Violin Maker Donates 75 Hand-Made Violins to Public Schools

Edwin Hendrickson made the donation to help facilitate access to violin lessons for students in Muskegon, Michigan


Hendrickson, 81, who has been a chemical engineer, a repairer of clocks, and a pilot, has spent the last decade crafting the instruments. Despite this, he never thought they were good enough to sell.

However, following a discussion with Claire Root-Benson at Muskegon Rotary Club meeting, Hendrickson has found the perfect home for his instruments.

Root-Benson is the executive director of Poppen Programs, Inc., which assists lower-income families in the Muskegon community with access to art and music lessons. She told Hendrickson that local public schools were struggling with a lack of instruments, as neither schools nor pupils could afford them.

Hendrickson was more than happy to help a worthy cause.

"I'm delighted that [the donation] can go in that direction," he said. "I feel better actually about what's going to happen with these [violins] than I would if I had a few bills of sale I could show you."

"We've never been in a position where students can take these instruments home because we're always sharing between 6th, 7th and 8th grade," added Nick Voyt, the Muskegon Public Schools Orchestra Director. "I can now offer a violin to every student who wants one."