Flea has been training and will run his first 26.2-miler, The Los Angeles Marathon, this coming weekend to raise money to fund music education for children. In a recent Runners World article, he was asked: How did you get involved with music education?
“I was at a Knicks basketball game. I happened to be sitting next to a woman who was a music teacher at Fairfax High School, which is my alma mater—and all of the original Chili Peppers’ alma mater—and she asked me if I would come to the school to talk to the kids about a career in music. I was like, “Great, love to.” I went down there and I walked the halls feeling this flood of memories of my experiences there. I went into the music room and students had no instruments—there was no orchestra, no band, nothing. Students were sitting around listening to music on a boom box, talking about music. When I went there, you could pick any instrument you wanted, they’d teach you how to play it, and you’d play in an orchestra, it was incredible. It hurt me to see that.”
Flea’s marathon effort is in support of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music which he started with a couple of friends about 10 years ago as a nonprofit music school to “pick up the ball where the public school system dropped it—[music education] is not being funded anymore.”He funded much of the initial cost himself and the conservatory has grown to 700 students.
It is awesome to have programs like this available with the help of our favorite musicians, not to mention the whole marathon running part which is quite a feat in itself!
Here in the Berkshires we are lucky to have a wealth of local musicians as faculty of RockOn Workshop, providing an arena for young musicians to hone their skills, and gain the confidence that it takes to perform in front of an audience. At any level, music education enriches a person whether they pursue a career as a performer or not. It IS important.
RockOn is accepting applications now for Summer 2011.
** If you would like to support Flea with his commitment to music education, click here to make a pledge for his marathon run. **