Banjos for Schools is a program developed by the San Diego Music Foundation and Deering Banjos to introduce the banjo to school music curricula in San Diego County, both as a way to augment existing programs and to offset the loss of arts instruction due to budget cuts. The banjo’s familiarity and popularity among young people makes it an excellent tool for getting them interested in music, and in the performing arts in general.


Subject to advance approval and available budget, the San Diego Music Foundation will provide Deering Goodtime Banjos to San Diego-area elementary or middle schools for use in day-class or after-school music programs. Over its 20 year history, the organization has served over 60,000 K-12 students in more than 65 schools from Chula Vista to Fallbrook. 

Participating schools must have a banjo instructor and a banjo program in place, or have definite plans to begin such a program. The banjos must be securely stored at the school, and students may not take them home. Schools are responsible for keeping the banjos in good condition and will be required to pay for repairs to banjos or cases.

All donated banjos will remain the property of the San Diego Music Foundation, and must be returned if the banjo program is cancelled or inactive for an extended period of time. Each banjo comes with its own padded “gig bag”, which affords protection from moisture and shock. Repairs to banjos (due to normal wear and tear) will be done at no charge to the school. However damages from negligence and improper care of banjos or cases will be the schools responsibility. Photographs of damages must be submitted to us and we will make a final determination of whether or not damages will be covered by the foundation or the school. If the school chooses to replace a lost or stolen banjo, we will provide a replacement at the lowest-possible cost.


San Diego area teachers and administrators are encouraged to send a letter of request, on school or District letterhead, informing us of the number of banjos needed and outlining the plans for their use. We also must know the name of the instructor who will be responsible for the instruments. Both the instructor and principal of the school should sign the letter of request. We will consider and respond to all letters in a timely manner.

Please send your letter of request to:

San Diego Music Foundation
4876 Mt. Royal Place
San Diego, CA 92117

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