Children’s Instrument Recovery Program (ChIRP)

How would you like to make a real difference in a child’s life? It’s easy when you’re part of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra’s Children’s Instrument Recovery Program (ChIRP).

If you have a used musical instrument that you’re no longer playing, make a tax deductible donation of that instrument to the Orchestra. We’ll have it repaired, then we’ll lend it to a student who might otherwise be unable to afford to participate in their school music program. Don’t have a used instrument? Don’t worry – we take monetary donations, too!

The members of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra feel that music should be available to everyone, regardless of their circumstances. Our Children’s Instrument Recovery Program (CHIRP) takes donations of used musical instruments, refurbishes them, then loans them to students who would otherwise be unable to play in their school music programs. Recent budget cutbacks have made programs like CHIRP more vital than ever before; every child deserves the chance to experience the joy and sense of connection that playing an instrument gives.

***Donations of instruments made by appointment only***


Here’s what some parents had to say about how ChIRP has positively impacted their child’s life –

Sofia with her new flute from ChIRP


“My daughter Sofia really wanted to learn the flute. She is already taking violin, so the extra cost for another instrument rental I wasn’t sure she would stick with made me hesitant. She told me her violin teacher said she could borrow one from where she worked. We were excited to learn from Audrey Williams that we could borrow the flute at no cost. I am very glad my daughter, because of CHIRP, could further explore her musical interest. Thank you!”




“I couldn’t believe that Charlie would be allowed to bring home this beautiful violin to practice on… I can’t tell you how incredible I think this program is! I feel my son and I have truly been blessed to live in Bloomington, a city that sees music as a way for a child to be part of a community. My son is not a jock, he’s not a brainiac, he’s not the most popular, but he does light up when he plays the violin.”




Lucas repairing a violin


To the left is Lucas Nelson Marvell of Bloomington String Instruments.  Lucas repairs all the stringed instruments for ChIRP. To contact Lucas Marvell for your own String repairs/ bow rehairs, email at: OR 812-946-2313




For parents of kids who want to participate in ChIRP:

  • Your child must be either enrolled in a school music program or signed up for private lessons so they understand how to treat the instrument.
  • Each instrument is loaned for one year. The condition of the instrument will be assessed at that time, when a new contract may be signed to renew the loan.
  • Your child must be under the age of 18 years old.


contact Audrey Jo Williams –