Musicians worldwide lack access to decent supplies including strings for instruments. Our Strings for Change program collects used strings, cleans them, and redistributes them to musicians in need.

THE OPEN STRING WITH 2ND AND 3RD GRADE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT THE ESCUELA ELEMENTAL DE ARTE PAULINA CONCEPCIÓN IN HAVANA, CUBA. THIS MUSIC-FOCUSED PUBLIC SCHOOL TRAINS STUDENTS AGES 7 THROUGH 14 FOR MUSICAL CAREERS. THE OPEN STRING DONATED OVER 300 STRINGS FOR VIOLINS, VIOLAS, AND CELLOS TO ADDRESS THE LACK OF FUNDS AND ACCESS TO STRINGS AND SUPPLIES IN THE NATION.

GET INVOLVED: 

PRINT OUR DONATION FORM and post it on bulletin boards in conservatories, music schools, violin shops, concert venues, green rooms.

CONNECT WITH LOCAL ORCHESTRAS in your area and let them know about Strings For Change. Ask to speak to the string section leader about our program. 

SET UP A COLLECTION BOX at local symphonies, opera halls, music schools, violin shops, concert venues.

VOLUNTEER FOR PREP WORK and help us unpack, clean, label, and repack strings.
Sign up here.

SHARE THIS PAGE with musicians you know and with your network.

SEND US YOUR STRINGS:

1. GATHER your used strings and group them by weight/note. Coil them and label if possible.

2. PRINT AND FILL OUT THIS DONATION FORM to mark what you are sending us so we can do a better job sorting things out (Click to Enlarge)

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THIS FORM AND EMAIL OR PRINT. 

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THIS FORM AND EMAIL OR PRINT. 

3. MAIL your strings with this filled out form to the address listed. Use a strong envelope like USPS Priority Mail. Make sure your postage is sufficient.

4. TELL THE WORLD! You just did something very cool. Let others follow in your footsteps.

 

From Kenya to Cuba to Argentina, tens of thousands of violin, viola, cello, and bass players across the world have little to no access to decent strings for their instruments. They have no stores or delivery systems other than the black market to procure these goods, and even there, supply is sparse. Instead, ingenious musicians rely on makeshift solutions like telephone wire or nylon, resulting in poor sound and weak response. 

Even in the USA's most affluent regions, after school music programs in disadvantaged areas often struggle to find adequate string supplies, let alone funding. 

A huge trove of strings is available, however. Most intermediate and advanced string musicians play a set of strings for about 100 hours, or a few months, before replacing them. The discarded strings may look and sound dull, but can be revitalized through simple ultrasonic cleaning, which removes most of the grease and rosin that accumulates in the string's fine coils. These strings still sound and play infinitely better than what needy musicians use as alternatives.  

Our Strings for Change program allows sympathetic musicians to simply mail us their used or spare strings for re-gifting. On our end, volunteers clean and organize these strings into packages that can be gifted to youth orchestras, El Sistema-inspired programs, and music schools in need—here and abroad. 

 

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