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Online Instrument Drives® - Beta Testing NOW!!



After three years of conducting Instrument Drives® in the Phoenix area, Ear Candy is making a revolutionary shift. In March of 2012 we switched over from physical Instrument Drives to ONLINE INSTRUMENT DRIVES®.

Online Instrument Drives® no longer relies on physical donation sites to collect instruments. This is a both a significant change in our internal operations and an enormous leap forward as an organization. The mission remains the same, Providing Youth Access to Music Education, but the method we will use is more efficient and effective.

The beta version of the system is live now. Please note the system is still under active development, and we are working around the clock to refine processes and workout glitches. Nevertheless, we are forging ahead with the determination to perfect this new model and bring access to thousands of youth we were previously unable to reach! 


To request an Online Instrument Drive® Sponsorship Package, please email a request to Sponsor@EarCandyCharity.Org


Online Instrument Drive® Process Overview

  1. A music teacher posts an instrument request along with a picture and a description of their program's need
  2. An instrument donor picks the music program they would like to donate their instrument to, prints a prepaid shipping label and ships their instrument
  3. The instrument arrives at a central repair facility for assessment, cleaning and repair
  4. Funds are raised to cover the costs of placement (shipping & repair)
  5. The instrument is then shipped to the requesting school selected by the instrument donor
  6. The music program shares pictures and sends thank you letters to the instrument donors and financial donors involved.
  7. Old Instruments receive New Life, Kids get Access to Music Education!!



Online Instrument Drive® Fundraising 



The average cost of placing an instrument through Online Instrument Drives is $150. The actual cost varies depending on the type, size and amount of repair required. A flute in excellent condition may cost $80 to place, while a saxophone in need of moderate repair might cost $220. Program requests are limited to four instruments, bringing the cost of the average program request of four instruments to $600.

The average cost of purchasing a quality, new student instrument is $550.

Considering there are thousands of perfectly good instruments collecting dust in closets everywhere, the immense value of placing refurbished instruments at an average of $150 is not only cost effective, but provides an instrument donor the opportunity to give their old instrument new life.

Crowdfunding for Music Education

As soon as a program request is posted on the site, a fundraising campaign begins to cover the costs of shipping and repair. To spread the word and raise funds, teachers and donors are provided with easy to use fundraising tools and strategies. These tools include social media tie-ins (Facebook & Twitter) as well as prepopulated emails to forward.

While donating to the fundraising campaign is not mandatory for teachers or instrument donors, sharing the request with others in their social networks is strongly encouraged. Instruments will be shipped to the Central Repair Facility as soon as they are committed to a program, but they will not be shipped to the school until that instruments shipping and repair cost has been fully funded.

Individual instruments will ship to the requesting music program as soon as funds are raised to complete each instrument fundraising goal. That means a music program requesting 2 Flutes and 2 Trumpets could have raised all the money for the trumpets and received them, while the flutes are still in the fundraising stage. 

If a request is not fully funded after 90 days, Ear Candy will remove the request from the system, and the funds committed to the program will be available to the donor to reallocate to an alternative program request of their choosing. 

Three Reasons We Ship and Repair Every Instrument



1. We Only Place High-Quality Instruments
The last thing we want to do is place a damaged or inadequate instrument in the hands of a child. All instruments must be at least cleaned and disinfected prior to donation. Many instruments also require tuning and repair before they are ready for placement. Having all instruments assessed by a professional ensures they are in optimal condition for the children who receive them.

2. It is Easy for Donors and Teachers
Requesting instruments is a simple and straightforward process for any teacher with access to a computer. By providing prepaid shipping, a donor can easily donate their instrument to any school without financial hardship or great effort. 

3. The Process Works the Same Anywhere in the Country
Whether the instrument donor is across the street or across the state from the requesting music program, the process works exactly the same. As such, the Online Instrument Drives can place quality refurbished instruments in any school across the country.



It's All About Connecting T & X


Nate Anderson, Ear Candy's Founder and Executive Director, breaks down the future of Ear Candy through Online Instrument Drives® at a recent TEDx talk. 

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