Eddie Van Halen has been a long-time proponent of music education in schools. Budget cuts often target "non-essential" music programs. Several years ago, EVH donated 75 guitars from his personal collection to help continue the mission of the Mr. Holland's Opus organization.
Arecent study by the NAMM Foundation found that kids who play instruments get superior grades, have higher IQs and face reduced odds of turning to drugs and alcohol later in life.
Van Halen's desire to continue music education stems from his personal experiences. "It hit me when I graduated high school; you sign everybody's yearbook and everybody asks you, 'So what college are you going to?' Well, Eddie stuck to playing the guitar. But, he wants kids to have a chance to learn something more than just basic math, science, history, and literature.
Here's Van Halen's appearance on CNN recently: