About Spring for Music OPPORTUNITIES

Our Spring for Music Opportunities program opens the door to the joy of music for thousands of Rochester students.

Since launching the program in 2005, REF has seen a huge improvement in student musical opportunities for city students. Because of our donation of more than 2,000 used musical instruments from the community, students are no longer turned away from musical instrument instruction because of a lack of instruments.

What does this program do to make a difference? Our Spring for Music Opportunities program:

  • Provides used musical instruments for Rochester city students

  • Increases students' musical performance opportunities

  • Supports the purchase of musical instruments for in-school use

  • Provides funding for summer music lessons at Eastman School of Music, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, and other local venues

  • Provides new instruments to college-bound students with great musical promise.

  • Support for the Pride of Rochester district-wide marching band.

Find out how you can support Spring for Music Opportunities below. To make a donation to this program click the button below and designate your donation for "Spring for Music." Thank you for your support!

Contact Stuart Hencke for more information on our music programs: shencke@rochestereducation.org or 585-271-5790 ext. 1


Support Spring for Music opportunities

donate an instrument

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Just where do your old musical instruments go? In Rochester, hundreds of donors have chosen to donate them to city school students. The generosity of these donors has created great opportunities for city students. Since the program's launch, we've received hundreds of used musical instruments annually from throughout Monroe County, New York State, and beyond. These instruments are restored to their former glory and distributed to the schools and classrooms that need them most.

When we started this program in 2005, there were schools where only the first 14 fourth graders had a chance to play an instrument due to the instrument supply. Now that we have donated more than 2,000 instruments, students have a chance to play -- and to choose an instrument that speaks to them! 

What instruments do we accept?

Instruments for all ages and skill levels are gladly accepted! We accept everything from recorders for early music education to string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Additionally, music stands, amps, sound equipment, strings, capos, drumsticks, mallets, and other types of musical supplies and equipment are all gladly accepted.

Pianos & Organs: Currently, we are only accepting grand or baby grand pianos, based on the needs of the Rochester City School District. We unfortunately cannot accept organs. 

how to donate an instrument:

To donate an instrument to REF, we encourage you to contact us at 585-271-5790 or info@rochestereducation.org. We accept instrument donations year-round at the REF office located at 250 Mill Street, Rochester, NY, 14614, Suite 400. If unable to drop off your instrument, please let us know; we may be able to work with you. Our friends at Parkleigh also accept musical instruments on behalf of REF.

We have also collected musical instruments at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival since 2008, thanks to the generosity of M&T Bank. Look for our booth in the Merchandise Tent again next year!

donate funds

Don't have an instrument sitting in your attic waiting to be donated? That's okay! You can still help expand music opportunities for Rochester city students. Funds donated to our Spring for Music Opportunities program directly support summer music lessons for students at prestigious institutions like Eastman School of Music and Hochstein School of Music & Dance. For many students this is their only summer activity! Our fund also pays for the annual purchase of a new instrument for a college-bound student with great musical promise. Students receiving this award have gone on to study at Boston's Berklee School of Music and Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Please designate your donation to "Spring for Music."

Supporters of Spring for Music Opportunities include:  Guido and Ellen Palma Foundation, Arts in Education Fund of The Community Foundation, the M&T Bank Charitable Foundation, Chris and Mark Fitzstevens, Todd Allen, Ruth M. Knight Foundation, Joe and Leslie Levy, Marie Patricia Luck, University of Rochester A Capella Concert presenters, Ken and Mollie Traub Foundation, Carol Aragon.



"Music is life itself. What would this world be without good music? No matter what kind it is."

-Louis Armstrong