Superstars try to save music education at Savoy Elementary School in DC.

263 30 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Who knew New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams graduated from a performing arts high school in his native Puerto Rico?

Or that the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith, says he wouldn't have graduated from his public high school if it wasn't for his music classes.

These are just two of the stars who stopped at Savoy Elementary School in D.C. to teach the students how to play the guitar, drums and ukulele. Their goal is to keep the arts in schools.

They are part of a delegation representing the North American Music Manufacturers Association. The group traveled to D.C. to meet with 100 members of Congress to convince them to fund arts education in schools.

"I think it's important to wave your hand and be a squeaky wheel and be able to say this is what we feel is really important," said Chad Gaylord Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Now that Bernie Williams is done with baseball, he's recorded two jazz guitar CD's, preformed all over the world and has been nominated for a Latin Grammy. Williams truly believes in music education.

"My mom was an educator for 40 years and in Puerto Rico in the public education system, and she knew that for in order for us to have a well rounded education we needed to be exposed to the arts an music," Williams said.

Savoy Elementary is part of a program called Turnaround Arts, a presidential committee created to show that music and the arts help kids do better in school.

School leaders says it's part of what's making a difference. Test scores are up for the first time in five years, but this is the last year of funding from the Turnaround grant.

That's why the North American Music Manufacturers Association made the visit to Savoy and Capitol Hill, according to NAMM spokesperson Mary Luehrsen.

"Hopefully we will help this school advance its music education efforts and build its instrumental music program," Luehrsen said.

Who knows, with a well rounded education that includes the arts, the next rock star or Hall of Fame center fielder might just be walking the halls of Savoy Elementary.

263 30 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wusa9.com/story/life/2014/05/29/cool-schools-savoy-elementary-music-education/9712669/