Dollars and Sense Part 4 – Paying for the pipes

Instruments represent the number one capital expenditure of any Sistema initiative, even very few purchase them new. The default option, the “instrument donation drive,” has evolved into a rite of passage as part of a program launch. It’s excellent publicity, and it reduces start-up costs considerably, although not entirely. There’s no such thing as a free viola: the instruments that are donated always require some degree of maintenance or repair, especially strings. Even once restored to playing condition, they continue to need constant care, especially strings. They’re also extremely fragile…especially strings