What to Do with an Instrument You’re No Longer Using


Hang it on a wall.
Sell it on eBay.
Leave it in a case under your bed.
Lend it to a family member, neighbor, friend, or child of any of the above who is thinking of taking lessons. Expect it to return with some wear and tear.
Take it to a shop and invest some money in having it maintained, repaired, or cleaned up.
Pull it out and play it once a month, to keep it alive.
Trade with a friend: they take the instrument you’re not using in return for giving you one they’re not using. (Example: “I’ll trade my violin for your clarinet!” Of course, there shouldn’t be too much price discrepancy in the trade.) Take lessons with your new instrument.

Make artwork around it, but don’t harm it or change it in any way (instruments should be maintained in original condition for the next person who gets it – most instruments outlive their owners). You can make a protective stand for your instrument and build a display around it. Or you can trace it and use the tracing in a collage. Or anything else you think of.

Donate it to a school or musical institution that will be able to use it for good. Thrift stores and pawnshops aren’t the best destinations, but Suzuki programs, community music schools, or public school programs, if they’re interested (check with your recipient first before giving anything away) are great options. Such organizations and their students often face instrument shortages, with too small of a budget to expand their collections. You’ll help a kid who really wants to play, and in the process, you might make a future musician’s or concertgoer’s day.