READING, Pa. | The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) collaborated with Music Service Learning Tuesday to give back to local students.
“Our leadership was here all morning, triaging instruments, triaging music,” says Mark Despotakis, with the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. “Our member are the experts. They’re music educators from around Pennsylvania.”
PMEA members volunteered their time to help the Reading Musical Foundation inspect and sort instruments for the upcoming school year.
“We get them refurbished and get them in playing condition and give them back out to our Berks County students at no charge,” says Mike Buterbaugh with the Reading Musical Foundation.
The donated instruments are part of the organization’s Operation Replay.
Buterbaugh says the volunteers helped save them an enormous amount of time and will allow them to have the instruments ready to go by the start of school.
“It’s nice to partner with people who have the expertise,” says Buterbaugh. “We are anticipating a flood of requests come fall when students are returning to the classroom and the rehearsal room.”
For members of the PA Music Educators Association, this is their first ever day of service.
“They deal with this every day,” says Despotakis. “They see instruments, they know music, they know what’s good and what will be really valuable to get into kids’ hands.”