John Lennon's music inspires new generation of students

Posted May 9, 2010 12:49 p.m. EDT
Updated May 9, 2010 3:24 p.m. EDT

Project Education: Edutopia, a partnership between WRAL-TV and the George Lucas Educational Foundation, shows how a tour bus is using the music of John Lennon to show the importance of music education.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus travels the country, visiting schools and events. The crew offers small groups of children hands-on experience in professional audio-recording and video-making for free.

"Our whole reason for being is to supplement, support and inspire music and video programs and teachers in communities and leaders," Executive Director Brian Rothschild said.

At each stop, engineers serve as mentors and show students how to run the high-tech gear in the bus, which has studios for recording, producing and mixing music. Sometimes, recording artists to add their talent to the mix. In the end, students get to show their peers and family a music video they made.

The larger goal, though, is to awaken skills in students that will help them throughout their studies, crew members said.

"The fundamental component of creativity is one's ability to problem solve," said Marco Torres, who helped with the John Lennon Educational Bus in San Francisco. "In any creative project that you go into – whether it is movie, whether it is music, whether it is photography, design, math, science, social studies, language arts – I think at the basic core is your ability to problem solve, and I think that it just gives kids the confidence to take risks."

Those skills will carry students far in their work as well, even though most don't become movie producers or musicians. Torres said.

"Having had this experience the kids learn how to organize themselves. The kids learn how to work with others, how to convince others of a concept that they have," he said.

"These are skills that they will be able to bring to their jobs and say, 'Hey this is what I can do. I can communicate in English, Spanish and multimedia.'"