Music, and the chance to play it, can change lives.

If that truth resonates with you, you will love a short documentary called The Last Repair Shop.

Co-produced by the Los Angeles Times Co., it looks inside the municipal shop where skilled technicians – and they have their own stories to tell – repair the saxophones, pianos and violins that the Los Angeles Unified School District provides free to its students.

It’s unforgettable storytelling, from the single-mother Mexican immigrant who worked her way out of poverty, to the Armenian refugee who survived family tragedy and now runs the shop, to the guy who grew up poor but parlayed a $20 violin into a career as a bluegrass star. They share screen time with some of the kids who play the repaired instruments, and talk about how music saved them, how it became the organizing principle of their lives.

Plus it’s beautifully photographed – like This Old House if it were painted by Rembrandt.

I hope you’ll check it out! The Last Repair Shop, just 40 minutes long, is free on YouTube, at

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