Legacy of John Lennon inspires Chicago students

September 15, 2011 3:06:51 PM PDT
Some Chicago students connected with a rock and roll legend Thursday when the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus stopped at the San Miguel School on the city's Southwest Side.

"It's really big," said San Miguel eighth grader Julissa Orejel. "I've never seen something like this, like a dream come true."

Six Back of the Yards middle school students got a very special treat Thursday: They get to spend the day on board a state-of-the-art mobile recording studio learning how to make music.

"In a given day we'll spend up to eight hours with these students writing original songs from scratch, recording the song and making a home music video for that song," said Ryan L'Esperance, who has been living on the bus.

"Being here is just-- wow, I'm so excited," said San Miguel eighth grader Eddie Gonzalez.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus travels the country up to 10 months out of the year providing hands-on experience for students of all ages.

Chicago's San Miguel school has only 80 students. It was selected because of its location in an underserved community.

"We look for students that are academically struggling," said San Miguel Schools' Phillip Jimenez. "So they are two or three grade levels below where they start 6th grade...and that's important to us."

These lucky students should have no trouble getting inspired. This mobile tour bus has been used by the likes of Fergie, Justin Timberlake and The Black Eyed Peas.

"For me, music is my passion," Gonzalez said. "Music is a way to go from reality to another world."

Not wanting to leave anyone out, the rest of the school's students got to take turns checking out and playing with professional instruments and equipment setup outside the tour bus.

The final product out of Thursday's session will be shown at the school's fundraiser at the House of Blues next month.

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