New York -- Strike up the band! VH1 is going national with
its 'VH1 Save the Music' campaign, and it hopes to raise $100 million worth of
instruments for music programs in 50 schools across the country within a five-year period.
The program began last year, after VH1 president John Sykes
was 'Principal for a Day' at a public grammar school in Brooklyn, N.Y., and he
became appalled when he saw the school orchestra playing on old and broken musical
Sykes immediately pledged $5,000 to P.S. 58, and he then
teamed up with Barry Rosenblum, president of Time Warner Cable in New York City, to raise
money for music education throughout the city's public-school system via the
'VH1 Save the Music' campaign.
Public-service-announcement spots ran on Time Warner's
New York system during last year's first quarter, and they raised $1 million worth of
musical instruments for the schools.
Lisa Failla, the network's program director for the
campaign, said the importance of the program has been underscored by new research that
concluded that a musical education favorably impacts students' math, reading and
science test scores.
Beginning last month, PSAs for the campaign began running
in 16 markets across the country. The network is urging affiliates to link the campaign
with acquisition campaigns or local ad-sales sponsorships, said Jessica Heabcock, vice
president of affiliate marketing for VH1.
'It's a unique way to really partner with local
affiliates and get them connected with local schools,' Heabcock said. 'The
mantra for cable has been local, local, local, and this program goes the extra mile to
help operators establish better community relations.'