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Play It Forward: Classical MPR's Musical Instrument Drive

Frequently Asked Questions about Donating Instruments

Are you a school looking to accept donated instruments? Check out our School F.A.Q.

Join us this spring by participating in Play It Forward: Classical MPR's Musical Instrument Drive™. Your donation will directly benefit a Minnesota school music program when you give your used (or new!) instrument through Classical MPR's first-ever instrument drive campaign. .

Most schools throughout Minnesota have a great need for more instruments so that motivated and talented students have opportunities to participate in band or orchestra. In today's economy, schools lack the funds to buy new instruments and many families cannot afford to rent instruments for their children.

Throughout April, Classical MPR encourages you, one of over 900,000 MPR listeners, to donate used band or orchestra instruments to a school in your community. Classical MPR and our partner, the Minnesota Music Educators Association, hope to collect as many instruments as possible and get them into the hands of hundreds of eager and talented children.

Where can I donate my instrument?

Donors will give their instruments directly to the school of your choice. (MPR will not be accepting instruments at our headquarters or network stations.) To donate, visit classicalmpr.org and click on "Play it Forward." There, you can enter your zip code to find out which schools nearest to you are accepting instruments, and the donation drop-off times.

What kinds of instruments are accepted?

Each school makes its own decision about what kinds of instruments to accept, and the information can be found on the school's information page on the Play It Forward: Classical MPR's Musical Instrument Drive™ website. In general, schools are accepting brass, woodwinds, string instruments, concert percussion (snare drums), and acoustic guitars. Instruments not being accepted are electronic instruments, accordions, and keyboards/pianos. If you have a piano, organ, or accordion you would like to donate, please consider contacting Keys 4/4 Kids.

Will schools want my instrument if it's in need of repair?

If your instrument is in need of minor repair, please bring the instrument to the school you would like to receive the donation. It's likely they can repair the instrument.

Will I get a tax deduction for my donation?

When receiving in-kind donations like musical instruments, the school is responsible for providing a receipt that describes the donation (for example: 1 baritone saxophone and case), the date the instrument was received, and the school/organization that is receiving the donation.

If the fair-market value of the instrument is more than $5000 and you would like to deduct the donation on income taxes, it is the responsibility of the donor to get an appraisal and to complete certain tax forms (F8283). Individuals should consult their tax advisor with any questions about deductibility.

What if my instrument is worth more than $5000?

When you drop an instrument off at a local school you will receive a receipt. It is your responsibility to determine the value of the instrument. Donations of an instrument with a value up to $5000 will not need an appraisal. If an instrument is valued at more than $5000 you should secure an appraisal from a qualified music store.

What if I don't have an instrument, but would like to make a financial contribution?

Most schools are capable of receiving financial contributions; please check with the school about their policies. You may also consider a donation to Vega Productions, a Minnesota-based non-profit organizations that helps rebuild and revitalize music and art programs in Minnesota public schools.

How will my instrument be used?

When you donate an instrument, it will belong to the school. School-owned instruments are loaned free of charge to students with financial need, typically those who qualify for free or reduced lunch programs, for use in band or orchestra. Often, students receiving instruments from their school cannot otherwise participate in their school's music program.

Who is MPR working with on this project?

We have partnered with the Minnesota Music Educators Association on Play It Forward: Classical MPR's Musical Instrument Drive™ to ensure that this project is as effective as possible at getting instruments into the hands of students. The MMEA, along with the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, has been a key resource in helping us identify the needs of K-12 music programs across the state and activating its members so that they are open and ready to receive instruments from their community. Additionally, Vega Productions has given us key support to ensure all donated instruments get into the hands of needy Minnesota students.

Final notes

Thank you for your interest in Play It Forward: Classical MPR's Musical Instrument Drive™. If you have any further questions, please email Member Services or call 1-800-228-7123.
Mn Legacy Fund Play it Forward is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

Play It Forward is a partnership between Classical MPR and the Minnesota Music Educators Association
Minnesota Music Educators Association

Sponsorship support is provided by Saint Mary's University and The College of St. Scholastica.

St. Mary's UniversityCollege of St. Scholastica

Additional thanks to:
Vega Productions

Utah Public Radio


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