Several years ago, Eddie Van Halen donated 75 guitars from his personal collection to students in low-income schools.

The generous gifting of axes was done through Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a group that specializes in getting instruments to the next generation of creative minds. "Could you imagine a world without music? "It's a must," the Van Halen legend told CNN in a new interview. "It has to be taught."

Eddie himself got an early start in music, learning to play piano at six and finally the instrument which defined him, the guitar, in fourth grade. Imagining a world where Van Halen was unable to get his hands on a six-string is frightening, which is why Eddie’s outreach to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation is so profound.

"It was very difficult at first to find a charity that [takes guitars]," Van Halen said. "They all just wanted money." Dozens of kids are now strumming axes for the first time, not knowing the instruments once belonged to a shred icon.

"Our goal is to give kids every tool they can possibly have to succeed. Music is the common denominator," foundation president and CEO Felice Mancini said. "You put a kid in a music class and it builds community, communication and they find a place. It's a safe haven."

Check out CNN’s full report on Eddie Van Halen’s charitable endeavor in the clip above!

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