The David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation, the nonprofit started in 2018 by MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson, has announced the "School's Out" initiative, providing free music lessons and one-on-one mentoring sessions via Skype from major artists to students stuck at home due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Skype sessions will be held by legendary rock and metal artists, including:
* Chris Kael (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH)
* Dirk Verbeuren (MEGADETH)
* Jimmy DeGrasso (ex-MEGADETH, ALICE COOPER)
* Chad Szeliga (BLACK STAR RIDERS, WALKING WITH LIONS)
* Phil Demmel (VIO-LENCE, ex-MACHINE HEAD)
* Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (SONS OF APOLLO, ex-GUNS N' ROSES)
* Chris Poland (ex-MEGADETH)
* Kiko Loureiro (MEGADETH)
* Clint Lowery (SEVENDUST)
* Nita Strauss (ALICE COOPER)
Says Foundation co-chair Thöm Häzäert, who is also Ellefson's partner and vocalist in David's 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 two restless kids, in basically forced exile, it kinda hit me. 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."
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."
Students 18 and younger can sign up and find more information through ellefsonyouthmusicfoundation.org.
These are one-off music lessons and mentoring sessions on guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Students can choose the instructor they want in the application.
"Everybody's giving of their time," Ellefson told Arizona Republic. "These lessons are at no cost. This is all of us just pitching in and donating some of our time in our down cycle right now to help give people some hope and get excited about music."
Graphic: Melody Myers of Designed By Melody