Class is now in session at the school of rock.
Eddie Van Halen just donated 75 of his own personal guitars to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a national organization that promotes music education for children.
In a statement, the guitarist simply explained, “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 also acknowledged that his immense success motivated him to give more children a chance at self-fulfillment through music. ” 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 generous gift, which will be dispersed among 7 Los Angeles schools at Van Halen’s request, is already making an impact. Michael Flores, a student at Garfield High, tried out one of the guitars and told CBS2, “I think its great … Compared to what I played in the beginning, this sounds amazing.”
Watch CBS2’s video report of Van Halen’s impact on Garfield High School and check out CBS2 for the full story.
The Associated Press reports that Van Halen instructed staffers at Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation that the guitars were to be used in schools, not sold — and the lucky schools who received them weren’t told who donated them until the day they arrived. Hopefully the guitars will be kept secure under lock and key when students aren’t using them, as the Foundation recommended.
In this photo, Eddie Van Halen poses with his 75 donated guitars and Felice Mancini, executive director of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. (Getty Images/Frazer Harrison)