Instruments of Change: Princeton University and WWFM to host musical instrument drive for Trenton Community Music School

By Rich Cuccagna | For
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on November 18, 2015 at 3:41 PM, updated November 18, 2015 at 3:58 PM

PRINCETON — Trenton children beginning music study will have their own instruments to take home for practicing, and neglected instruments will find a whole new life, as Princeton University's Office of Public Affairs and WWFM The Classical Network host "Instruments of Change," benefitting the Trenton Community Music School.

From November 30 through December 4, the week after Thanksgiving, the Office of Public Affairs will open its doors for members of the community whose musical instruments are in need of a good home. Families whose children have outgrown their small instruments, shifted their interests away from playing, or developed into the need for a finer instrument, will find grateful recipients for their ½-size violins, novice-level flutes, or the instruments that are no longer played but which are too special to leave behind.

In addition, on December 1, when non-profits and their supporters nationwide are celebrating Giving Tuesday, WWFM will welcome instrument donors at the station, where they can enjoy holiday treats and greet the on-air staff.

Trenton Community Music School is in the start-up phase of an afterschool orchestra, in partnership with the Trenton Public Schools. Modeled on the acclaimed El Sistema youth orchestras founded in Venezuela, El Sistema – Trenton is made available to Trenton children at no charge, but with tremendous engagement and time commitment from the children and their families. El Sistema orchestras throughout the world are documenting better school performance and retention, the development of meaningful social bonds, and even improved cognitive development and executive function, among the children who join their nucleos. As founder Jose Antonio Abreu describes it, El Sistema is "social justice through music."

Helping spread the word is Trenton Community Music School’s community partner, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Young musicians from El Sistema-Trenton are also performing at the orchestra's Holiday POPS! concert on Saturday, December 19.

The Office of Public Affairs is located at 22 Chambers Street in Princeton, and will be open for donations from November 30 – December 4 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. WWFM is located on the campus of Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor, and will accept donations from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Rich Cuccagna may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RichCuccagna. Find The Times of Trenton on Facebook.