1848. Jen O'Brien
Jen O’Brien, from Glasgow, founded ‘Music Broth’, Scotland’s largest musical instrument and equipment lending library with over 1,400 items on offer.
‘Music Broth’ works like a traditional library but replaces books for instruments, making music more accessible and affordable, while reducing waste and carbon emissions by restoring once loved instruments. Starting with just a group of 4 volunteers, the organisation has grown to a team of over 70 based in three locations across Scotland, and also offers contact-free musical instrument delivery. Jen and the team are also able to help people access things like tuition books and recording equipment for bands who might be under financial strain, and provide free workshops, events, music lessons, and opportunities for all individuals in the community.
In a personal letter to Jen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to learn of your musical instrument lending library which makes learning music more affordable and accessible. By restoring secondhand instruments and equipment, you have also created an innovative way to reduce waste and reduce carbon emissions.”
“I’m honoured to be supported by all members of Parliament as a Point of Light. I’m one part of our organisation ‘Music Broth’, but I can’t possibly do all we do without the support of all our wonderful volunteers, members, donors, tutors, sessional workers, and supporters. Thank you for your recognition of our hard work and dedication at ‘Music Broth’; making music more accessible and affordable to all, bringing musical joy, whilst reducing waste and carbon emissions.”
Picture credit: IEM Photography