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Providing Youth Access to Music Education


Online Instrument Drives

Coming in September 2012!!

After three years of conducting Instrument Drives® in the Phoenix area, Ear Candy is making a revolutionary shift. In September of 2012, Ear Candy will officially launch ONLINE INSTRUMENT DRIVES® in Maricopa County in Arizona.  Read the whole OVERVIEW HERE!

What are Online Instrument Drives? The following information will give you the low-down on this revolutionary resource for music teachers and their students.

But first... if you are a music teacher or potential instrument donor, read the following:

Music Teachers - Maricopa County Only (For Now):

Get started by making an Instrument Request for your students NOW. By submitting your request before the September launch, you will be in the front of the line to secure high quality instruments for your ever deserving students.

Click HERE to begin the application process. 

Instrument Donors - Anywhere in the US (Always!): 

We will not be able to fulfill your donation until the September. HOWEVER, you can take a few seconds right now to signup for an email notification. That way, when Online Instrument Drives launches this fall you will receive a friendly email reminding you about this awesome program that gives your old instrument new life in the hands of a child.

Click HERE to signup now.

 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. 

Why Ship and Repair Every Instrument?

Let's just say we have been doing this whole old instruments new life thing for a little while.

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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