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On the Road: Our Trip to Millmerran

On the Road: Our Trip to Millmerran

At Simply for Strings, we love hitting the road and connecting with regional communities. Bringing the joy of music to these areas is what drives us. In fact, our business was built on the idea of bringing music education and quality string instruments to regional towns across Queensland. Back in 2005, our founders would drive from town to town, not just to sell instruments, but to also help educate students, parents, and teachers right in their own homes and schools.

Fast forward to today, and we're still at it, keeping the tradition alive. We love the feeling of making a difference by fostering musical knowledge and passion, especially in places where these opportunities might not be as easy to come by. The service provided during our early years set the foundation of the Simply for Strings customer service philosophy - education and support - to which we still pride ourselves on to this day

This month, Annabel and Millie headed out west to Millmerran, a quaint country town nestled in Queensland's Darling Downs region. But what brought us to Millmerran? It was the inspirational story of a little local boy named Eli. A young violinist with an immense passion for music and a big heart for his regional community. Learn more about Eli's inspiring story here.

We first connected with Eli earlier this year, when his mum called our shop to ask how much it would cost to buy three beginner violins. She told us her 8 year old son, Eli, had been busking outside the local IGA each week in an effort to raise enough money to buy three violins so his friends could also learn the violin. Eli has been learning the violin since he was four years old, but when his family relocated to Millmerran, there was no local violin teacher and no music program at his new school.

“I wish I had more friends that were learning violin because I love playing violin with others. It can feel a little lonely because I like to play with my friends.” - Eli

Luckily, Eli’s first violin teacher, Melinda Coles, was happy to continue teaching Eli over Zoom when he moved to Millmerran. But Eli still longed to play violin with his new friends. It was this longing feeling that inspired Eli and Mrs Coles to create the Millmerran Music for All Workshops and Bush Dance.

“Mrs Coles wanted to help me continue to be motivated and practice. I like performing and sharing my music, especially with my friends - so she suggested that we could bring the Moreton Celtic Fiddle Club to Millmerran. I love sharing my music and I wanted to bring music to Millmerran. I've been practising really hard to help share the music with all of my friends and community” - Eli

The Millmerran Music for All Bush Dance - Young kids playing violin on stage for the first time

Over 20 kids from Millmerran and surrounding small towns came together for the Music for All Workshops, hosted by the incredible Melinda Coles, the Moreton Celtic Fiddle Club and the Australian Celtic Women. This was an incredible opportunity for these kids to make music for the first time in their lives. Their little faces said it all! The music they were making together brought them all so much joy.

We were also honoured to play a small part on the day of the Millmerran Music for All Workshops and Bush Dance. Through the kindness and generosity of our community, Simply for Strings donated twelve preloved instruments to Eli and the town of Millmerran. Millie and Annabel packed the car full of preloved instruments and drove to Millmerran to personally deliver them to Eli and his friends. It brought us so much joy seeing the smiles on the kids faces when we gave them an instrument to take home.

A young Millmerran girl playing a violin donated by Simply for Strings

Our Instrument Giving Program

At Simply for Strings, we oversee our very own instrument donation program. We provide schools, community organisations and families in need with quality preloved string instruments that have been generously donated by members of our community. Our Simply for Strings luthiers take care of the setup, repair or restoration of instruments before delivering them to new homes. We believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to experience the gift of music. Read more about our Instrument Giving program here.

If you, or someone you know, is seeking the gift of music, we warmly invite you to reach out. We're eager to provide instruments to those in need, embracing the belief that everyone deserves the chance to experience the transformative power of music.

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