Ep. 69: Tinder for musical instruments – matchmaking AND community building

Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

November 17, 2020

At Enhance Life with Music, we believe that music and music-making has value for all of us humans, regardless of age, or where we live in the world, or whether we will eventually be a professional musician or not. We also are aware of the fact that not everyone can afford a musical instrument AND arts education funding is not particularly stable and many schools are operating with very little, if any, music education funding. Enter Instruments in the Cloud, an online giving platform that connects donors of musical instruments and supplies with teachers and music programs. Whether you have a need for instruments or are on a de-cluttering rampage, learn what this musical instrument match-making service can offer your community!


Photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Instruments in the Cloud is an online giving platform that connects donors of musical instruments and supplies with teachers and music programs. Instruments in the Cloud co-founder Caitlin Marlotte is with us today to explain more about how this program works, for those of us who may have a need for instruments or are on a de-cluttering rampage and have instruments that we want to send out into the world to enhance lives with music.


  • Instruments in the Cloud is the flagship program of Vega Productions, whose mission is to make music education accessible to all students.
  • Instruments in the Cloud is an online giving platform that connects supporters directly with music programs in need in their own community.
  • Instruments in the Cloud believes “that quality music education should be accessible to everyone… Our aim is to help equip all music programs with the instruments and supplies necessary for every student to engage and benefit from studying music.”

 Connect/Other Resources


Caitlin says: This is a recording of a song, “With Cooperation Brings Prosperity,” written by Mr. Yang Dau and arranged for band by Hmong College Prep Academy music teachers Mr. Roy Pienaar (band) and Ms. Cindy Pierce (choir). Leading up to the song, band director Roy Pienaar describes the song’s significance to the Hmong community and school community.  In 2015 when we first heard about the new band program at HCPA, Vega helped it grow by donating 50 musical instruments to the school. With the launch of Instruments in the Cloud, shortly after, we were able to direct instrument donors to the HCPA wish list. The band programs continued to grow at the school, and the community’s support grew along with it. This is an excellent example of Vega’s mission and work and of Instruments in the Cloud in operation to support a new and growing music program.

Closing Words

Thank you, Caitlin, for sharing that song, and for all the work you do to enhance lives with music! I love the gift idea Caitlin mentioned of adopting an instrument in someone’s name! Several years ago, for a Christmas gift, my husband’s step-mom requested that we make a donation in her name to a food shelf. I thought that was such a great idea and it WAS meaningful to make that donation and let her know where it went. If you’re interested in adopting an instrument in someone’s name as a gift, you can find more information in today’s show notes.

Another way you can get a head start on your holiday shopping AND shop with purpose is by shopping the Adoption Trunk Show that I’m throwing for a great company called Noonday this week (the week of November 16). This is not a paid promotion; a neighbor friend introduced me to Noonday a year ago, and their mission and work really resonated with me. (And they have beautiful, unique jewelry and accessories, which doesn’t hurt!) Noonday works to alleviate poverty by partnering with Artisan Businesses around the world to create opportunities for women who are vulnerable, so they can earn a sustainable income. They also partner with International Justice Mission to serve people who have been victimized. I want to throw some support their way, and I’m hosting a virtual Adoption Trunk Show. The “Adoption” part of the trunk show means that, instead of the host (me) earning a free product credit, 10% of sales from the party are given to an adopting family instead. For MY trunk show, the 10% of sales will be given to a family that attends my church and is in the process of adopting five siblings through the foster system! So any purchase you make through this trunk show will be directly supporting this family AND fair trade jobs for vulnerable women throughout the world. Again, none of these funds go to me or this podcast; the trunk show ends November 22. Click here to learn more or browse Noonday’s catalog. Click here for the Facebook virtual Adoption Trunk Show (posts and interactions going on now through Nov. 22; live show will be November 22 at 7:00 pm CST).

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

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