The Instrument Bank was conceived in 2020 by the Hill Family Foundation for Art and Music with the recognition that New Zealand’s young musicians are in need of instruments and often lack access and the resource to enjoy and participate in classical music education.

Photo Credit : Student from Papatoetoe East Primary School, courtesy of Tironui Music Trust

Music is believed to be the food for the soul and has the power to transform the life of a child. Learning to play a musical instrument from an early age is proven beneficial for children in countless ways. It builds bilateral coordination and enhances their listening skills and overall confidence; it imparts values of dedication and patience and demonstrates the gains of daily commitment and perseverance. Children absorb these benefits by actively engaging through the rigour of musical tuition on an instrument.

Damon Herlihy-O’Brien – Chiron Charitable Trust 2021 Scholarship Recipient
2017 Michael Hill winner Ioana Cristina Goicea mentors a young violinist

For some students, music plays a very important part in their development and for some particularly talented and hard-working students, music becomes a career path. At all stages and abilities, musical education is an expensive investment for families. Much of the tuition is delivered on a 1:1 student to teacher ratio, and the lease or purchase of an instrument is beyond many family’s household budgets.

The price range of string instruments is broad and reflects the cost and craftsmanship of their making: entry level imported factory-produced student models can start as low as a few hundred dollars and service a beginning music student to develop basic skills and foster a love of music. As the child grows physically and emotionally, the size of the instrument increases and if they are still dedicated as an adolescent, a full-size instrument is needed and the desire for a richer tone production from an individually hand-crafted instrument necessitates an investment on the scale of the cost of a car.

The Instrument Bank is designed to facilitate the placement of string instruments into the hands of our tamariki and rangatahi music learners of all levels. The programme will consist of two principal streams: gifted instruments to provide for our community of learners in need financially; and loaned instruments to provide for our talented young musicians in artistic need.