As part of the Fort Worth Public Library’s strategic commitment to strengthening Fort Worth’s arts scene and access to the arts, the Library introduced a new music learning pilot program Spring 2019 offering free basic guitar lessons at its Meadowbrook branch. Over the four months, an average of 97 participants per month came to the group lessons, ranging in ages from eight to 65. At the end of the series, the branch held a concert with more than 60 area families in attendance.
While the pilot was overwhelmingly successful, many of the participants did not own or have access to guitars, and program branch staff lent their personal instruments and scrambled to borrow others. This echoed consistent patron calls to their branch libraries inquiring about borrowing instruments for personal use. Even used, instruments can range in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, making instrument purchase, and therefore learning, out of reach for the majority of our economically disadvantaged patrons.
With the desire to grow the pilot music learning program and eliminate any barriers to members of our community interested in learning music, the Library started its instrument lending program in January of 2020.