On March 19 and 20, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith will be in Washington D.C. to lobby members of Congress on the importance of comprehensive music education in our nation’s schools.
Just in case you didn’t believe your eyes while reading the last sentence, Smith will indeed join former NY Yankee and Latin Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist Bernie Williams, as well as leaders of the music instrument and products industry to promote the benefits that playing music can have for children and teens, and to assure that federal education policy and funding advance access to music learning for all children.
According to a Harris Poll, school principals report higher graduation rates in schools with robust music and art programs than do those without programs (90.2% as compared to 72.9%). In addition, those that rate their programs as “excellent” or “very good” have an even higher graduation rate (90.9%). Schools that have music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than do those without programs (93.3% as compared to 84.9%).
“I am a perfect example of someone who's been musically educated exclusively throughout grade school, middle school, and high school by the public school system,” Smith says. “If there hadn't been a music program in my public schools, I would not be where I am today. Every kid — and I mean everyone — needs a chance to learn and grow with music.”
Smith also works with the Percussion Marketing Council’s (PMC) “Percussion In The Schools” program, The Boys Club Of Milwaukee, The Collective School Of Music, Harlem NYC Jazz, Fender Music Foundation, Little Kids Rock and as an ambassador for Music Drives Us.