Seoul seeks donations of used musical instruments

Poster for this year’s “Instrument Donation and Sharing Campaign” (Seoul Metropolitan Government)The Seoul Metropolitan Government is receiving donations of used musical instruments through its Instrument Donation and Sharing Campaign that started Monday and is expected to run through the end of July.

With the goal of creating a society where “all citizens can learn and enjoy musical instruments,” the project coordinates the donation and repairs of the donated instruments by skilled artisans at Nakwon Musical Instrument Arcade, located in Jongno, central Seoul.

Once the repaired instruments are disinfected to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the city distributes them to institutions and individuals in need.

Since the campaign began in 2019, Seoul has received some 1,798 donations and delivered 1,536 instruments to 140 locations, including youth centers and social welfare institutions.

In the inaugural year, 49 instruments of six different types, including violins, cellos and digital pianos, were delivered to 45 members of the student orchestra group Dream Orchestra, which had been performing for 10 years. This allowed students who did not have their own instruments to freely practice at home after class.

“In the past two years, most of the instruments that we received were guitars and violins, so this year, we wish to promote donations of various other instruments,” Ko Woong, the campaign team leader at Seoul Community Cultural Center Nakwon, told The Korea Herald. 

“One of our aims is for children to express themselves in different ways by learning a variety of different instruments, rather than becoming skilled at just one,” Ko said, adding that the communities that have received donations in the past are still in need, as larger instruments are needed as the students grow.

Singer-songwriter Henry Lau has been appointed ambassador for this year’s campaign.

Those who wish to donate their instruments can visit the Seoul Community Cultural Center Nakwon, located in Jongno, or apply through the center’s website at nakwon-communityart.or.kr. 

All instruments are accepted except those initially bought at stationery stores, such as students‘ recorders or castanets made for practicing. Instruments that are difficult to bring to the center can be sent by scheduling a pickup service on the website.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)

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