2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons player advocates for music education

By KATE BRUMBACK - Associated Press
    2013-06-28 11:52

ATLANTA (AP) - NFL offensive lineman Justin Blalock spends his time on the field protecting runs and passes. Off the field, he's a strong advocate for music education.

Blalock, the starting left guard for the Atlanta Falcons, grew up in Texas playing the tuba and continues to play the drums and guitar. Music helps young people develop confidence and experience a sense of accomplishment, skills that can help them move into leadership roles later in life, he said.

``It actually shares a lot of qualities that you need for football as well,'' he said, giving discipline and teamwork as examples.

The 29-year-old, who's been with the Falcons for seven years, started playing the tuba in middle school and continued through high school.

``I remember our football team, actually, we won our very first game in middle school, and we didn't win another one until we got to high school,'' he said. ``Our band competitions were my main sense of accomplishment in those years. I got a lot more out of that than I ever did from football.''

So when he was looking for a way to get involved in his community, he went back to his roots.

``Music is something that I've always been passionate about, even though I stopped playing at a pretty young age,'' he said. ``I've had my foundation for a while now, and I wanted to get back into music, so it seemed like the natural place to start looking for a partnership.''

Over the past year, he's been an advocate for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's music education efforts and is a spokesman for the organization's ``When I Play Music'' campaign for music education.

About 55 student musicians from the Atlanta area have spent this week attending an intense four-day orchestral workshop during which they were paired up with a symphony musician for coaching and rehearsals. The workshop culminated Thursday evening in a side-by-side concert, with the student musicians performing alongside the professional orchestra members.

Blalock, who was a guest conductor at last year's side-by-side concert, decided to take his participation a step farther this year, taking a seat in the tuba section to play with the students and professionals.

``It wasn't quite as easy as getting back on a bicycle,'' he said, adding that he hadn't played in about a decade.

But he brushed up his rusty tuba skills with a few lessons from one of the orchestra's tuba players and was feeling more confident after a rehearsal Thursday morning. During the concert, he played along with the orchestra for the ``Superman March'' and guest conducted the encore of ``Stars and Stripes Forever.''

Staff conductor Jere Flint, who's also the musical director for the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, said Blalock's participation in the program helps inspire the teenagers.

``We're so thrilled to have a sports figure, a celebrity who studied music in high school and loved music and has continued his love of music,'' Flint said.

Kathryn Evans, a 16-year-old who participated in the program for the second time this year, said it's invaluable to have hands-on, interactive experience of learning from professionals in her chosen field.

``You get to feed off of them and learn from them, and it's very special,'' she said.

She talked to Blalock during last year's workshop and said he was very nice and seems to genuinely care about the arts.

``We don't usually have football players coming to the symphony,'' she said. ``But it's very cool to see someone who really loves what they do and also has such a big heart for the arts.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Quanterus SmithApr 28 10:32a

Denver Broncos DE Quanterus Smith was waived Tuesday, April 28, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 28 08:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 80% likely to remain with the Vikings, in the opinion of ESPN insider Chris Mortensen.

Sam BradfordApr 28 01:13a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford was acquired to be the team's quarterback, not as a trade pawn. Bradford will only sign an extension with the Eagles with a no-trade [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 27 09:12p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers hadn't been the topic of conversations between the Chargers and other NFL teams as of Monday, April 27. There have been plenty of [ More ]

Jonte GreenApr 27 04:22p

Buffalo Bills CB Jonte Green was released Monday, April 27.

Michael CoxApr 27 02:42p

New York Giants RB Michael Cox was waived Monday, April 27.

Philip RiversApr 27 02:12p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is unlikely to be traded to the Tennessee Titans on draft day this Thursday, April 30. A deal couldn't be done without Rivers [ More ]

Sam BradfordApr 24 06:02p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor. [ More ]

Chris PolkApr 24 05:42p

Philadelphia Eagles restricted free-agent RB Chris Polk's tender offer has been rescinded by the Eagles, according to a source. Polk will become an unrestricted free agent and allowed to sign with any team.

Jaiquawn JarrettApr 24 04:52p

New York Jets restricted free-agent SS Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his tender offer Friday, April 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hakeem NicksApr 24 01:42p

Free-agent WR Hakeem Nicks (Colts) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the Tennessee Titans Friday, April 24.

Justin BlackmonApr 24 12:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is likely done with the Jaguars if he's reinstated into the league, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group