Yoko Ono poses outside the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a mobile recording studio
Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Hop on the John Lennon educational tour bus
What's it like on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? A handful of lucky Southwood Middle School students in Country Club Hills, Ill., got to find out after their school district was one of the "What Makes Music Education Great in My School District" NAMM contest winners.
The fully equipped bus packs the entire recording experience into a traveling studio, which offers students around the country the opportunity to record their own music. The bus was the brainchild of Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono, who wanted to help keep her husband’s spirit alive through music. During each tour bus stop, students spend the day writing and recording an original song before filming an accompanying music video.
Like The Recording Academy's educational initiatives, such as GRAMMY Signature Schools, which provides awards and monetary grants to public high school music programs based upon need, the contest sought out schools making a strong commitment to music education. Southwood Middle School was chosen as a winner in recognition of their dedication to music education despite a high population of impoverished students.
Fittingly, the students at Southwood Middle School chose to write a motivational song called "Unbreakable," which will debut at a school concert on May 11.
"It's kind of like follow your dreams and don't let anybody say anything that can bring you down," Eric, a Southwood Middle School student, told the Chicago Tribune. "Make sure you stay true to who you are."