The Power of Music: Urban Institute

The Power of Music: Urban Institute
At the Urban Entertainment Institute, kids who'd otherwise be hanging in the streets are busy singing, dancing and writing music — for free. And they take it seriously. One of the program's groups, "The Levite Camp," was even featured in the Ray Charles song, "Heaven Help Us All," that won a Grammy.

"This is an important thing, particularly in the
inner city where there's a great deal of poverty and a great deal of directionless wandering," says Jackson Browne, who has worked with the program.

One program participant says, "The neighborhood that I grew up in, the gunshots and the police sirens were like my lullaby."

No previous musical experience is needed to join the group, but kids with failing grades will not get on stage. "We have taken kids that had Fs and Ds on their report card, and within a matter of a semester, they're receiving Cs, Bs and As," says Fred Martin, the group's founder.

"This program has shown me that I can be anything I want to be," says one paticipant. Another girl says tearfully, "I always knew I had a gift to sing, but I didn't know that I'd be able to share this gift with so many people. This program is a gift, a gift from God. A lifesaver. Awesome."

After the Levite Camp performs their hit, "Heaven help Us All," Dr. Phil stresses, "You cannot let music die in the schools."