Kidznotes holds annual instrument drive

Kidznotes musicians warm up at Club Boulevard Elementary. (Photo by Destiny Green)


Kidznotes, the non-profit that brings music lessons to children in underserved communities including Northeast Central Durham, is having their annual instrument drive to support the students of the program who may not have the money for an instrument.

Used instruments of all kinds as well as monetary donations are accepted anytime of the year. September is the month that donations are most requested because Kidznotes’ classes started Monday, Sept 19. Even after the class starts, donations are still welcome.

“The instrument drive was a city-wide event that I planned to bring in any instruments sitting in people’s closets, attics, or wherever and give them a new home with young students who need them,” said Steve Warren, the organizer for the Durham instrument drive.

According to Stephen Pysnik, receptionist for the instrument drive office, the most desired instruments at this time are double basses, cellos, French horns, and percussion instruments.

“These instruments, if needed, will be repaired and loaned to a child, completely free of charge to the family, so they may have access to classical music at the highest level,” said Pysnik.

Classes are held at the Holton Career and Resource Center on 401 North Driver St.

Students attend class eight to ten hours a week and are in grades K-12. According to the Kidznotes website, Kidznotes has an intense instructional focus, with students receiving focused training in music theory, instrumental technique, and choir. Students are also provided transportation to class and refreshments if hungry.

Through this program, students are able to develop better social skills and have a positive growth in their musical proficiency. A 2010 report from Northwestern University found that children with music training have a better vocabulary and reading skills; they also have a greater chance of learning a new language. Children with music training were also found to have a more sufficient memory performance.

“They’re not just instruments, they are also tools to unlock their talents, to chase their goals and be productive in life and to do what inspires them,” said Katie Wyatt, cofounder and executive director of Kidznotes.

According to Katie Wyatt, the Kidznotes program and instrument drive was established in 2010. The nonprofit program and instrument drive go hand in hand and help the Title I schools in Durham.

The program is not only held in NECD area, but it has also expanded throughout the whole city of Durham and Raleigh. The website shows that Kidznotes serves approximately 330 public school students and has a partnership with eight title I elementary schools.

“We sent out the information to surrounding universities’ music departments including: UNC, NCCU, and Duke University; and to all of our partners as well as our Kidznotes Parent advisory committee and other parent organizations,” said Steve Warren. They are in partnership with High Strung, Duke String School and Tuba Exchange.

The Durham programming and expansion funders for Kidznotes are: Durham Arts Council, Solon E Summerfield Creek Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Kiwanis Club of Chapel Hill, The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, The N.C. Arts Council.

Kidznotes would also love for readers to join them for their kick-off concert at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. The Kidznotes website for the instrument drive is Donations are also taken at this website.