You don’t need to be an investigative reporter to know that federal and state budgets for music education have dried up. Schools still dealing with the funding shortfalls that never quite recovered post-Great Recession put arts on the chopping block first. So hand it to Switchfoot, unlikely heroes for California’s young guitar slingers, for stepping in by creating a pay-as-you-can music school in Encinitas.
Announced at the group’s 11th annual Bro-Am surf contest/beach concert, the school will offer guitar and piano classes for kids ages 8 to 18 taught by instructors hand-picked by the guys who dominated the Walk to Remember soundtrack. Violin lessons will be added if there’s enough demand. They’ll also keep classes — both one-on-one and group lessons — to late afternoons so they don’t conflict with normal school work. And with about 25 percent of San Diego County families functionally poor it’s a hell of a lot more attainable than the $39,0000 the Blue Man Group charges for elementary school.
Given this very cool thing that a band many of us have mocked (and may continue to mock) did, it is incumbent upon all of us to watch at least one Switchfoot music video. Let us provide these bros with some positive karmic feedback.