World renowned musician Don Felder was one of the five members and guitarist of the rock group The Eagles. He wrote the music for their biggest hit, the multi Grammy award winning song “Hotel California.” With 14 Grammy nominations and 4 wins, his signature guitar work has become legendary. Don and The Eagles also hold the honor of having the first Platinum album certified by the RIAA. That album, The Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, has reached over 29 million copies, becoming the best-selling album of the 20th century. Don is also a three time American Music Award winner and multiple Gold, Platinum and Diamond Record Award recipient.
Don Felder’s testimonial:
I was totally self-taught. I began at the age of 10 learning a chord here and there from a few neighbors. I learned primarily by ear until I taught myself to read music at the age of 15. I bought guitar instruction books and learned every song and lick I could off the radio and records. There was no music school in my small town and the music programs in the local schools were only for formal band instruments. My family could not afford private music lessons. Later I exchanged hours of teaching beginning guitar students for hours of instruction from a Berklee College of Music graduate, who owned a small music school. He taught me music theory, arranging and composition. I support music education because I believe there is a great connection between mental and emotional development and music. It has been shown that kids who learn an instrument do much better in areas of math and other academic studies than those who don’t. There is a great discipline that must accompany the pursuit of music that develops commitment and determination in people. It is also one of the few areas of study where young people can learn a way to express themselves and their emotions through the arts. The joy and satisfaction that comes from the success of this pursuit is all personal. It is not, for the most part, a “team” sport. It is an individual accomplishment that lies solely in the hands of the student. It builds confidence, self esteem, character and personal satisfaction.
I support music education through working with organizations such as the [Fender] Music Foundation and connections in the California State government – encouraging all people interested, young or old, to follow their dream of being able to play music in this life. Music has been my life. I was fortunate as a child to have a supportive father who helped me get my first instrument. With his encouragement and my driving obsession, I have been led down a wonderful road that has taken me around this world many times. The people I have meet, the satisfaction I have felt, the fulfillment of soul I carry with me today are all part of what music has given me. I have been given a wonderful gift and have tried to use this in a positive way throughout my life. I am very thankful for what music has done for my life. I wish I could help everyone feel the joy of being able to express themselves through music.
I can’t even begin to envision a world without music. I would never like to think that such a place could exist. To me, music is the life blood of the soul, and without it our souls would surely wither and parish. Hell has no music!