School music programs have often been the first victims of the budget axe. But with the help of the VH1s Save the Music program, that trend is being reversed.
The Early Show is hosting a nationwide musical instrument drive with VH1 Save The Music. Since the effort started in 1996, $21 million worth of musical instruments have been donated to 900 public schools in 75 cities, improving the lives of nearly 400,000 children.
What You Can Do
If you want to help us 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, but there are also drop-off locations all around the country.
Bid, Buy or Donate - Go to eBay where celebrities have donated various items. All proceeds go to the Save the Music Foundation.
Drop a Line to your Senator or Congress Member - Urge them not to cut music programs in your community.
All next week you will get a host of surprise guests. So visit our plaza and don't forget to bring your instruments.
July 9, Foreigner performed an all time favorite, "Feels Like The First Time." The legendary British-American rock band celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a national summer tour, a greatest hits compilation CD and a VH1 Behind The Music Special. The group has enjoyed the success of numerous hits like, "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Double Vision," and of course, "Hot Blooded." All of these songs can be found on their new greatest hits CD.
June 18, Wyclef Jean performed songs from his new album, "Masquerade." He was recently arrested in New York City with other members of the hip hop community who joined forces to protest the $1 billion education budget cuts proposed by Mayor Bloomberg. Look for him on tour this summer with Mary J. Blige and catch his performance June 20 on The Early Show.
June 12, six-time Grammy winning group, Boyz II Men talked about their new album "Full Circle" and sang their new single, "The Color Of Love." The group has sold over 60 million albums worldwide since their debut release back in 1991. They are also planning to be on tour later this year. Their personal involvement with VH1 Save The Music has included appearances at schools with President Clinton.
On Tuesday, June 11, Vanessa Carlton performed "A Thousand Miles" and Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker was our guest on Monday.
On June 7, Sheryl Crow performed live on The Early Show Plaza from her new CD "C'Mon, C'Mon." And CBS News National Correspondent Jon Frankel reported from a school in East Harlem, N.Y., where a Save The Music grant helped turned the school around. Not only does PS 96 now have a band of 5th and 6th graders, but its reading and math scores have risen. Two years ago, only 22 percent of students met state guidelines for reading and math; now, 71 percent do.
On May 23, The Early Show's Mark McEwen talked to VH1's Divas. Cher, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, The Dixie Chicks, and Shakira were in Las Vegas to perform a live concert from MGM Grand to benefit the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
Back in 1996, John Sykes, former VH1 president, was inspired to begin VH1 Save The Music after being "Principal For A Day" at a Brooklyn school and learning that the music program was about to be cut.
He created a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring music programs in cities across the country and raising public awareness about the importance of music for our nation's youth.
Among the celebrities who have helped with the effort are India.Arie, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, President Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Prince, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain.
VH1 programs/concerts that benefit Save The Music include, "VH1 Divas," "Men Strike Back," "Concert Of The Century For VH1 Save The Music," "Music Education Advocacy Day," "VH1 Storytellers."
The foundation's 10-year plan is to bring music participation to a million children in public schools. More than 90 percent of every dollar marked for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation finds its way into a child's hand in the form of a musical instrument.
If you would like to receive information about VH1 Save The Music, please visit VH1's Web site at www.vh1.com.
The following is The Early Show's calendar of events in partnership with VH1 Save The Music:
- September: Back To School Concert
- December: VH1 Save The Music Holiday Auction