Music Changes Peoples’ Lives Everyday
#TakeTheTwenty is a self-assessment tool that all Artists and Songwriters should try. On it there’s a question that asks, “What makes you different from everyone else?” My friend, songwriter Roger Sterry, has found a way to change peoples’ lives in a profound way, that is unique and different. He founded the site www.sterrysong.org with the motto “Play It Forward.” When asked how it all started, Roger explained, “For years I would buy four or five cheap guitars (I’m a collector) and as people I knew starting playing, I would give them a guitar.” When speaking with a friend of his, an elementary school principal, she asked if he had a trumpet he could donate to a needy student. And sterrysong was born.
That was two years ago and now he stocks violins, trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, flutes and trombones for students in need to acquire through a simple application process.
“The instruments are entry level models. I can buy four trumpets for the price of one good student model since our focus is on elementary beginners.” Sterry does get a lot of instruments donated, too.
Sterrysong never requires payment for the instruments but on the application students are asked to cover a portion of the cost, if possible.
Play It Forward
The sterrysong motto also means that when a student is finished with the instrument it is hoped that he will either send it back or donate some money to help with the program. “Every dime given is spent on purchasing or refurbishing instruments or to pay to ship any instrument we cannot personally deliver. To date, we have donated and sent instruments to 11 states.”
“Our requests for instruments far outpaces our donations but we have had very generous gifts of either instruments or money from friends and for that we are very thankful.”
Music Changes Peoples’ Lives
When asked what that means to him, Sterry responded,” It means a lot. Firstly, it touches the soul and there are no economic boundaries, so it’s a gift that all can enjoy. We’ve all heard people say, “Today I was feeling (fill in the blank) and I heard this song and it lifted me up. In a school setting, especially with students in need, music gives them a sense of belonging and purpose. They are part of the school band, part of a team and they create music for all to enjoy.”
Anyone can help and all donations are appreciated.