120 students learn about Memphis Soul in D.C. - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

120 students learn about Memphis Soul in D.C.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

(WMC-TV) - It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for 120 students Tuesday at the White House. They were participants in a Soulsville USA workshop about Memphis Soul music. Two of those students were from Stax Academy in Memphis and all of them got the opportunity to ask questions to the experts.

First Lady Michelle Obama greeted the crowd of young musicians, who were admittedly awestruck but her and the artists she invited.

"This music has a style and a story, uniquely it's own," Michelle Obama said.

But before she handed the microphone to the legends on stage, she gave her own bit of wisdom.

"And even if you don't go into music, the skills you learn through music can stay with you your whole life," said Obama.

That meant the students at the workshop would be taking away a lot of valuable advice from Sam Moore, Mavis Staples, Justin Timberlake, Charlie Musslewhite and Ben Harper.

"A lot of our challenges were me not wanting to rehearse," Mavis Staples laughed "I didn't like to rehearse."

When it came time to ask questions, Memphis Stax Academy Student Adrian Williams asked a question.

"How is your environment, the people around you, the places you've been. How has that inspired you're music how has the grown you as a child, to do music?" Williams said.

The question answered by Memphis native, Justin Timberlake.

"I believe everything is a song. I believe they are all around us. There's songs, they're stories, every where. Everybody has a story," said Timberlake.

Ending the answer with one key piece of advice for these students.

"Where you are right now, everything that I instinctively learned before that, it stays with you. You know, it really does stay with you." said Timberlake.

The artist at Tuesday's workshop will perform Tuesday at the White House.

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