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Quality for Kids (Q4K)

The “Quality for Kids” (Q4K) project was initiated because I noticed there was a need for it in my teaching practice. I saw instruments of not great quality in my students hands cause frustration and sometimes even block their development. Those instruments (that look great at first sight and also will play reasonably well in the beginning) generally only really stay useable if maintained extremely well. Something children don’t always do.

The Q4K Project is an initiative taken to give everybody the chance to own and play an instrument that is affordable and of good quality. Often these are instruments from times when products were as “good and durable” as possible opposed to as nowadays “cheap and fast” as possible. These instruments would costs a full months wages in for example 1975. You’d be surprised to see how many of these instruments are still around. Often stored somewhere on an attic or even used as decoration items. They find their way to the workshop and here they get a technical overhaul or a full overhaul where also the finish of the instruments get restored completely. These instruments are comparable with a nice Mercedes or Volvo occasion that has received a new motor, suspension and gearbox. They sound good, well made, will keep going with little effort and it is nearly always possible to find good replacement parts. My opinion is that it’s a missed chance if I don’t pass good quality products on to the next generation(s).

This King 1501 trumpet from 1978 just received a new duplicate leadpipe and the bell is as good as new. This instrument is nearly ready for new lacquer.
This King 1501 trumpet from 1978 just received a new duplicate leadpipe and the bell is as good as new. This instrument is nearly ready for new lacquer.

If you have looked on our occasions page and not found the Q4K instrument you were hoping to find, then please contact us. If you are interested in a Q4K instrument I can use my network to find what you are looking for. Another possibility is to be placed on the Q4K notice list. Just send us a message to ask for this.

If you own in instrument you would like to donate or offer for sale then I would love to see what you have to offer. In soms cases it is also possible to use a “donor trumpet” as a payment in our workshop. If you would like to see if that is possible please feel free to contact me about this. 

If you have any questions, propositions or remarks then please feel free to contact me.

Why “Quality for Kids?

  • Every student deserves a good instrument that is made under fair work ethics.
  • Instruments from the Q4K project are made and restored to last as long as possible.
  • The Q4K instruments are of quality. Quality instruments are more likely to keep their worth, and in some circumstances even grow in worth over time.
  • Spare parts are usually available
  • A handmade product has character. One can feel and sometimes hear this, especially when directly compared to a cheap mass produced one.
  • Quality and craftmanship are being passed on to next generations
  • There is one year of guarantee on all the moving parts of Q4K instruments, excluding damages.
  • If repairs are needed these will be against a reduced price on Q4K instruments.

Why would I buy a used instrument if I can buy a new one cheaply?

A quick browse online will reveal that it is easy to find new instruments for low prices. Usually at big music stores like for example Thomann in Germany. Their house brand instrument line is well known under students and teachers. The question to ask is if this is socially / ethically / educationally / practically and in the long run financially a wise thing to do. This is something that everybody has to answer for themselves. But we would not have started the project if we would any doubt about the importance of it. 

The average price of a Q4K beginner-intermediate instrument is around €300. If you’d like it to look as new (just like the cheap import but then a lot prettier) an additional lacquer finish can be added for around €250.

If after reading all this you still have doubts about buying used it might be a good idea to ask your (child’s?) teacher for their opinion about this project and what we have to offer. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!