For the last 30 years I’ve been fortunate to do quite a bit of travelling, and I’ve always travelled with a guitar. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, you pull out a musical instrument and people come out of nowhere to listen, join in and begin talking to each other.
Music is intrinsic to our DNA and is enjoyed in every culture, and in every country around the world. It unites us.
In 2016 my wife Jo and I were staying in Sri Lanka, and I got to know a young man who was working at the accommodation where we were staying. He worked from before dawn to long after dark seven days a week, and his name was Assam. Every time I began playing the guitar, his elated face would appear from behind a tree, or corner of the building and he would be transfixed with the music. Every day he would come closer and closer, and I began to teach him how to play. I realised it would probably be many years before he could afford to buy his own guitar, and I suddenly thought it would make a HUGE difference to his life if he had one now.
So when we checked out, I went to Assam, and I gave him my guitar. Now this guitar had been with me on my travels all around the world for the last 30 years, yet I had another, better one at home. I would always have the memories that this guitar had given me, now it would continue to create memories for someone new.
The amazement and happiness on Assam’s face when he realised it was for him, and that it was his to keep, was a beautiful thing I’ll always remember.
This was when Noteworthy was born.
Ever wanted to travel to an amazing place but always been too scared to take your good guitar or other musical instrument?
Ever wanted to make a difference to someone’s life, and spread your love of music at the same time?
"At Noteworthy, our vision is to connect people and enrich lives all over the world through the giving and receiving of musical instruments".
Once you have begun travelling, play the instrument to your heart’s content, hopefully writing some brilliant new songs inspired by the amazing places you’re seeing and the people you’re meeting.
Towards the end of your trip, start thinking about who would be a worthy recipient of your guitar. Maybe someone who likes listening to you play. If possible get to know them a little.
Someone who you think would be deserving of such a gift, perhaps they work very hard, perhaps they have something about them that makes you think they will be a valuable member of their community when they are older. Or maybe they are already elderly and have always wanted a musical instrument but been unable to afford one. Perhaps they are a teacher at a school who would like to teach their students music. Someone Noteworthy.
At this point, take a photo of yourself with the recipient, and the musical instrument, and send it to us, or share it on our Noteworthy Instagram or facebook page page.
This is an instant record of you becoming a Noteworthy Ambassador, a way to share your story with the world, and to show people how you have made a difference to another person’s life.
You will be inspiring others to do the same and to follow your example.
So instead of travelling somewhere, and the minute you arrive wishing you had brought your guitar (ukulele etc), before you leave home, head to a charity shop and buy an old, cheap second hand one.
Clean it up and put some new strings on it. As the person who receives the instrument will likely be learning to play from the beginning, nylon strings are the way to go, to be easy on their fingers.
Get yourself a soft guitar carry case if you do not already have one. Soft ones have excellent padding these days, can be re used and when coming home, simply folded up and put in your back pack or suitcase.
Lastly, the person who receives the instrument may not have access to the internet, or a mobile phone so they may not be able to learn by downloading chords. Simply printing out one page of chords will ensure they will have everything they need to get them developing their love of music. A love that you have helped them begin.
If you’re feeling flush, a simple tuner would be helpful too. Otherwise if they have access to a mobile phone, help them to download the free guitar tuner app, and show them how to access a page of chords online.
When leaving, present them with your gift, your instrument. This is quite an incredible moment for you and the recipient, and often one of pure joy and connectedness.
To know that you have helped another person with a gift of music is something that will stay with both of you for a very, very long time. While it is about giving, for you it is also about letting go.
It is up to you whether you would like to stay in touch, or just simply ride off into the sunset not looking back. It is completely up to the recipient what he or she does with the gift. Hopefully they will continue to play it and bring music and joy to their lives and the lives of those around them for many years to come.
Each pack includes the Noteworthy T Shirt (pictured) which has been exclusively designed for Noteworthy by the very talented Neil from Vast Designs, as well as 5 Noteworthy 75mm X 75mm stickers you can place on your instrument that you deliver, or on any of your own guitar cases etc to show your support for the Noteworthy concept.
Also as a Noteworthy Ambassador, if you have recorded any of your own music, you can include a link to go on your Noteworthy Instagram post, promoting your music / new album release. This will help your music reach a wider audience than perhaps you have reached already.
This way Noteworthy is supporting and encouraging both emerging artists as well as more experienced musicians.
You can purchase the Ambassador Noteworthy Pack for $60 AUD inc. G.S.T. (Plus postage).
Just send us your T Shirt size and payment, and we’ll get your Ambassador’s Pack sent to you as soon as we can.
If you would rather leave the travelling to someone else but would still like to support the Noteworthy initiative of giving musical instruments to people around the world, you can still purchase the official Noteworthy T shirt, and Noteworthy stickers for yourself or as a gift to someone who you know will appreciate the Noteworthy concept.
You can purchase the official Noteworthy Supporter T shirt (pictured) for $ 50 AUD inc. G.S.T. (Plus postage). Made from Global Organic Textile Standard Certified Organic cotton, these T Shirts are comfortable, hard wearing and perfect for travelling or stepping out.
You can purchase a pack of 5 Noteworthy stickers for $ 15 AUD inc. G.S.T. (Plus postage).
5% of the sale of Noteworthy T shirts goes towards the purchase and distribution of musical instruments where possible.
Take a look at our merchandise shop
So that’s it!
You get to have another instrument to play on your travels, while your good one sits safely at home. You get to make a difference to someone’s life by leaving your musical instrument with them in an act of compassion. You are actively supporting the sharing of music throughout the world, proving that as people, we have more things in common than we have differences. It is the sound of giving, giving music globally.
Giving Music Globally
Don Hearn, Founder