Heather Headley Sings For 'Music'

On Tuesday, The Early Show's special Save the Music performance features Tony award winning actress Heather Headley. She received countless accolades for her Broadway performance in the hit musical "Aida." Now the R&B singer is out on a solo tour of her own, promoting her debut CD, "This Is Who I Am."

Headley also made a donation to the Save The Music campaign, on which you can bid on eBay. She says, "I thought voice lessons. I didn't have my first voice lesson until I was 18. I think sometimes the younger you are sometimes it's better to get that technique going. So RCA and Jay records in my name will donate a series of voice lessons."

Headley was not the only one who made a donation. The Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley showed us the violin with his signature that he is putting on the auction block. And American Express pledged more than $1 million this year through its Blue from American Express Credit card.

Headley's love of music began at an early age. She began competing in performing arts contests at age 2. By age 4, she was playing concert piano.

She says, "My parents saw I had a musical ability long before I knew it. It's come about that music has been a communication. It's a way I talk to God. So singing has always been part of my life."

For Save the Music she sang her single, "I Wish I Wasn't." Her debut CD is already certified gold. It has spent 32 weeks (and holding) on the Billboard Top 200 and peaked at No. 38.

Why The Need

Recent budget cuts have put many music education programs at risk. From Providence to Portland, communities have reduced or eliminated public school music programs. This is occurring in spite of the growing body of research that documents the benefits of music education and some overwhelming public support. An astounding 95 percent of Americans believe that music is a key component in a child's well-rounded education, according to a 2003 Gallup Survey.

What You Can Do

If you want to help keep music in your local schools, here's what you can do:
Donate an instrument - If you live in New York City, bring your instrument to The Early Show Plaza at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, but there also are drop-off locations all around the country.

Bid on great stuff - Go to eBay where celebrities have donated various items. All proceeds go to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation.

Donate Money – Go to vh1savethemusic.com to make a cash contribution. Donations will be used to purchase new instrument.

Support your local programs – Help support public school music programs in your community. Visit the VH1 Save The Music Web site for tools and materials or go to supportmusic.com.

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation purchases new musical instruments to restore music education programs that have been cut because of budget reductions in the past or to save programs at risk of elimination due to lack of instruments. Christina Norman, general manager of VH1 Networks, says since its inception, Save The Music has restored music programs in more than 1,000 schools benefiting half a million children across the country.

Tinsley who has been with the Dave Matthews Band since 1992 says, "I've signed on as spokesperson for Blue for Save the Music because I understand firsthand the incredible impact that music can make on young people's lives. As a child in Charlottesville, Va., I quickly learned violin with the help of supportive teachers, and eventually turned my passion for music into a career. Through Blue for Save the Music, I hope to give some of the same hope and opportunities to kids across the country."

Blue from American Express and the Save The Music Foundation partnered to create Blue for Save The Music. Spokesman John Hayes explains there are a series of video-portrait, PSA-style ads featuring well-known musicians like Sheryl Crow. Also this summer, don't be surprised if you see the Blue for Save the Music bus. It is part of the Amplify Tomorrow tour, which will go to L.A., Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and New York to raise money and support for music programs.

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