12 Musicians Who Rocked The Classroom

  • 9th Wonder
    Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
  • Sheryl Crow
    Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
  • Roberta Flack
    Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images
  • Art Garfunkel
    Photo: Kevin Kane/WireImage.com
  • Greg Graffin
    Photo: Daniel Knighton/WireImage.com
  • J-Live
    Photo: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.com
  • Melissa Manchester
    Photo: Bobby Bank/WireImage.com
  • Joe Satriani
    Photo: Harry Herd/WireImage.com
  • Gene Simmons
    Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images
  • Sting
    Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
  • Wyclef Jean
    Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

While Alice Cooper sang about the glory days of school being "out forever," and Roger Waters convinced hoards of youths that "we don't need no education," some musicians believe that, as the Jackson 5 sang, "ABC, as easy as 1, 2, 3." In fact, some have taken their love for education literally to the classroom.

In honor of National Teacher Day on May 6, below we present a list of some artists who have lent their time, talent and patience to help encourage future generations of all kinds to stay in school because. So, check out this list and then take some time to #ThankaTeacher.

9th Wonder
After teaching stints at North Carolina Central University and Duke University, rapper/producer Patrick Douthit, aka 9th Wonder, was accepted as a Harvard University fellow where he teaches The Standards of Hip-Hop course and conducts research on hip-hop's history, culture and role in academia. 9th Wonder’s journey was documented in the 2013 film The Hip-Hop Fellow.

Sheryl Crow
Before she was part of the Tuesday night music club, GRAMMY winner Crow taught music at Kellison Elementary School in Baldwin, Mo. After two years in the classroom, she cashed in her pension and moved to California.

Roberta Flack
GRAMMY winner Flack once worked as a high school English and music teacher in Farmville, N.C., where she softly introduced her students to the wonders of Bach, Mozart and Handel.

Art Garfunkel
Before Simon And Garfunkel entered the big leagues with their massive GRAMMY-winning hit "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Garfunkel earned a master's degree in mathematics at Columbia College. Later, he briefly taught math at Litchfield Preparatory School in Connecticut during a Simon And Garfunkel hiatus.

Greg Graffin
Known as @DoctorGraffin on Twitter, Graffin is a punk professor by day and lead singer of Bad Religion by night. His education credits include teaching Life Science 1 at his alumnus, the University of California Los Angeles.

Turns out Jean-Jacques Cadet (aka J-Live) is no space cadet. The New York rapper, who has worked with Prince Paul and DJ Premier, was an eighth grade teacher in Brunswick, N.Y.

Melissa Manchester
A GRAMMY-winning songstress, Manchester was once selected to participate in a songwriting workshop taught by fellow GRAMMY winner Paul Simon at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She now serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

Before she was helping craft songs for GRAMMY winners such as Pink and Christina Aguilera, Canadian dance/electronica artist Peaches brought her "Teaches of Peaches" curriculum to the music and drama departments at Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto where students called her Ms. Merrill Beth Nisker.

Joe Satriani
Arguably equally as impressive as his 15 career GRAMMY nominations is Satriani's gift for teaching others how to play guitar. Satriani's list of past students include GRAMMY winner Steve Vai, GRAMMY-winning Metallica axeman Kirk Hammett and Larry LaLonde, guitarist for GRAMMY-nominated hard rock act Primus.

Gene Simmons
Before he was spitting blood and breaking fire onstage, the Kiss bassist taught sixth grade in Spanish Harlem. Legend has it his education stint ended after he chose Spider-Man comic books over Shakespeare for learning material.

Before joining the Police, Sting taught English music and soccer at St. Paul's Roman Catholic First School in the UK. Rumor has it Sting was strict in the classroom, and had several female students wrapped around his finger. (See "Don't Stand So Close To Me.")

Wyclef Jean
In 2010 this GRAMMY-winning Fugees member served as a visiting fellow for the Brown University Africana studies department's to participate in the Haitian initiative, which included lectures, faculty conversations and classes.

(The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation will present the second annual Music Educator Award during GRAMMY Week in February 2015. Learn more about the award at www.grammyintheschools.com.)

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