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Long Beach Schools Seek Instruments For Students

Long Beach students enrolled in music classes will no longer be required to rent or purchase their own instruments, due to developing statewide legislation that prohibits schools from charging students additional fees — such as for musical instruments.


The law is working to prevent schools from charging students educational fees, and Long Beach Unified School District is now asking the community to step up and make donations of new and used instruments for the classrooms, so that every child in the district who participates in the music program will be supplied with an instrument to use.


“Parents have always had the option of renting or buying their children’s instruments,” said LBUSD spokesman Chris Eftychiou. “They still have that option if their children are participating in instrumental music.”


The district added that parents of elementary school students still are encouraged to buy their student’s instruments, but thousands are still needed to supply classrooms across the city. Those who wish to send a tax-deductible, monetary donation to the cause may do so online at and selecting “Musical Instruments” in the menu.


“We’re just being extra cautious so that parents don’t feel they’re required to provide an instrument as a condition of their children’s participation,” Eftychiou added.


With these changes brings others to the district’s music programs. According to Eftychiou, some programs have been suspended this year. The district’s third grade woodwinds program is suspended, along with beginning woodwinds and brass for fourth and fifth graders.


“The school district intends to restore the suspended programs when it has enough musical instruments,” he said.


Due to the limited resources, elementary students will be accepted into instrumental music classes based on a lottery system. After the selection is made, LBUSD said it would look at how many of those students have their own instruments, and how many will need to be provided one.


Any leftover instruments will be placed with students on the waiting list, the district said. About 1,000 violins will be needed to supply fourth and fifth graders, which will cost an estimated $265,000, and 275 trumpets will be needed for fourth and fifth grades, with a cost of $126,000.


But, it’s not just violins and trumpets that are needed. Students also need donations of cellos, flutes, clarinets, saxophones and trombones.


New and used instruments in working condition are being accepted. Call 997-8175 to donate. A collection day is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 5 at the Teacher Resource Center, Room C, 1299 E. 32nd St., Signal Hill.


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