A fundraiser gets underway May 10 to raise $10,000 towards purchasing new pianos for Langley schools, to replace the old instruments like this one at Shortreed Elementary. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Fundraiser buying new pianos for Langley schools

A 15-day music practice-a-thon aims to buy 15 instruments; it starts Monday

Organizers of a 15-day fundraiser hope to generate enough money to buy 15 new pianos for schools in Langley this year.

Thank You for the Music Society is hosting a practice-a-thon fundraiser that kicks off on Monday, with president Shelley Gimbel hoping to engage at least 800 or more musicians from throughout the community and Lower Mainland.

The music society is working, in partnership with the Langley School District Foundation, to raise more than $10,000 towards the purchase of the new Yamaha acoustic, hybrid and stage pianos.

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They’re for local public schools that need them most, said Gimbel, noting the district has identified the need for more than 15 new pianos across the district in the coming years.

The premise of the fundraiser is simple. Musicians sign up to participate, collect pledges, and commit to practise their instrument for a set amount of time during the 15-day fundraiser that runs May 10-24.

Musicians of all ages can strengthen their practice habits, have the chance to win a range of exciting prizes, and have fun while supporting music education, she noted.

“For my family, and I’ve heard the same from neighbours and friends, activating and engaging with the arts has really been a lifeline during this pandemic. So I’d like to encourage everyone to sign up for the Practice-A-Thon and make music a positive focus for these 15 days,” Gimbel said.

People can register online at http://raiseathon.ca/thankyouforthemusic.

A small group of society volunteers is also currently seeking additional support from community organizations and local businesses for prize donations for Practice-A-Thon participants, as well as financial support in matching donations.

“This is a great chance for local companies to show their love and support for the arts and their community,” Gimbel said. “We can all stay safe at home, celebrate the positive force of music in our lives, and work to share the benefits of music with others through the Practice-A-Thon fundraiser.”

Susan Cairns, the district foundation executive director, was moved by the passion and commitment to help students demonstrated by the Thank You for the Music president and those involved in this latest fundraiser.

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“In my years… I have witnessed that whenever school budgets are tight, music programs are the first to go. Deemed as unessential, the programs often suffer a slow demise and each time it happens it’s harder to bring them back to their previous glory,” Cairns said.

“Instruments including violins, trumpets, woodwinds, and pianos are expensive and require regular maintenance. But in the words of many, music education should not be seen as a privilege for the few, but as a vital part of the curriculum for everyone… Music feeds the heart, soul, and brain.”

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