2013 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

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group