Father and son inspire Enfield Library to lend out musical instruments

Connecticut Families

(WTNH) — About a year ago, a beautiful song inspired 8-year-old Cormac to buy a ukulele. “It was the perfect size and it didn’t look too hard,” he explains.

It got his dad thinking.

“Going and buying an instrument is a commitment,” says Jason Neely, also the Director of the Enfield Public Library. “A lot of people wonder, ‘Am I going to play this instrument? Will it sit in the corner?'”

So, the father-son duo inspired a new program. Now, patrons can take an instrument for a spin by checking it out of the library.

“It works like a book. You check it out for three weeks,” says Neely. “If no one is waiting for it, you can renew it one more time.” Thanks to a grant and generous donations, the library now has a collection of forty music makers including acoustic guitars, bongos, even an Irish drum called a bodhran.

“Today I walked into the break room and there were three people on their lunch break having a ukulele jam session – it was very cool,” says Neely with a smile. Since it launched last month, the program has been a big success. In fact, almost all instruments are checked out.

“Libraries are known for promoting literacy and this is just another form of literacy – it’s musical literacy,” says Neely.

As for Cormac, he’s got his eye on the keyboard next. After all, music feeds the soul and fills the heart. “I’m very proud of Cormac,” says Neely. “He’s the inspiration that started it all and it’s been great to see him learn an instrument and run with it.”

Patrons get a free introductory lesson from a local studio when they check the instrument out of the library. Neely hopes this musical concept catches on.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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