Formation of the Music Broth instrument Library
The idea of Music Broth was conceived in May 2017 by Founder, Felix Slavin when he was left with a difficult decision to make. He had inherited a number of musical instruments and equipment from his Uncle, who had passed away in 2008. His Uncle was a very active and competent musician. Felix did not want to sell these items as they meant something to him however he wasn’t getting to use them that much. They were gathering dust for a while and constantly on Felix’s mind. On his Birthday, he went down to his friend’s coastal cottage near Ayr. Here, he relaxed with friends, enjoyed food and drink and discussed interesting topics around community resource, sharing networks, rights and equality.
The Eureka moment happened when he realised that there must be other people who were desperate for easy access to musical instruments. He thought about his own childhood experiences, music learning/tuition at school and the availability of quality instruments in the community; how there has been significant cuts to music department budgets, college/university courses funding and a culture of struggle and DIY in the local music scene. Felix believed that musical instruments and equipment should be accessible to anyone as and when needed. And that everyone has the right to learn to play an instrument. The opportunity for people to develop a life long skill and coping strategy is far more achievable if the resources are readily available within the community. Music Broth is also a support to the community to make musical ventures easier to pursue.
Felix started talking to people about his idea and attending a number of events. At one event, he met fellow musician, Jen O'Brien. Their discussion led on to applying for funding to develop the idea, carrying out community consultations and piloting the service with individuals, bands and organisations. Jen came on as Co-Founder and since then they have been working very hard with drive, passion and commitment to set the Library up for the community.
In March 2018 they organised a 9 day event in Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow City Centre to promote Zero Waste Scotland’s #PassItOnWeek. For this, they booked over 30 live performances from local musicians, invited 8 other organisations to use the space to promote what they do, spoke to hundreds of people about Music Broth, encouraged 29 great people to volunteer their time over the week and collected in over 100 instruments as donations.
Their next big task was to get a secure space to operate from. On 29th June 2018 Music Broth moved into their premise in Govanhill and have been working hard to deliver their services to new partner organisations, as well as get more people signed up to the service. Their next big task is to systematically catalogue all of the equipment and upload it on to an online inventory system which can be accessed via the website.
The idea of the Library has developed into a social enterprise model where the work that Music Broth does supports people that are the most in need and any profits go straight back into creating opportunities for those who are disadvantaged. In the coming years Music Broth plans to develop their own music based programmes in association with partner organisations and get more people engaged in music based activities within the community.
Everybody with a musical background has a story to tell and it is usually through their instruments that they express this. Music Broth wants to put value back in to instruments that are unused or unwanted; offering them to people who would benefit most. As social enterprise our aim is to improve access to musical instruments and equipment for everyone, especially those who are most in need.