Combining music education, environmental awareness, and creativity, Music Matters gives students the tools and instruction to build their own playable instruments out of reuse materials.

Since instruments can be very expensive and music classes have been victim to budget cuts, Music Matters is especially important and relevant to the Mission District. The program provides access to art simply by diverting and finding ways to repurpose useful materials from the waste stream. It also teaches people that art can come from completely unexpected places, like a dump or recycling center, and it emphasizes the use of local products instead of fueling the consumer-driven process of production. By showing people how to create instruments Music Matters teaches people to look around their community and see the potential in other materials, reminding them that art is always within reach.

The video (below) features a number of different programs around the world which inspired the Music Matters program.



In 2013 Matter of Trust partnered with music instructors from Music Team SF to bring a Music Matters workshop to around 80 students from several nearby schools, including John O’Connell High School. Every student built a reuse instrument and began basic training on the instrument which allowed students to feel a sense of accomplishment as well as a physical and creative connection to their instrument.

Learning music has also been shown to help cognitive mapping and increase children’s learning capabilities in other subjects, enhancing their entire educational experience.

Some instruments created by artists Steven Tucker and Hitesh Lala are currently available at the Eco-Center for interactive viewing and playing. Instructions for making similar instruments are available in our Eco-Center so that students can make their own.

AUDIO FILES:  The sounds of some of our in-house made instruments

A short piece played on a flute made from rescued PVC tubing.

A melody on a guitar made out of an old cookie can, a piece of wood, and hanger wire.

Mary had a little lamb played on pan-pipes made out of rescued tubing.