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MMD > Archives > July 2013 > 2013.07.01 > 01Prev  Next

Restore America's Music Machines
By Mikey Mills

Adopt an Instrument

Hi,  I've thoroughly read each of the responses to my program I am
hoping to launch, both positive, and negative, and I hope I can
explain in more detail on some things that were questioned.  One
thing that was brought up was Kickstarter, why use that?

Kickstarter is a very visual and interactive fundraising program,
and it shows how much money has been raised, and is updated in real
time, unlike a 'donate' button on a web site, which is pretty much
just a donate button.

Kickstarter also allows for easy benefits for backers, such as, an
'$100 donation could get you to hear the instrument after being
restored', or 'a $20 donation will get you a CD' etc.  Kickstarter
also allows for stretch goals, like if '$1000 more than the original
goal is raised, 10 new rolls are purchased'.

Other fundraising programs do not have all these benefits, and if
funding is unsuccessful the first time, everyone is completely
refunded their money.

Another thing everyone said, although I briefly discussed this, is
future maintenance.  True, a location could go back to their 'old
ways', but I've come up with some ways to avoid this:

1. CDs -- I would be willing to record CDs for the parks/locations
to sell in their gift shops, and also through,
all profits going to the future maintenance of the instruments.

2. Coin Operation -- Although it was implied that this was strictly for
band organs, that was not the case.  A properly displayed nickelodeon
can really make money!  The real key of course is to make it known that
a coin slot is there, as some people would just assume it's a 'fancy
piano', and it would be good to make a sign saying 'insert coin to play
a song' or something like that.  For band organs, Wurlitzer has a 'coin
trip' at the end of any song to allow for coin operation, but a coin
operated band organ on a carousel in my opinion is slightly odd.

3. Volunteer Work -- My local amusement park, Kings Island, is close
enough that I could go there once a week to change rolls, clean out the
tracker bars, or even tune it.  (Yes, I do know how!)  Sure, I won't
be planning on re-leathering the pumps or rebuilding the crank shaft,
but a properly restored instrument won't need something like that for
years.  Often, when a music machine stops playing, it's something
simple like 'The rolls won't switch over', or I've even seen a case
where the instrument simply wasn't plugged in properly.

But really, chances are, once the park gets back their restored
instrument, it will get paid maintenance.  These aren't just 'junk',
and once the parks realize that, they will put money into it, and
a few thousand each year on an instrument is nothing compared to tens
of thousands to restore it.

Also, people questioned if the instruments would actually be played.
There are very few amusement parks that simply 'don't play their band
organs'.  Museums and public parks do this due to terrible acoustics
in an 'all glass', or 'all metal' building reflecting the sound, but
amusement parks generally want the band organ to be loud, as they want
people to hear the band organ from a distance and ride the carousel!
An outside, un-enclosed building usually does wonders for the band
organ, and people just want to ride it, nobody complains, because the
acoustics are fine!

To reiterate again on keeping them playing, when the parks see the
increase on attendance to the carousel, they wouldn't want to decrease
the ride's popularity!

Mikey Mills 

(Message sent Tue 2 Jul 2013, 01:54:42 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  America's, Machines, Music, Restore

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