Everyone knows the guitar is the coolest instrument in the school band, but kids in the greater Los Angeles area now have even more incentive to pick up six-strings. As AntiMusic reports, Eddie Van Halen has given the local public schools 75 axes from his personal collection. He made his donation via the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, a charity that supports music-education efforts around the country.

"Music is the universal language," Van Halen said in a statement. "It has the ability to transcend and convey every human emotion that exists without saying a word. Music kept me off the streets and out of trouble and gave me something that was mine that no one could take away from me. Music education and families are dealing with the economic times, and I wanted to help them."

Since its founding in 1996, the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation has distributed thousands of instruments and partnered with more than 1,100 school music programs nationwide. While the press release doesn't specify what types of guitars Eddie offered up, it's possible some lucky youngsters are going to get their hands on his signature paint-splattered "Frankenstrats."

"If I can help a kid discover a liking, or even a passion for music in their life, then that's a wonderful thing," Van Halen went on to say in his statement. "Music has provided a good life for me and hopefully it can help make life better for others with this donation."

Watch Van Halen's 'Tattoo' Video