We combined Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science skills in this project. We used an atlas to locate states and their capitals, wrote friendly letters, and used the Internet to practice basic searching techniques.
After reading a non-fiction selection in our Reading textbook, titled Meet the Orchestra, we selected a music-related business to write to using the Internet Yellow Pages. We wrote letters to businesses that sold instruments, repaired instruments, or taught instrument lessons.
It is very exciting for children to receive mail addressed just to them! As we receive responses to the letters we sent, they will be added to the web page. Please follow the links below to read some of the letters we sent and the replies we received.
Shows where we have received letters
Click on the city and state below to read the letter we sent and reply we received
If you enjoyed the graphics, please visit the creators by clicking the links below.
Hello my name is Misty. I know you do not know me and I do not know you too. I am writing this letter because I like music. Mrs. Dingman is a nice teacher. What is your name? My favorite food is cake. I am a girl. Do you have kids? I am a kid. Is your favorite food cookies? Did you know my grandma died? I have a baby sister. Do you? I have a brother. I have a twin sister! Can you believe I have a twin! My mom is nice. So is my baby sister. My twin sister's name is Jade, and my baby sister's name is Sage, and my brother's name is Stefin. I am 8 years old. Are you fun? I am a funny person. I hope you are having fun!
What kinds of instruments do you have? Do you have your favorite instruments in your store? I like the trumpet. When is your birthday? What is your favorite color? Thank you for reading this letter.
October 16, 2002
My name is Rick. I run two music stores in Indianapolis. I love to play music. I play the saxophone. I love my wife and kids. My favorite thing is helping a beginner make their first sound on a musical instrument. We have 40 trumpets in our store and a lot of their friends too. My favorite color, when I was a kid, was orange. I love Halloween. BOO!
Have fun... listen to all kinds of music... give your baby sister a hug.
Hi my name is Daniel. I have two brothers and one dog. I want to play a bass guitar. I have a guitar. I did not buy it yet. I love music. I am writing because I love music. I love hotdogs. I had one on Monday September 30, 2002. I can play the drum. My mom works at Mary K.
What kind of instruments do you teach? How many people come to your business? How many hours do you work? How many instruments do you have? How do you teach all the people that go there? How many people did you teach on October 4, 2002? Do you have a dog? Thank you for reading my letter.
October 16, 2002
Received your letter in the mail today. I'll try to answer your questions the best I can. I teach guitar. I don't keep track of how many people come to my shop- sometimes too many, sometimes not enough. I don't keep track of the hours I spend at work. While some people work all day, I have fun all day and don't consider what I do as work. I look at it like playing a game. I have lots of instruments- too many to count. On October 4th, I gave four guitar lessons. I don't have a dog, but I'm thinking about getting one. What would you suggest?
My name is Dylan and I am 8 and a half years old. I am writing to you because I want to find out more about instruments. I am tall, fast, and I have been playing soccer for 3 and a quarter years. In the first year I wore a gray uniform, the 2 years after that I wore yellow, and the third year I am wearing orange. I have 2 sisters and I have mom and dad. I also have 2 half brothers and 1 half sister but they live in a different house. For vacation my family went to Cape Cod.
My favorite instrument is a clarinet. What is your favorite instrument? What kinds of instruments do you sell? Which instrument do you think is better, a drum or a flute? Do you think that selling instruments is fun? Thank you for selling instruments to people.
October 26, 2002
I want to thank you for the nice letter I recently received from you. It sounds like you are a pretty good soccer player.
It's good to know that you also have an interest in music and musical instruments. You said that your favorite instrument was the clarinet. Do you play the clarinet? I play the drums, guitar, bass guitar, and harmonica. I have been playing music since I was 7 years old. I started out on the snare drum. You asked me which instrument I think is better, the flute or drum. Since I don't play the flute, I would have to say that I would rather play the drum. But, I love to hear a flute played well. I have a good friend who just played the flute and piccolo on a couple of songs that I have written this year. I wrote a song, "Thank Yeuss, Doctor Seuss". You have probably read some of Dr. Seuss's books? I also wrote a song this year called, "We Knew Everything Would Be All Right". A second grade class from here in Kennett had a book published by that title, which they wrote last year as a class project on September 12, 2001. You may have already read the book. If not, maybe Mrs. Dingman can get it for you.
You also asked what kind of instruments do I sell? I sell guitars, bass guitars, drums, keyboards, harmonicas, banjos, ukeleles, mandolins, violins, tamborines, bongos, congas, and even musical spoons. I also have band instruments like trumpets, trombones, clarinets, and flutes.
I enjoy selling instruments. It is fun. But what is really fun is seeing the boys and girls, after they have learned how to play, up there performing for the people.
Dylan, thank you for writing to me. I hope you keep up your interest in music, and maybe someday I'll see you on television playing or singing music.
Unfortunately, the letter Timothy sent to this business was returned to us. The post office was unable to locate the address we found on the Internet. I wanted to include Timothy's letter anyway.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Hello, my name is Tim. I am 8 years old. Let me tell you about myself. I like to play football. I have 2 sisters, a mom, and a dad. I have 2 pets. One is a fish, and the other is a cat. My birthday is June 16. My favorite instrument is the drum. I am writing to a music business because I like to meet different people.
Do you like music? What does the inside of a drum look like? How many instruments do you repair? What is your favorite instrument? Have you ever had an instrument that was broken really badly? Thank you for reading this letter.
Please forgive me for taking so long to write. Things have been really busy here. It sounds like you have a pretty cool teacher-it's great to study instruments and then write to someone cross country who you don't even know. You're a great writer- keep it up! As you can see I'm kind of old fashioned and not very competent on the computer- but I'm learning.
I own my shop, that is in my home, and I work alone. I went to a technical school to learn the trade. By the way, coincidentally, I do play flute, and I agree with you- it is a beautiful instrument. Anyways, when I was about 25 yrs. old I realized I wanted to make my living being involved with music, but I knew that playing music is a hard ife and that it did not guarantee a steady income. Since I've always loved working with my hands and I love tools, I decided to learn how to fix instruments. At the school I learned how to repair all the brass and most of the woodwinds. Now I just repair woodwinds because I had so much work, I had to cut back somehow. Since I play a woodwind, I feel more competent with this family. I chose repair instead of sales because I'm a horrible saleswoman!
They rank musical instrument repair as one of the least stressful professions. I'm not sure I agree, but compared to a lot of jobs it is very calm. I'm sure it's less stressful than your mother's job at the department store during Christmas. And I work inside, so, if your Dad works outside installing windows, it's less stressful than that. But we do have deadlines and sometimes it's hard to figure out how to fix the problem on an instrument. I fix (in order of frequency):
1. clarinets- soprano and bass
2. saxophones- soprano, alto, tenor, baritone
Everyday I run across a new problem and everyday I have to figure out how to solve it. This job never gets boring. I can play all the instruments except oboe and bassoon (that's why I avoid them). They are double reed instruments and are harder to play. Again, I have so much work with the rest, I'm not very motivated to fix these.
Answers to more questions: I've had my business (that I started) for 14 years. I enjoy symphonies and orchestras but I also enjoy almost any music- except hard rock and punk. I try to find the good in any music- the beat, the lyrics, the chords. My husband and me play salsa music. He is from Cuba and plays the trombone. I play the bass. Where in Pennsylvania are you? My sister lives in Philadelphia. The trees are so big and beautiful there. Everything is big there. The streets, houses, etc. Houses are a lot smaller here.
I hope you get to visit all the places you dream. And maybe you'll pick up a musical instrument. Music is a great thing to know- and to learn an instrument is hard- but very rewarding. If you have any more questions, please write.
Owner Second Wind Repair
P.S. I love my job!
Second Wind Repair
Albuquerque, New Mexico
September 25, 2002
Dear Sir or Madam,
Hello my name is Alyssa. My favorite instrument is the flute. I wish I could play the flute. I do not play an instrument. You are probably wondering why I am writing to you. I am writing to you to find out more about fixing instruments. We read a story about all the different kinds of instruments. So we decided to write to a music business. Then we chose what kind of music business we wanted to write to in the state we chose and wrote to them.
I have four people in my family. I only have one sister. I like typing on computers. I went to Ohio over summer break because I used to live there. I also went to Connecticut because my two uncles and one Aunt live there and so does my grandma. I am eight and a half. I am turning nine October ninth. My sister is ten and a half. She is turning eleven November thirteenth. My sister's name is Kaitlin. I really do not like my sister sometimes. She can be really annoying. I wish I could go to California, Florida, Hawaii, Canada, New Mexico or Mexico. I really like writing. My favorite subjects are spelling, reading, and math. My dad works for Andersen Windows and my mom just started working for the store Filenes. I like playing soccer and basketball. I also like doing cheerleading. I used to live in Connecticut and I have a lot of friends there even though I didn't go to school since I started kindergarten in Ohio. I had a lot of friends in Ohio too. I lived in Ohio for three years. This is my second year in Pennsylvania. I like it here but I am not used to the ruralness here. I really miss Ohio. I hope you write back so I can learn something about you and how you learned how to fix instruments.
How did you learn how to fix instruments? Why did you choose to fix instruments instead of selling them? Do you like what you are doing? Is it fun? Have you fixed a French horn before? Do you like listening to orchestra music? How long have you been in business? Was the music business passed down to you or did you start it? Do you give tours to people so they can see how instruments are fixed? Do you fix a certain instrument or all of the kinds of instruments? Do some people only do brass family or any of the other kinds of instruments only? And, do some music businesses do all of the kinds instruments? Do you play an instrument like the flute? Thank you if you write back.
Hi, my name is Jennifer. I am sorry it took me so long to write you back. It gets very busy here at Quick's Music Store.
Working in the music store is fun. We deal with a lot of different people, especially kids. One of the things we do is rent instruments to students who are learning to play instruments for the first time. We also sell instruments to people who want to buy new ones. There are so many things to do here. We get boxes of new instruments and accessories in, so we make sure they all get price tags on them.
I also make sure that the store stays looking nice. A good part of my days are spent teaching other people about their instruments and answering questions for them.
I'm glad you like to play the flute. It is nice of your friend Whitney to loan you hers. She must be a good friend. Besides working in the store I also teach flute lessons here. I have been playing the flute for almost 15 years. I love to play it. I play all different kinds of music on it. I have 11 students I am teaching right now. Teaching lessons is my favorite part of my job.
We have several different teachers at our store. They teach guitar, piano, voice, violin, saxophone, clarinet, drums, and a few other instruments.
I have enclosed a business card, a sticker, and an instrument case name tag for you. Maybe if you get your own flute to play you can put it on the case so you don't lose it.
Thank you for sending me a letter. I hope you have a great day today!
Quick's Music Store
September 25, 2002
Dear Sir or Madam,
Hi, my name is Devin. I am glad that I am writing because I would like to know a little more about what you do. I like to practice on my friend Whitney's flute. Sometimes she brings her flute to my house and we practice at my house together and it is a lot of fun. I love to play the flute because it sounds like a bird sometimes and I like to play drums because they are loud. I once lost my friend's flute but I didn't mean to. Then she forgave but she made me buy her a new one. I would like to know if your job is fun because my aunt used to work at a music shop in Texas and she said it was fun. That's why I'm writing to you. I hope you like my letter so far.
I would like to know if your job is fun? Do you like working in a music business like this? Do you like working? How many people come to your lessons? Are there a lot of people who come there? What instruments do you teach? I am thanking you for reading my letter.