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Professor 'Rocks Out' with Inner-City Youth

5/8/2013

Walter Atkinson volunteers with program that uses music to teach academic subjects to elementary school children

Walter Atkinson is one busy man. In addition to teaching undergraduate and MBA students in several classes at LIM College and running his own company, Wizards School, he also volunteers with Rock Asylum Foundation, a nonprofit organization that uses original music to teach academic subjects to elementary school students.

Rock Asylum volunteers work with kids to write and perform original songs and then help them make videos for their creations. Prof. Atkinson instructs pupils at P.S. 119 in Brooklyn in the use of Photoshop so they can create pictorials of their songs and the video-making process. And his involvement doesn’t stop there. A part-time professional drummer who has performed with bands on many big stages, he also appears in the videos for some of the songs – watch the video below to catch him in a cameo as a club bouncer – and he will play the drums on eight numbers when his students perform live at The Cutting Room on June 13 at 10:30 a.m.

He says, “When I first arrived at PS 119 and met with the kids, their smiles and joy warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I saw that all they needed was a chance to walk through the doors of opportunity. So I am doing what I can to open those doors.”

An additional 500 NYC elementary school students will board buses on June 13 for a field trip to see Rock Asylum’s live show. With that kind of audience, Prof. Atkinson predicts that there’s sure to be “…a lot of singing, dancing and tears.”



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