November 13, 2019

Philly Music Students Create, Edit, Produce on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

On October 21 and 22, students at Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion High School made music with a few of the industry’s top producers, songwriters, and engineers.

They were all aboard the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (the Lennon Bus), which was in residency at the School District of Philadelphia. The Lennon Bus is a state-of-the-art mobile production facility that provides hands-on creative experiences to students of all ages. They get a special chance to use the latest in music products and audio, video, and broadcast technologies that are on board.

Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Coalition Artist Ambassadors including producer and songwriter Ivan Barias (Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown), 2x GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Kristal “Tytewriter” Oliver (Kanye West, Enrique Iglesias)and the professional engineers on the Lennon Bus, students not only learned about potential career paths first-hand, but also created, edited, and produced both audio and video content as their very own original work. Rapper Kevin Gates appeared at the first day of the bus’ residency. He spent several hours speaking with students and touring their school.

Watch the video they made: “The Sky is the Limit”

“As a Recording Academy National Trustee, I’ve been involved in the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition from its inception,” said Barias. “I’m so proud to be with DASH and the Lennon Bus. I’m here to listen, support, and mentor the students as they ask me, and catch our Philly students make something we all are proud to share with the city and the world.”

The Coalition’s Ryan Zellner, Strategic Programs Director said, “We are especially grateful to Kevin for taking the time out to visit with the students. Knowing that someone can achieve regardless of circumstances is important for every student to hear, see and feel.”

“Encouraging young people to embrace their creativity and imagine peace is a core value of the program and connects them to Lennon’s legacy of free expression and activism,” said Lennon Bus Co-Founder Brian Rothschild. “This year’s two-day visit was a great way to jumpstart an annual Come Together Philadelphia residency. Introducing the Lennon Bus to local professionals, educators, students, and elected officials can help grow the program to reach even more students and schools next year.”

The Coalition and Lennon Bus also donated state-of-the-art instruments and gear to Strawberry Mansion High School. The Coalition also supports the school’s DASH (Destined to Achieve Successful Heights) program, which aims to change the way students perceive music education and the industry through songwriting classes, music production, lessons in publishing, business, and more.