Music teacher Tim Wilson has spent, by his own estimation, between $50,000 and $100,000 of his own money buying keyboards, guitars, amps, and drums for his students at DeJean Middle School in the city of Richmond, California. Though Richmond's most famous business is Chevron, it lacks the tax base and resources of neighboring, wealthier towns in the East San Francisco Bay area such as Berkeley and Albany, and its schools are predictably under-budgeted.
Due to a pension from his former life as a trumpeter in the San Francisco opera, he can afford to spend most of his teaching salary on resources for his classroom, and has also benefit from the help of the Little Kids Rock non-profit organization, which has facilitated both free and discounted musical instruments.
Keyboard magazine has always been about the music that people have in common, not the politics that divide us. But as your editor, I will say that though it warms my heart that Mr. Wilson is willing and able to do this, it burns my butt that he should have to. If we can find no end of funds for war--and I'm not trying to question the need for national defense--we can and must do better by our schools. Especially given that you could sink a container ship with the weight of the of studies that show that children who study music from a young age also do better in math and science, exhibit improved memory and concentration, and are less likely to solve conflicts through violence.
Tim Wilson, you're a hero and we wish there were a million more of you. Rock on. --Stephen Fortner
Click the source link below to read the full story and watch a video profile of Tim.
Source: NBC Bay Area