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Instrument Loan Program

Anna playing her loaner fiddle

Young Tradition Vermont has a variety of acoustic, mostly stringed, instruments available for loan, at no cost, for young folks (25 and under).  The program was started when a variety of instruments were donated from the Leslie A. and Harold E. Greene Fiddle Loan Program to the Vermont Folklife Center.  That program was initiated by Judith G. Allan of Rutland, Vermont in the fall of 2009 as a way to honor the memory of her fiddle-maker/player father and grandfather.  The collection includes instruments they created or acquired during a lifetime interest in playing, building and restoring fiddles.  Other instruments have been added to the collection since its creation, including about a dozen violins from the late master Vermont fiddler Harold Luce.

Children and youth who demonstrate or express inspiration in learning an instrument, do not have access to one, or are recommended by a teacher or mentor have an instrument for up to a year at no cost, renewable yearly as requested for up to 5 consecutive years.  Those who don’t already have a teacher can be offered a free lesson or two (paid for or volunteered and arranged by YTV) and are provided information about group learning situations (e.g. Fiddleheads, Trad Camp) and a list of private teachers to follow up with.  They are encouraged to join group learning situations that have a performance component included (e.g. Fiddleheads, Trad Camp) and/or referred to private teachers who include recitals and other performance opportunities are part of their teaching.  They are invited to join group learning situations that have a performance component that includes performances in schools, and for people in hospitals, senior living and long term care and related programs.

The collection has a variety of fiddles in a variety of sizes, as well a other instruments (guitars, ukuleles, accordions, banjos, mandolins, keyboards, etc.).  Let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll try to match you up.  Send a message here if you’d like more information….. and feel free to pass the message along to others.  A simple agreement form (no exchange of money)….. that’s all there is to it!

Users sign an  agreement with Young Tradition Vermont (if 18 years or younger, the parent or primary caregiver of the user signs).   The instrument can be kept for up to one year at no cost.  After 1 year, the instrument is returned to YTV or the agreement is renewed for an additional year.  If the instrument is damaged or destroyed, lost or stolen, or otherwise not returned, the signer agrees to pay repair and/or replacement costs.

‘Paul took the loaner banjo to Northern Week at Ashokan and got in on a class with Stuart Kenney.  He’s loving’ it.’  (Charlie M)

‘Sam LOVES it (ukulele), and is eager to start lessons!  Thanks so much, I have been recommending you to friends who ask where we found this one!’ (Kara D)

Kristina playing her loaner guitar

The fiddle is getting a lot of use and we’re forever grateful for this loan! When he was 2 someone asked him if music made him happy. He said “No, I’m happy IN music.” The loan of this violin has allowed him to not only be happy in music, but to be elated to create it himself.  (Talitha K)