Clinton, Carey, Arie Celebrate Music In School

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton yesterday (June 26) joined pop singers Mariah Carey and India.Arie at a Newark, N.J., elementary school to celebrate the restoration of instrumental music classes. V

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton yesterday (June 26) joined pop singers Mariah Carey and India.Arie at a Newark, N.J., elementary school to celebrate the restoration of instrumental music classes. VH1, through its Save The Music Foundation, and cable television provider Cablevision donated about 750 musical instruments to the school system.

India.Arie sang a brief a cappella song to the cheers of several hundred students at the Louise Spencer School. Carey begged off, saying she was too tired. Clinton spoke, but passed up the opportunity to borrow one of the students' saxophones and perform.

"A few years from now, somebody's going to be on a stage like this doing what Mariah and India did today," Clinton said. "It might as well be you. There's going to be, in your lifetime, several African-American presidents, several Latino presidents, several women presidents. It might as well be you."

The former president said he began playing the sax when he was 9, noting how music helped him express emotions ranging from unbridled joy to abject depression. "It taught me discipline and creativity," Clinton said. "It taught me how to be an individual and how to play on a team. It makes you use all of yourself."

Clinton said studies have shown that students who take music classes tend to do better in reading, math and science.

Carey said music education helped get her through elementary school. "The only reason I went to school was for music," added India.Arie. "Now I'm on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' and get to talk to Stevie Wonder on the phone and sit next to President Clinton, all because of music."

Mayor Sharpe James said the city will donate an unspecified sum to supplement the cable channels' contributions. VH1 president John Sykes said Newark is the first city in the nation to do so.


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