One of the most influential artists in the history of rock made a significant contribution today to help support public school music programs. According to a press release, the Van Halen founder and guitarist Eddie Van Halen donated 75 electric guitars from his own personal collection to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides schools across the country with quality musical instruments.
Per Van Halen’s request, the foundation will dispense the guitars to music programs in public schools throughout the Los Angeles, CA area where the demand of students enrolled exceeds the number of instruments.
“Music is the universal language. It has the ability to transcend and convey every human emotion that exists without saying a word. Music kept me off the streets and out of trouble and gave me something that was mine that no one could take away from me,” Van Halen explained. “Music education and families are dealing with the economic times, and I wanted to help them. If I can help a kid discover a liking, or even a passion for music in their life, then that’s a wonderful thing. Music has provided a good life for me and hopefully it can help make life better for others with this donation.”
The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation donates new and refurbished musical instruments to under-served schools in an effort to give kids the myriad of benefits provided by music education, help them to be better students in general and inspire creativity and expression through making music. Hundreds of thousands of students across the country have benefited and thousands of instruments have been donated to more than 1,100 school music programs across the country. More information can be found at www.mhopus.org.