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John Lennon Bus Helps Kids Make Music, Art

The John Lennon Educational Bus stopped this week in San Antonio, where it was stationed at Café College downtown.  The staff visited middle schools,  high schools and colleges where they help students write, record, and make videos for original music. 

Some students have never played instruments, so the bus staff also gave basic lessons. The bus has been around for 16 years, and they anticipate a second bus will be deployed in May for use in Europe.

The staff live on the bus and travel 10 months out of the year.  In addition to education outreach, the bus travels to music festivals and works with established recording artists. The Black Eyed Peas have worked with the Lennon bus for about 10 years, and actually recorded their album "The E.N.D." on the bus.

The bus is one long recording studio that can be separated into three soundproofed studios. Pocket doors slide closed and the glass can be made opaque as well. The last studio has fabric on the walls that allows it to be used as a green screen.

While in San Antonio, local students recorded and produced this music video for Melina & the Shades: "Runaway."

Carin Lamontagne joined the Texas Public Radio team in October 2012. She graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1996 with a B.A. in history, and she also studied anthropology and vocal music performance.