One year and counting for Check Out the Music

  • Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 11:48pm
  • Life
From right

From right

The Lopez Library promtes the reading of music, as well as words.

The library has now run its Check Out the Music program for over a year. In fact, this September marked the end of its one year trial with the program.

The idea was presented to the library by Dean and Carolyn Jacobsen of the Lopez Island School Music Advocacy Foundation. “Dean came to me last summer and said he wanted to promote musical literacy in the community,” said Lou Pray, executive director of the library.

The idea was to make several musical instruments available to anyone who wanted to pursue musical interests, without having to buy an instrument.

Pray said that the library seemed an appropriate place for the project, as it serves as one of the primary community resources on the island.

Although the Jacobsens have worked closely with music projects in the school, Pray said Dean was anxious that anyone should be free to access the instruments. If the instruments were kept at the school, those who wanted them would be confined by school hours and the academic year. The library’s hours are longer, however, and the location is more central and accessible.

Dean bought the instruments from Friday Harbor based Kirk Furmiester and his store Isle be jammin’, and donated them to the library along with the promise to cover one year’s worth of expenses. It was not as expensive a project as some feared, as repair costs totaled only $172. Some repairs were even covered for free by volunteers from the community.

So, what with the low cost and popularity of the program, the library has taken on the costs themselves and will continue it for another year. Any one may access the instruments, and the collection is composed of two violins, three acoustic guitars, two key boards, two ukuleles and an electric guitar withamplifier.

Pray is enthusiastic about any project that gives families something to connect over and enjoy together. She said that sometimes people are so absorbed in video games or being online, they forget to interact with each other. “Music is inclusive.”