The Open String builds on over twenty years of charitable work and violinmaking expertise providing higher quality instruments to a wide range of musicians in need, from children to the blind to orchestras trapped in conflict zones. Long-standing relations with quality-minded workshops make it possible for The Open String to source superior student instruments at deep discounts and in large quantities. We also provide conservatory and concert-grade instruments on loan through our partner program with makers. Donated legacy instruments are matched with rising talent and other qualified applicants.

 

STUDENTS FROM THE MUSIC MISSION SAN FRANCISCO PROGRAM STARTED IN 2015 with 20 new instruments provided by the open string. photo BY ADRIAN ARAS/MCCLA

STUDENTS FROM THE MUSIC MISSION SAN FRANCISCO PROGRAM STARTED IN 2015 with 20 new instruments provided by the open string. photo BY ADRIAN ARAS/MCCLA

By placing over 500 stringed instruments into the hands of underprivileged students since 1996, violinmaker and TOS co-founder Robert Brewer Young has dedicated a significant portion of his career to this effort. His work has consisted largely of repairing, refurbishing, and setting up instruments that were donated, damaged, or simply abandoned in attics.

Today, this practice continues with concert-grade instruments of a high value as well as with beginner and student instruments. To support its recipient programs, The Open String donates brand new instruments that are consistent in quality, age, size, and sturdiness. This makes things far more manageable for program teachers and much more motivating for students.

The Open String was founded in 2014 to achieve this qualitative jump and to provide a larger number of music programs and individuals in need of help with better violins and cellos. Where most new instruments are donated to existing programs, less established programs can also receive instruments on loan until they have become stable, at which time they receive their inventory as a gift.

The Open String also organizes events, concerts, and workshops to promote music played on stringed instruments. From classical to modern, we believe in preserving appreciation for this important human tradition.


GET INVOLVED

Help realize musical talent that would otherwise not flourish, help children grow into citizens, and help educators succeed in this mission. Together we can put much needed instruments into the hands of deserving musicians and and eager students across the world. There are many ways you can help:
 

BECOME A MEMBER
Enjoy access to exclusive private events and discounts on concert tickets

SUPPORT US WITH A GIFT
Make a tax-deductible cash donation today

DONATE AN INSTRUMENT
Add your unwanted instrument to our legacy program, and we will match it with a musician in need

SEND US USED STRINGS
We'll give them a new life where they are most needed

SET UP A COLLECTION BOX
New and used strings, chin rests, shoulder rests, and cash gifts are all appreciated.

JOIN OUR PARTNER PROGRAM
Violin shops and makers help us collect instruments and strings from donors

VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME AND SKILLS
Volunteers enjoy a variety of benefits: free event tickets, violinmaking support, the chance to meet visiting artists, and community service credit. We welcome support in many areas.

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FROM UNDERSERVED YOUTH PROGRAMS TO PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTIONS, THE OPEN STRING PROVIDES INSTRUMENTS AND MAINTENANCE AT A VARIETY OF LEVELS

FROM UNDERSERVED YOUTH PROGRAMS TO PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTIONS, THE OPEN STRING PROVIDES INSTRUMENTS AND MAINTENANCE AT A VARIETY OF LEVELS