Childrens Instrument Recycle Program (CHIRP)


Visit the Official CHIRP Foundation Website

Print a CHIRP Scholarship Form


What is CHIRP?

CHIRP stands for Childrens Instrument Recycle Program. 

The CHIRP program brings together the desire of young students who want to learn to play an instrument with used instruments that others have no current use for. Through CHIRP, you can donate your used instrument to a promising young musician who cannot afford to rent or purchase one of their own.

The program began as a project of the family of Dr. Robert D. Hess in partnership with the West Virginia Young Musician’s Fund and Bandland, LLC. It started as an idea to fulfill a need that had been identified in the music programs of area schools.

The need was for a way to supply instruments to students whose parents were not able to buy, rent, or borrow an instrument so that their child could participate in the beginning band or orchestra program.

The solution was somewhat simple – a recycling program for musical instruments!

Around the area, there are a large number of instruments going unused in homes everywhere. They are hidden away in the back of a closet, up in the attic, under the bed, in the basement and even mounted on a wall as a decoration. CHIRP wants and needs those instruments.

They may not look like much when they are donated but they provide hidden treasures. Sometimes they arrive in pieces; sometimes they’re ready to play; some instruments are very old with years of use; some are newer with lots of notes left in them; whatever the shape of the instrument, it can help provide an opportunity for a needy student.

The donated instruments are refurbished by repair technicians at Bandland at no cost to the donor. They are evaluated, repaired, cleaned, and put in good playing condition -- ready to be placed in the hands of an eager student.

As classes begin each year, a few students do not have instruments. These are students that have demonstrated an aptitude for music and the desire to learn. They sit silently while their classmates start making their very first sounds.

When the music teacher identifies a need, the CHIRP program comes to life to complete the recycling program. An instrument is matched to the request and delivered to school to start a new life in the hands of a very happy, young student.

Music is not just a fun activity. Researchers are providing us with an unprecedented understanding of how we think and how we learn. The research has confirmed what we have always known -- that music and the arts are a vital part of a complete education.

Asking people to donate an instrument they once played is the hardest part of the program. Music is powerful and provides good memories. To part with a piece of that memory is asking a lot.

But an instrument sitting idle in the corner is nothing more than a piece of wood or metal that has been machine, carved, drilled, bent, and cut into interesting shapes. Put these instruments into young, eager hands, and they spring to life again as a musical instrument. They can become the hopes and dreams and begin producing lasting memories for a whole new generation.

And in addition to the satisfaction you'll get from knowing that someone will benefit musically from your gift, you can receive a tax deduction for your donation.

I would like to donate an instrument to CHIRP. What do I need to do?
If you would like to donate an instrument to the CHIRP program, just stop by Bandland in Clarksburg and a sales associate will be able to assist you with the donation process. 

The CHIRP Program accepts the following instruments for donations, regardless of condition: Flutes, Clarinets, Saxophones, Trumpets, Trombones, Baritone Horns, Tubas, French Horns, Cornets, Violins, Violas, Cellos, String Basses, Tubas, Drums, Bells, Guitars, and Electronic Keyboards. We are not able to accept pianos and home organs. Your instrument will be processed by a Bandland Repair Technician and distributed to a needy child. Once donated, the West Virginia Young Musicians Fund and CHIRP Program will not be able to provide donors with specific information about their instrument.

I would like to make a monetary donation to CHIRP. What do I need to do?
Monetary donations are an important part of keeping the program alive.  We occasionally need to purchase parts, cases, or even used instruments to supplement the program.  Please make check payable to:  
West Virginia Young Musicians Fund - mail to: Dr. Michael Hess, Attn: CHIRP, PO Box 1345, Bridgeport WV 26330 

I think my child would be a good candidate for the CHIRP Program, what do I need to do?
Only your school's band or orchestra director can submit a scholarship form for the CHIRP Program. If you have already tried to apply for a lease and were declined or if you don't think you can afford the monthly lease rates of an instrument, talk to your school's band or orchestra director and he/she will be able to assist you. 

If they are not familiar with the CHIRP program, please have them contact Bandland (304) 622-1171 or email [email protected]-  The CHIRP Scholarship form cannot be completed by a student or parent.

I am a Teacher, how do I know if a student qualifies for the CHIRP Program?
Here is the basic checklist you should follow to figure out what students qualify for the CHIRP Program. 

(NOTE: This program serves Bandland's service area).

__ The student is officially enrolled at your school.
__ The student participates or desires to participate in the instrumental program at our school
__ The student has demonstrated a good work ethic in the classroom
__ The student is in good academic standing
__ The student has demonstrated an aptitude in music.
__ The student is a responsible young person who will show respect for the instrument
__ The student's parents or guardians have been unable to secure an instrument through conventional means

Only the Band Director, Orchestra Director or Principal at the student's school can submit a CHIRP Scholarship Request Form. Instruments will be filled based on availability and order in which the forms were received.

Print a CHIRP Scholarship Form here

Mail the completed form to:
154 East Pike Street
Clarksburg, WV  26301 

Or Email the form to: [email protected]

If you have any further questions regarding the CHIRP Program, call (304)622-1171) or email [email protected]