Imagine: Lennon's legacy still inspiring music in children

NEW YORK - It's not uncommon for an elementary school chorus to sing a John Lennon song.

It is quite the exception to the rule, however, to have Yoko Ono in the audience to hear it.

"It was good [to hear them singing]," said Ono. "So good."

"Instant Karma" gets the students of PS 171

Ono showed up in style at PS 171 in Manhattan. Alongside the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus which gives young, aspiring musicians the chance of a lifetime to record music and shoot videos in this state-of-the-art mobile studio.

CBS asked Ono: "You probably get asked all the time to lend your support and your name and John's name to all kinds of projects. Why did you decide to support this one?"

"I think this is one of the most important ones, because the educational situation is not so good and all that," said Ono. "So, we have to add something that's really positive."

Ono founded the Lennon bus 16 years ago with a musician named Brian Rothschild. Each year, 250,000 kids visit this bus and another in Europe to work with its professional crew to produce a video in a single day.

"That's what music education needs in the world," said Rothschild." We need lightning rods, like John Lennon's name and the legacy of his life."

If Yoko Ono is at all worried that legacy is lost on those born after John Lennon's death, she should hear what 5th grader Lena Habtu had to say.

The class from PS 171 stand in front of the Lennon bus. CBS News

"He shows that if we try really hard, we can make things peaceful and we can make the world a better place," said Habtu. "Because I feel like if two buses can be sending this message, why can't everyone?

"They can," said Habtu.

A moving thought ... to imagine.

  • Jim Axelrod
    Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the chief investigative correspondent and senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.