Estonia opens ‘An instrument for every child’ fund3:08, 21st February 2017
Several Estonian music organisations have opened a fund aiming to provide a musical instrument for every child as part of the country’s centenary celebrations.
Launched by Estonian conductor Tõnu Kaljuste as a way to safeguard the country’s musical traditions for the future, the initiative will see schools, music schools and other institutions offering music tuition apply for funding to buy instruments.
Money for the scheme will be provided by the government, the business sector and the general public; applicants can also request funding for their projects through a the crowdfunding platform.
Music teachers estimate that thousands of instruments are needed; many of those in use are old and worn, and some instruments are rarely taught because schools cannot afford them.
The need for new instruments was confirmed by the enormous interest in the first call for applications in 2016, when over three times more applications were submitted than had been anticipated. Last year, a total of €196,869 was given to 121 applicants, enabling the purchase of 268 instruments; this year, at least €250,000 in funding will be available.
The Republic of Estonia will mark its 100th anniversary in 2018. The centenary celebrations will include concerts using the new instruments; these will take place between April 2017 and February 2020.
The initiative is jointly organised by the Estonian Union of Music Schools, the Estonian Wind Music Society, the Estonian Traditional Music Centre, the Estonian Rhythmic Music Education Union, the Estonian Symphony Orchestras Association and the Estonia 100 organising team.