Young Film Stars Raise Awareness of School Music, Help Bridge Gap Between Entertainment and Education

To celebrate the upcoming release of the new film “BandSlam”  on August 14, Summit Entertainment and Walden Media arranged for the film’s stars to address Los Angeles (California) County middle school students at The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles.

Co-stars (from left, above) Vanessa Hudgens, Aly Michalka, and Gaelan Connell, as well as Hollywood Records’ Mitchell Lieb, helped students examine the role and positive impact of music in society based on the themes from the film. During the session the young actors and musicians explored the music business through an interactive educational experience. MENC was recognized for its work to ensure all children have access to quality music programs at school.

Walden hosted the event as part of its “Reel Thinking” educational series. The programs engage onsite and remote students nationwide in informative and interactive interdisciplinary explorations while incorporating national and state educational content standards.

Students also participated in question and answer sessions about music arrangement, composition, musicianship, and the importance of music in everyday life. GRAMMY songwriter Lucy Walsh, daughter of The Eagles’ Joe Walsh, also participated in the Q&A and performed for the students. The program was recorded and will be edited for classroom use by educators.

In an interview Hudgens, best known as one of the stars of Walt Disney’s “High School Musical” films, said she strongly supports school music education.

“Music education is extremely important because I believe being creative is something that every kid needs. It feeds your brain to do so many more things, and it opens your mind to the whole world,” Hudgens said. She learned to play guitar for her role in the movie.

Other sponsors of the “Bandslam” event included The GRAMMY Museum, Cable in the Classrooms, MENC, and SchoolTube.

Free “Bandslam” Educator’s Guide

Roz Fehr, June 2, 2009. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education