In Acadiana, music is part of our blood and most of us have tried playing an instrument or two. Not everyone has kept up though, and if you have an old instrument in your home collecting dust, ACA has the perfect way to give it a new life.
It is a program allowing students at schools across Acadiana to rent and borrow instruments for less than it would cost to purchase them outright.
"We have 56 band students this year and about 50 of them rent band instruments because they are pricey so whatever help we can get with instruments being donated, it's way easier on the parents financially," explains Isabella Holmes, who is the Band Director at Herod Elementary, one of the many schools involved in the program.
Herod student Abigail Blanchard is one of the 50 who plays an instrument donated to the school by ACA. She borrows the flute she plays in the band through the Play it Again program.
"The ACA's Play it Again program is an instrument recycling program where we take gently used and well loved musical instruments that you're not using anymore. We have them cleaned and repaired. Lafayette Music is an amazing partner who does that for us. And then we put it into public schools throughout Acadiana who have a need for instruments in their programs," explains Bree Sargent, the education director at Acadiana Center for the Arts.
It's perfect for students like Abigail, who want to use one instrument all year, and for her peers who might feel more experimental.
"This boy in the band. He tried flute. He didn't get it. Then he tried clarinet. He didn't get it... But now he's playing percussion, and he's doing good at it," says Abigail.
Because of donations to the program, these students could change their minds a dozen times without the financial burden of buying a dozen instruments.
"They can see if they actually like band so they don't spend $500 on the instrument. They can rent one or with the donated instruments, they don't have to pay the fee. Then they can see if they like band that way," says Holmes.
If you have an instrument that could benefit someone like Abigail or her classmates, the ACA is asking that you bring it to 101 West Vermilion Street or to the Lafayette Music Company located at 3700 Johnston Street.
All donations are tax-deductible, and donors will receive written documentation of their gift.