Repurposing Marquette music

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Photo courtesy of Noah Bauer FEELING SAXY—Marquette Music Pantry founder and NMU alum Noah Bauer displays his diverse musical skills playing the saxophone.

Maggie Duly

Music has a way of bringing people together, but it’s not the easiest thing to learn, master and support financially. One day NMU alum Noah Bauer had an idea to help aspiring Marquette musicians begin their journeys at little to no cost. 

About a year ago Bauer decided he wanted to share music with his nieces. He reached out to the community on social media, asking if anyone had an unused guitar to donate so the girls had something to start learning music on.

“I was just amazed with how many people reached out and it gave me the idea that maybe I should do that on a larger scale and offer it to the entire community,” Bauer said.

Thusthe Marquette Music Pantry was born. The non-profit organization seeks to provide low cost instruments, instrument accessories and lessons with the help of donations and volunteers.

“Music is a huge force in my life. I’ve been playing for at least 15 years,” Bauer said. “I’ve always really enjoyed it, always loved listening to it and exploring it as much as I could. I didn’t really care about genres, just finding all the different ways music could sound good.”

Bauer is a lover and master of many different instruments, but he started his instrumental journey on the piano. 

“I grew up listening to my brother playing and wanted to do that. So I started as soon as I could and from there I’ve just been playing,” Bauer said. “It’s always been a very good thing in my life, it helped make a bunch of friends, it’s a good way to meet people and forge good connections with people and everlasting friendships.”

Music Pantry Co-founder and local musician Nicklas Johnson shares Bauers passion to help children and adults explore their love of music. The two hope to work hand-in-hand with Music For All Kids, another local non-profit organization that helps provide funding for music education.

“The main thing is putting instruments in the hands of people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access them and people who want to figure out how to speak the language of music,” Bauer said. “I want to be able to provide that to as many people who don’t have access as possible.”

Sustainability also inspired Bauer to repurpose old forgotten instruments. So far, the program has received six instrument donations. 

“My degree is in environmental studies and sustainability, so relocating things from landfills is great to,” Bauer said. “If somebody has an instrument sitting around in their basement collecting dust it’s better to reallocate it to someone who will use it than end up getting thrown away eventually.” 

There will be an instrument giveaway at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at Superior Culture, the Kombucha bar on Third Street.