Tricia Steel of the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation said the Van Halen lead guitarist donated the new guitars this week, saying he wanted them to be used in schools and not sold.
The non-profit foundation has since distributed the guitars to seven schools serving mostly low-income students that needed them to replace broken instruments or build music enrollment.
The schools were not told where the guitars came from until they arrived. Administrators were advised to keep them instruments under tight lock and key.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.