A Route To Reunion

You may have seen the news stories some weeks ago about items stolen from a tour van belonging to caped keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman*.  It contained an entire rig of equipment including an array of vintage synths and bespoke instruments – a big loss that could have brought his tour to a halt.  When a player or business suffers the theft or loss of a single instrument the upset and impact can be just as traumatic.

The team at Allianz, an allied member of the MIA, has been giving this careful thought, and they’ve launched a new service to help reunite musicians and retailers with missing instruments.

There’s research behind this move as you’d expect:

  • 66% of musicians say playing music boosts their mood
  • 22% of musicians turn to their instrument when dealing with financial worries
  • 40% reveal they would be devastated if they lost their instrument.

They’ve even surveyed people who don’t play anything, with the following feedback, interesting from all sorts of perspectives:

  • 28% of the 1,000 people surveyed admit that being able to play a musical instrument would help them relax
  • 41% said they envy people who do play an instrument
  • 29% of those surveyed have playing a musical instrument on their bucket list

These results demonstrate the importance of music and the life benefits it brings, and they also show there’s still new customers for MIA Members to support in their musical journey.

I (Matt) have no doubts all of us working in MI feel strongly about instrument theft and loss, both as musicians and as the people who make, distribute and sell musical instruments.  My Schimmel piano would be very difficult to move, but were my clarinet to go missing it would prevent me from going to orchestra rehearsals, a highlight of my week.  I have one clarinet which has been with me for 30 years so I also understand how emotionally attached players can become to their instruments.  It was my learning companion and it’s still a reliable back-up now.

The great thing about Missing Instruments Finder is the potential to protect both musicians and MI businesses.  It also addresses the risk of those who buy and sell pre-loved instruments unwittingly handling stolen goods.  Listing missing and found instruments on the dedicated website is a great way to improve the odds of owner and instrument being reunited.  What’s even better is that the service is free.

Brian Hillstead, Partnership Manager at Allianz, told us the following:

“As the UK’s leading musical insurer, we launched our Missing Instruments Finder based on feedback from customers who told us of a need for this platform. For retailers and repairers this could be a valuable resource to share with your customers, it could be something you adopt into your checks when buying in second hand items, or even a place to document your businesses stolen instruments. Supporting the music industry is a key part of our business so we’re really looking forward to seeing how many musicians and businesses we can reunite with their instruments through the use of this free to use platform” 

Follow the link above to find out more.  We can see significant value in this service and would encourage you to register and make your teams, colleagues and musical friends aware of its existence.

*You may know Rick Wakeman from the Grumpy Old Men TV series, as a past keyboard player for Strawbs and Yes, or for his solo albums including ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ and ‘The Myths & Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table’.  Check them out if you haven’t already, and if you are up for a fairly unique listening experience give ‘Tales of Topographic Oceans’ (Yes) a go.  Sadly, it would be unreasonable to expect the Allianz service to extend to reuniting band line-ups.


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