‘Play It Forward’: Program Gives Instruments To Music Students

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Music is a class subject that some students shy away from. It may not be because they’re not interested, but rather don’t have the financial means to participate.

Playing an instrument can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Saturday morning at Pittsburgh’s West End, two organizations got together to provide students the opportunity to grow musically. Louis Lynn is the Middle School Band Director at Highlands School District and is thrilled to be walking away with a saxophone.

“The kid I have in mind right now is a fifth grader. So hopefully it’ll benefit him for a long time. But yeah, the instruments stay in our program for years,” Lynn said.

It’s not uncommon for a student to miss the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument. There are a variety of reasons why, from finances to personal challenges or just a lack of resources.

That’s where the Farina Foundation and their Play it Forward program comes in.“This was established four or five years ago after the passing of my father. He was the Director of Music at North Allegheny for three decades,” Farina Foundation Chairman Frank Farina III said.

And over those years, their goal has remained the same: provide instruments to as many students as possible. They say the chance to learn and grow musically should always be an option.

“It’s great for brain development and of course other aspects of life,” Farina said.

The foundation gathers instruments. Sometimes they’re new or refurbished. And thanks to their collaboration with The Education Partnership, they’re able to distribute the many instruments at events like this one.

It’s something music teachers, like Lynn, are grateful for.“Some of the kids just really don’t have enough money to go out and buy a brand new instrument. So this is a great opportunity for some of our kids to pick up some instruments and be able to join our program,” said Lynn.