BALDWIN (KDKA) – As budgets get tighter and tighter, more schools are dropping music programs.

However, one local district is focusing on music education and in a pretty unique way.

It’s a state-of-the-art, high-tech, recording studio on wheels and for now, it’s parked at Baldwin High School.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus travels from state to state to give students a real hands-on experience.

“Top of the line equipment. I mean, you can make a professional album in there and it would sound as good as anything you would hear on the radio. It’s pretty spectacular,” High School Nation Founder Jimmy Cantillon said.

Inside, in addition to the latest audio and video technology, there are instruments.

Students can actually write, record and produce original songs and even shoot music videos.

The tour bus travels with an organization called, High School Nation, which is a group dedicated to keeping and celebrating art and music programs in schools.

“A lot of statistics show that a well-rounded student is one that has an arts education and music background. They are more well-adjusted adults and honestly, if you come out and see any of our events, the kids are thrilled,” Cantillon said.

The marching band and other music groups are alive and well at Baldwin High School and that’s one reason the school was selected as a stop on the tour.

In addition to touring the John Lennon Bus, students will enjoy a mini music festival. Crews spent the morning setting it up.

“Students learn to DJ, they learn how to play drums, there are full band set ups, and we have instructors that teach them every single instrument,” Cantillon said.

“Music is certainly, now more than ever, a part of their lives. It’s rare that you see a student that is not connected in some way to their iPod or some other electronic device,” Baldwin High School Assistant Principal Janeen Peretin said.

The event didn’t just involve students. Community leaders held a forum to talk about protecting and improving art and music programs as well.


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