You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Beck, private school grad, gives back

Billion-Dollar Composer: Christophe Beck

Prodigious musical talent must find its beginnings somewhere, as Christophe Beck knows. The Canadian-born composer began exploring his own penchant for music at a private high school in Toronto. “I was fortunate,” Beck says. “The school hired a bunch of great teachers, a lot of them professional musicians and that kind of immersive experience … was crucial to my development as a musician.” But, when Beck learned that some schools in Los Angeles have no music program to speak of, he was “shocked.”

Beck was introduced to this disparity by Education Through Music-Los Angeles, a charity devoted to providing quality music education to disadvantaged schools in the L.A. area.

Fellow composers Austin Wintory and Tim Davies invited Beck to take part in ETM-LA, and since then Beck has landed a spot on the organization’s advisory board. Victoria Lanier, exec director of the nonprofit, notes that Beck’s involvement with the program has been advantageous not only because of his financial support, but also “because of the visibility he brings.” “It allows people who may not otherwise hear about ETM-LA to know about us,” says Lanier.

ETM-LA, founded in 2006, is based on the Education Through Music model in New York. During its first year, ETM-LA worked with two schools in the L.A. area, bringing music as a part of the core curriculum to more than 800 students. Since then, the charity has branched out and now serves 4,500 eighth grade students at 10 disadvantaged L.A. schools. The program’s mission, says Beck, is to create equal opportunity for a well-rounded music education.

“It isn’t really whether or not a student becomes a musician … it’s giving each student an equal opportunity for success in whatever field they want to pursue,” Lanier says. “It’s about transferable skills.”

Beck joins a list of other showbiz musicians who have contributed to the org, including vocalist Lisbeth Scott and composer Michael Giacchino. ETM-LA’s plan is to continue its expansion into new schools every year, and, according to Lanier, continue to “connect renowned artists to the community and to spotlight the (music) programs that are going on.”

Beck himself is looking forward to visiting schools and discussing both his personal and professional experience with music. “I’d love to do master classes,” says Beck, “and I plan to have kids sit in on recording sessions as well.”

“I want all students to have the opportunity I had,” says Beck as he reflects on his own music education experience. “I think sometimes music takes a backseat to sports — there’s a lot of pressure to be a great athlete … (but) a pursuit of the arts is just as important, and there are kids where sports is not what they were born to do, and it would be a shame to leave those kids out in the cold.”

He continues, “That’s why ETM-LA is great — it gives them the chance to do that, especially if they can’t afford the instruments … after all, I’m sure schools have plenty of football pads to hand out.”

Beck’s green phase | Resurrecting ‘Muppets’ in Disney tradition | Dawn of the undead | Beck’s music in his own words | Beck, private school grad, gives back

More Film

  • Shailene Woodley probation Dakota Pipeline protest

    Cannes: Infotainment China Media Snaps Up "Misanthrope"

    Chinese sales and distribution company Infotainment China Media has bought the China rights to “Misanthrope,” the new serial killer thriller starring Shailene Woodley, from FilmNation Entertainment at Cannes. Woodley (“Big Little Lies”, the “Divergent” franchise”) will play a cop recruited by the FBI to hunt down a murderer. Damian Szifron (“Wild Tales”) and Jonathan Wakeham [...]

  • Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s

    Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s ‘Encounter With Lux Prima’ Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Karen O & Danger Mouse’s “Lux Prima” is one of the year’s best albums so far — but it’s more than an album. “An Encounter with Lux Prima – The Art of Collaboration,” a short documentary chronicling the 18-month development of their multisensory art installation “An Encounter With Lux Prima” premieres today exclusively on Variety. [...]

  • Willem Dafoe Talks 'The Lighthouse' and

    Willem Dafoe on His New Films 'The Lighthouse' and 'Tommaso,' Robert Pattinson as Batman

    Willem Dafoe has spent the last two awards seasons on the campaign trail. The actor earned back-to-back Oscar nominations for his work in 2017’s “The Florida Project” and for last year’s “At Eternity’s Gate.” And if the critical reaction to “The Lighthouse” is any indication, he’ll be back on it soon. “The Lighthouse” is director [...]

  • Official First Look at the Women

    'Terminator: Dark Fate': Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger Return in First Trailer

    The Resistance’s war against Skynet rages on with the sixth installment of the “Terminator” series, “Terminator: Dark Fate.” The first trailer for the latest movie dropped on Thursday. The clip opens with two franchise newcomers, Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes, as they’re being pursued by a Terminator (Gabriel Luna), one that seems to have some [...]

  • Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps

    Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps ‘Wake Up Punk’ Feature Doc (EXCLUSIVE)

    Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s son Joe Corré has voiced his opposition to a Sex Pistols feature film in the works, and is about to launch his own project, “Wake Up Punk.” The feature documentary will follow events after his decision to burn punk memorabilia worth millions of pounds. John Lydon has already tweeted that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content