Key Music, Newburgh N.Y.
We are proud to feature one our partners this month, Key Music. 

Last August, the Hungry for Music van pulled into the parking lot of Key Music, a small music shop in Newburgh, N.Y.

Out came the proprietor, Ken Sickinger, and his assistant, Colin Baxter, to inspect the donated musical instruments in the van. The nearly 40 instruments all needed repairs, ranging from minor to major.

And Sickinger, through a mutual friend—Julian Baker, who runs New Paltz Rocks, an after-school rock music program—had offered to help.

“They looked at each other like, ‘What have we gotten ourselves into,’” said Jeff Campbell, founder and president of Hungry for Music. “But they said to bring them in, and they would see what they could do.”

Campbell told Sickinger to take his time. August is the busy time of year for Sickinger’s business as students get their instruments ready for the beginning of school.

“I was thinking it would take at least a month,” Jeff said. “That was a lot of instruments, and it was the busy time of year. But two weeks later, they called me. They were done.”

It was the beginning of a terrific relationship for Hungry for Music. Including that first batch, Sickinger and Baxter have repaired and refurbished more than 100 instruments for Hungry for Music.

“I can’t say enough about what they have meant to us,” said Campbell. “It’s just incredible what they have done.”

It hasn’t been easy.

Sickinger has operated his store for 20 years. But two years ago, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He said he is training Baxter to take over the business.

Their ties run deep. Lynn Sickinger, Ken’s wife, taught Baxter in school. Ken Sickinger taught Baxter’s brother.

Baxter, who plays the trumpet, went on to earn a masters in music from Pottsdam State. He takes the lead on repairing brass instruments. Sickinger said, “I’m teaching him everything I know about woodwinds and strings.”

Baxter sorts the stock. Some of the instruments he works with for Hungry for Music require only a bit of repairs. Others require significant rebuilds. Some may not be usable at all. But it’s interesting and brings new challenges every year. “Strings are a whole different skill set with a lot of delicate parts. We get to see it all,” Baxter said.

Sickinger can’t help but think of what he is leaving behind. He wants his business to carry on. He wants music to carry on. He wants his students to carry on. And, through his and Baxter’s work for Hungry for Music, he is helping kids he’ll never meet.

“Music is a good thing. I want to pass it on,” Sickinger said. “Some teachers view it as a job; I view it as a calling. The opportunity to pass on something you love is special.”


Re-Imagining the Holidays
SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 24, 2014 

Downtown Silver Spring is having an instrument drive for us! Check out the Christmas tree that utilized unusable instruments from HFM! We appreciate Laurie Yankowski and the staff at DTSS for their support! Check out the tree if you get the opportunity! It's way cool!
Roots of Music Donation

“Recently, we were amazingly lucky enough to receive 30 instruments from Hungry for Music. Thanks to their generosity, we're now able to bring in new students in the coming weeks!”
-  Roots of Music, New Orleans

See More  
“Another round of instrument pick ups from the Pick Me Up Foundation"
The Pick Me Up Foundation was created in Aaron’s Reed's memory to provide musical instruments, equipment, and lessons to under resourced kids.  More Info.
Testimonial of the month:
 Received this from Alyssa's uncle:
"Alyssa played her Christmas concert at Smokey Mountain Opry with her clarinet on Sunday. She couldn't have done it without Hungry for Music." Alyssa's uncle (who requested the instrument for her), Pigeon Forge, TN

Photo of the Month
From the Rock to the Future Foundation  :
Please help us say THANK YOU to Hungry for Music Foundation, who just delivered an entire van full of instruments for our MusiCore after school program - Ibanez! Squier! and Pearl! - Oh my!

Thank you to this awesome organization for supporting music education in Philadelphia - #yourock!!! Like to say THANKS!
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