can have its challenges for Teacher Elisabeth Canuel, especially if her students at Sabin Middle School in Colorado Springs don't have good instruments to use.
"We have kids who can't join because they don't have an instrument to play on," said Canuel, Sabin Middle School orchestra director.
Last year, Canuel turned to the Bringing Music to Life instrument drive for help. 9NEWS is a sponsor of Bringing Music to Life, which asks people to look for that old instrument in the closet or basement and donate it so it can be used in schools.
Even for students who do have an instrument, like Daana Cuevas, they don't always sound so good.
"It was a little bit frustrating when I tried playing it. It sounded a little bit rusty," the seventh-grader said. "It gets me kinda nervous because I don't sound like the other instruments."
Canuel said she understands Daana's frustration.
"Even though she was doing the right techniques and she was playing correctly, it just wasn't that great of a sound and it would go out of tune really easily," Canuel said.
Canuel said she fears that at a time when kids are developing -- having a bad instrument can drive them away from music.
"When students start instruments, you have to hook them, and the last thing you want to do is to fall out of love with playing their instruments and to not want to practice because they just don't like how they sound," Canuel said.
The school recently received nine violas, 1 bass, and several coronets.
"These were beautiful instruments even though they had been used before. Most of them looked like they were brand new," Canuel said.
Daana says her viola sounded brand new.
"Besides the fact that it sounded different, it made me feel more comfortable about myself when playing at concerts," Daana said.
She said her love of music is growing with some help from Bringing Music to Life. If you want to find out more about the instrument drive, click here: bringingmusictolife.org
"I just love the premise of what Bringing Music to Life does, getting these instruments that are essentially sitting in people's closets and just kind of taking up space and getting them into the hands of kids that really need them," Canuel said.
The Bringing Music to Life program also accepts instruments in "bad" condition, as every donation is refurbished at the Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology in Castle Rock.
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