It's not everyday that a rock star comes to Rochester for a visit, but November 3, 2016 was a special day! Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters was in town discussing a very important program for young students at Riverside Central Elementary.

The mission was simple: get students passionate about the arts! Taylor accomplished that by drumming right alongside them. That's something he's famous for doing in the Foo Fighters, in case you missed it. He's a fantastic drummer. He's also the local ambassador for getting kids motivated via the arts as part of the Turnaround Arts initiative.

Riverside Central Elementary is a Turnaround Arts School, and it's one of eight in Minnesota. Simply put, Taylor's job was to mentor kids and get them excited about experimenting with the arts. He took every opportunity to encourage whatever skill set they had. He told them he'd be "checking in on them" from time to time to watch their progress. They believed him, and were eager to show off their skills.

His first stop was a classroom, to hold his own "school of rock" for a few students.

You've heard of Queen's "We Will Rock You", right?

After that, Taylor stopped for a moment of reflection. We asked, "why do you do this?" and his answer was simple. He just wants to make sure the arts are still alive in schools. When he was young, the band room was where he spent most of his time. That's where he was happiest. He called it his "home in school" and encouraged students to find their own version of that, whether that means dance, theater, or music.

Taylor was part of an assembly for the whole school, too. He gladly accompanied the drumline for a bit of a show!

He left the students at Riverside Central Elementary with a few thoughts: be passionate about what you're doing (whatever it is), and know that the arts can be a great gateway to centralizing other parts of your life (math and science included), too.

For more information of Turnaround Arts, and what that meant for Riverside Central (and other schools in the country) click here.

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