There are about 800 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and hundreds of them have music programs. There are jazz bands, choirs, orchestras and marching bands. But for a couple of years, teachers and student musicians have faced a big problem: broken strings, worn-out horns and out-of-tune pianos — a backlog of aging instruments that the district is scrambling to repair and replace.
"Well, there's no bow," she says. "This is a broken violin, actually. All the strings are detached. The bridge is broken."