Spotlight Nonprofit: Giving kids the keys to tune up their lives

LatinaLista — What do old pianos have to do with helping kids? A lot, if those pianos are donated to Keys 4/4 Kids (K4K).

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The premise is simple: Send out a call to the community for old pianos to donate to K4K. Workers from the non-profit pick up the piano, tune it and clean it up and then turn around and sell it. All the proceeds go directly to fund art and music programs for low-income children.

Begun in 2000 when Newell Hill began K4K by selling pianos in his parent’s garage in Woodbury, MN, the nonprofit is now in three cities: Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

K4K doesn’t just donate money to kids’ arts programs but has created a special project called Paint a Piano.

The Paint a Piano program donates pianos to local schools, churches and community centers around the Twin Cities area. Once the pianos are delivered, Keys 4/4 Kids volunteer staff lead a 90 minute activity that teaches students about how pianos work as well as gives students the opportunity to paint the piano. The painted pianos are then left at the schools, community centers or churches for students to play and enjoy.

K4K also doesn’t just depend on the sale of pianos to make a difference in children’s lives. In addition to accepting pianos, K4K also shares their piano expertise with private piano owners. For a fee, K4K employees will tune pianos, donating their service call fees to the organization.

And for free, K4K will share what they know about pianos. Such as:

How often does a piano need to be tuned?

Pianos really should be tuned twice per year. Pianos go out of tune primarily due to the change of humidity in our two seasons, winter and summer. You can sometimes get away with tuning only once per year. It does not hurt your piano to not tune it.

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