“Long before they owned late night TV as a house band for Fallon’s Tonight Show, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter were cutting their teeth at Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts,” writes Tom Barnes on Wednesday (11/5) at Mic.com. “Recently, though, the school that taught the Roots to play hip-hop fell victim to budget cuts…. The school is set to take a $1.1 million hit. It will have to cut 19 staff members, after-school clubs, extracurricular activities and its annual theater production.… ‘I’m taking this as a state of emergency,’ said The Roots drummer and bandleader Questlove,” who is creating the Creative and Performing Arts Foundation, “a long-term plan to sustain the school.… It aims to raise $500,000 annually for its first five years, upping to a full $1 million for every year after that.… Studies have shown that students who study music demonstrate increased functioning across many activities. On average, children who receive musical education in school boast higher grades, higher test scores, better attendance records and higher rates of community engagement…. In short: playing music in your classroom matters more than you know.”

Posted November 7, 2014