Instrument Library

Supporting School-Aged Children In Decatur, IL

What Is the Instrument Library?

The Basics

Research has proven that children who study music via an instrument are more likely to enhance their academic successes in school. The Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur in partnership with the Decatur Public Schools Foundation maintains a library of instruments for use within the Decatur Public Schools District.

These grants combined with instrument donations from patrons like you, we currently maintain a library of over 470 instruments that are “on loan” to music students in Decatur, IL.


Instrument library clarinets

Science has shown that when children learn to play music, their brains begin to hear and process sounds that they couldn’t otherwise hear (TIME).


A new piece of research by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) reveals nine in ten children want to learn a musical instrument (Classic FM).


Learning an instrument teaches a child how to create, store, and retrieve memories more effectively (Peterson Family Foundation).

Instrument Zoo

Donate an instrument

To donate an instrument, please contact Zach Shields, Decatur Public Schools Foundation Executive Director, at 217-362-3042.

You can also make a monetary donation online to support the Instrument Library through the Foundation’s online portal. Select “Instrument Repair” to make a tax-deductible donation today. Donated funds are used to repair and maintain current instruments and to purchase new instruments as necessary. 

test out violin
101 W. Cerro Gordo Street Decatur, IL 62523

Instrument zoo

The Guild holds an “Instrument Zoo” where children from the Decatur area can come look at and try out different band instruments. At these events, children can learn from those who actually play them and get a chance to see instruments up-close. Instrument Zoos typically happen in the summer.

Request an Instrument

We coordinate with Decatur Public School teachers to fulfill instrument requests. Qualified children can request a loaner instrument through their band or orchestra teacher. 


decatur instrument zoo