UNCUT VIDEO: Alice Cooper rocks Paradise Valley School Board meeting

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM

PHOENIX -- Valley rock legend Alice Cooper made an appearance at a Paradise Valley School Board meeting on Thursday night.

Cooper was speaking on behalf of The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, a national organization that donates instruments to under-funded school music programs.

The foundation awarded $20,000 dollars worth of instruments to Arrowhead Elementary School. The school received the donation in response to a grant application.

The donation means some student will no longer have to share their instruments.

"There are kids out there that really want to play that just can't afford it and here they are, here's the instrument, put it in their hands and just watch them go. Maybe some of them won't be great musicians but so what - it's something that they're doing that they love," said Cooper.

Jackie Moran, a student at Arrowhead Elementary said, "Music is like my life. I love music so much. We didn't really have a lot of instruments at our school so I'm really happy that we got it."

Cooper, who grew up in Glendale, told the school board that his band started while he was a student at Cortez High School, "The amazing thing is is I see these kids here everybody's got their instruments like it's a prize. You can take this away. Their culture is involved in their art and their music."

Cooper is getting ready to open The Rock at 32nd Street Teen Center in just a couple of weeks. The facility will provide free music and dance lessons to teenagers.

"Basically to get kids in gangs out of gangs and into music," explained Cooper. "We feel that if we can change one 13-year-old kid that will change everything. I mean there's a kid out there right now probably selling drugs that might be the best guitar player in Arizona. He just doesn't know it. So we're gonna put the guitar in his hand and say try this."

While addressing the school board, Cooper had this message for the students in the audience: "Music is way important guys so all of you kids that are learning right now stay with it it's gonna be with you the rest of your life, calculus probably won't be."

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