Why We Should Keep Music In Schools, By Palaye Royale's Remington Leith

Learning an instrument doesn't just help with being in a band, says the Palaye Royale vocalist. It teaches valuable lessons and gives people an outlet...

Why We Should Keep Music In Schools, By Palaye Royale's Remington Leith

"Ever since I was a kid, me and my brothers [guitarist Sebastian Danzig and drummer Emerson Barrett] wouldn't ask for birthday presents. Instead, we would throw a big party and ask everyone to pitch in money to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, which pays for instruments to go back into public schools, because a lot of public schools don't really have a music programme.

"They cut so many music programmes in schools to save money on everything, but I just think it's so important to give kids an outlet to actually play music. That's how I dealt with anger, sadness or anxiety: I would go play music, and I was so fortunate that I had a guitar or a piano. There are so many kids that I know don't have that opportunity. I feel like we're also depriving the world of some great music that could be out there.

"With an instrument, you learn patience and discipline because obviously, it's frustrating when you don't get the perfect part. It definitely taught us music theory, too, so you kind of learn how to craft a song. And there is no right or wrong way to write music, which is amazing and so cool. It can also be a social thing, and you learn to think differently too, in a weird way."

"We also worked with High School Nation, this company that brings music acts to schools. That was actually the first tour we ever went on – we were just touring high schools. For every school we hit, they donated $10,000 to the music programme. So that was one of the coolest experiences. And, funnily enough, that's how we got signed to a label and that's how we got our start.

"I've been asked so many times in my life, 'What do you think you would do if you didn't play music?' I mean, I would figure out something, but honestly, it wouldn't be the same life. My mom always said the one thing: 'No matter what, I want to give you one thing in this world, and that's not money or gifts or anything. If I can give you one thing, it would be the gift of music'.' And I think that's really cool, because no-one can take that from you."

As told to Tom Shepherd.

Palaye Royale's latest album Boom Boom Room (Side B) is out now through Sumerian.

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