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A Trumbull County musician and business owner wants to make it easier for students to get instruments for band classes.
Frank Fordeley owns Fordeley’s Music and Instrument Repair, which has been in business in Champion since 1988.
He said he understands the importance of the arts and music education in schools and wants to make sure every student has a chance to learn an instrument.
Tuesday night, Natalie showed off her new clarinet and Kobe blew a few notes on the trumpet. Not long ago, these kids and their parents might not have been able to rent instruments or take lessons at a place like Fordeley’s.
“Because I’ve had parents walk in here, I’m talking in the past now, they walk in and they say, ‘Oh, you do a credit check’, and they’ll grab the child’s hand and they say, ‘come on, let’s get out of here, you don’t get to play this year’…And that really bothered me and bothered me,” said Fordeley.
So, Fordeley and his instrument supplier came up with a way to help families already struggling to make ends meet. It’s a monthly rent-to-own payment plan with no credit check.
“All that we ask is you come in here, fill out an application, employment, and either debit card, credit card, and that’s basically it, you walk out with an instrument,” said Fordeley.
Holly, a Champion fifth-grader was asked why she chose a saxophone.
“I liked the sound of it, and the way it looked,” she said.
Holly is the oldest of six kids in the Moore household. So, news of Fordeley’s rentals and lessons is music to her mom’s ears.
“It’s hard, we actually used to do dance, and we had to cut that back because it just, it gets too expensive with all the kids,” said Melissa Moore, Holly’s mother.
But this program makes it easier for the family to stay active in the arts.
“My son will go into middle school next year, and he’s actually already thinking about what he wants to do, and he hasn’t decided yet, so I don’t know if he’ll go with the sax, or if he’ll pick something else,” said Moore.
The cost of the program is $20, plus a $4 maintenance fee per month to walk out the door with an instrument.