The DAVID ELLEFSON YOUTH MUSIC FOUNDATION, the nonprofit started in 2018 by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, has announced their “SCHOOL’S OUT” initiative, providing free music lessons and one on one mentoring sessions, via videoconference, with major artists to students stuck at home due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The video sessions will be held by top Rock and Metal artists including David Ellefson (Megadeth), Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth), Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth), Frank Bello (Anthrax), Jimmy Degrasso (Ex-Megadeth, Alice Cooper), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Ex-Guns N’ Roses), Chris Kael (Five Finger Death Punch), Chad Szeliga (Black Star Riders, Walking with Lions), Phil Demmel (Ex-Machine Head), Dave McClain (Sacred Reich, Ex-Machine Head), Clint Lowery (Sevendust), Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Brandan Schieppatti (Bleeding Through), Thom Hazaert (Ellefson), Alex Snowden (Doll Skin), Sydney Dolezal (Doll Skin), Ra Diaz (Suicidal Tendencies), Shani Kimelman (Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque Du Soleil), Marc Rizzo (Soulfly), Jeff Duncan (Armored Saint), Rusty Cooley, and more to be announced.
In addition, the DEYMF will build a database of instructional videos, including playthroughs, lessons, and more, from participating artists, that will be made available for free from the website. The Foundation has partnered with videoconferencing/technology giant CISCO, to implement their WEBEX platform for the lessons, as well as audio giant DOLBY, who will provide additional audio/video capture and streaming support via their DOLBY NOW app. Additional instructional content will be provided by leading online instructor ROCK HOUSE METHOD. Additional sponsors include Jackson Guitars, Hartke Amps, and Samson Electronics.
The DEYMF has also partnered with the GRAMMY MUSIC EDUCATION COALITION to offer special “SCHOOL’S OUT” sessions to partner school districts within the GMEC network, including Philadeliphia and Nashville, with the GMEC providing additional promotional and logistical support.
Says Foundation co-chair Thom Hazaert, also Ellefson’s partner, and vocalist in his eponymous solo band, “David and I were brainstorming on ways to give back during the COVID epidemic, and put some positivity out in a time of some pretty unparalleled crisis and uncertainty. The mission of our foundation is to try and help keep music in schools, but what happens when kids can’t go to school? As I’m sitting home with my 2 restless kids, in basically forced exile, it kinda hit me.” He adds, “We started talking about David doing a few online lessons with kids, via the foundation, and then got around to the idea of recruiting some of our other friends as well. Then we talked to our friends at the GRAMMY MUSIC EDUCATION COALITION, and it really took on a whole new life, and became a massive initiative.”
Adds Ellefson, “”When one person suffers, we all suffer, and this is an unprecedented moment in history when all of us around the world are united for a common cause. Music and the arts have always been some of our greatest healers in a way none other can. As we reach into each other’s souls with resounding hope, I’m forever thankful to our friends in the creative community who have kindly offered their expertise to put a smile on the faces of so many people in need right now. Let this be a time when we can all unite under the banner of Music and let our creativity lead the way. ”
Anyone of High School age or below can apply.
More information, and the application, can be found at ellefsonyouthmusicfoundation.org