NIAGARA FALLS - A lack of student musical instruments meant dozens of elementary children at Abate Elementary would not be able to learn to play, but Music is Art stepped in Monday with a donation after learning about the shortage on social media.
Music teacher Michael Kinecke said he was ecstatic. The donation solved the school’s problem - and then some.
Kinecke said 20 more students signed up for music instruction than they had instruments to loan. His colleague, Kristen Grandinetti, posted about it on social media. An employee of Hard Rock Cafe saw it and pointed the school towards Music is Art, the organization founded by Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac.
Tracy Shattluck, Music is Art executive director, noted that she was already in the process of organizing major instrument donations to other schools who had requested help. She called the timing “perfect.”
“We are proud that we have placed over half a million dollars worth of instruments back into our community since we started this program,” stated Shattluck in an announcement of the donation.
Abate School Principal Cynthia Jones called the donation “large and valuable,” with Music is Art sending the school French horns, clarinets, baritones, guitars and amplifiers, drum sets, tympani drums, a baritone saxophone, a trombone, a bass clarinet, a variety of percussion instruments and general music materials, and other materials for the music classroom.
“These instruments will have a tremendous impact on our students,” stated Jones.
Superintendent Mark Laurrie said that due to the high poverty of area students many never would have had access to instruments at home. He called the donation, “potentially life-changing.”
Kinecke said 12 additional students have signed up for the music program since the donation was received, and now the school has instruments to accommodate them.