by David Safier
This is one of those labor-of-love stories. A New Orleans drummer has started a music program, The Roots of Music, for local kids. They pay nothing and get instruments, instruction, participation in the band and academic tutoring. He says he has 100 students enrolled and 400 on a waiting list.
Music has a great reputation as an academic training ground, and the discipline required of these kids has got to have some spill over into the rest of their lives. According to one of the founders, the 10-14 year olds have gone up an average of one report card grade in their school work.
The program has gotten lots of national TV attention. Here's one recent CNN story.