eChievement Award - Thomas Boruff

Every musician starts with a used instrument. Southern Oregon Music Festival’s Leave a Legacy campaign encourages individuals to donate their used instruments. Most schools offering band and/or orchestra programs simply do not have enough instruments to meet the demand of students exhibiting musical talent or a desire to play an instrument. Music instruments donated by the local Medford community and Festival attendees help provide instruments to students exhibiting musical talent who may not be able to afford their own instrument. Without these generous donations, many students’ talents would never have been realized. SOMF’s annual Instrument Donation drive, has collected over 200 used and new instruments since its inception.

Each instrument’s condition is assessed by Duane Hess, of Tom’s Guitars in Medford. Those needing repair remain at his shop (with grants covering the costs for those repairs). The rest are distributed according to wish lists submitted to SOMF by Jackson and Josephine County School band and orchestra instructors.

The program has also resulted in improved academic performance. The opportunity to earn ownership of an instrument provides incentive to re-engage students’ interest in school. Before they are even assigned an instrument, a student must meet the following requirements: maintain an academic grade of C+ (70%) or higher and an attendance record of at least 70% for one full semester. During music instruction, they must maintain the requirements throughout the remainder of the school year. If they do, the instrument is theirs to keep.

There is measurable data that music education improves both academic performance and brain function. “Researchers have found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn’t just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids’ brains process language.” (Source NPR) Statistics also indicate that the grade point average of students who participated in music education increased one full point higher. Additionally, after just four months of music instruction, students scored 15% to 41% higher when tested on math ratios and fractions. (Source Sharon Begley, “Music on the Mind,” Newsweek, July 24, 2000). 

SOMF believes in helping community youth, one instrument at a time. If you don’t have an instrument, any monetary contribution, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can make a significant difference in one student’s life. Tom’s Guitars in Medford will accept your instrument on their behalf, even those needing repair. Donated instruments are 100% tax deductible. Donate an instrument, today.  Arrange a pick up by calling us at 866-448-1948 or contact Tom’s Guitars .

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