The ringing of school bells isn’t the only sound that reminds us that Santa Barbara schools are back in session. The sound of violins, mostly played in unison, echoing through local campuses, let us know that our school music education programs are also back in session.

And with a return to music classrooms, students need instruments to play. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara community dug deep into their closets and garages to dust off and donate over 150 quality instruments to the Santa Barbra Education Foundation.

Music Teachers look at donated instruments to use in their classrooms.

Last week, SBEF hosted local music teachers to distribute the instruments for this school year quickly. According to SBEF Program Manager Katie Szopa, “These instruments go directly into the hands of local students after a quick check for needed maintenance and repairs.”

In addition, SB Unified music teachers received $16,000 in funding to purchase classroom materials and maintain their instruments.

The instruments and funds are from an ongoing fundraising effort by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation with help from community partners such as the Johnson Ohana Foundation, Irene F. Anderson Foundation, Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation, Pacific Premier Bank, and proceeds from the annual Keep the Beat Radiothon on 99.9 KTYD.

“Hands-on learning with music is just what our students need right now,” according to Szopa. “We are just so thankful that our community came together to support music education during what’s been a very challenging time in our local schools.”