NATIONAL PARTNER: LITTLE KIDS ROCK

Little Kids Rock does exactly what it sounds like. Helps little kids learn to rock through great instructors and free instruments. Chopin, Mozart and learning to play “Clair de Lune” on the recorder isn’t for everyone, and when it comes to connecting with our children, sometimes we need to meet them in the middle. Little Kids Rock’s “Modern Band Program” gives students (K-12) access to an engaging, relevant, and fun music education program. The program focuses on popular music styles that most students already listen to, including rock, blues, rap and hip-hop. Modern Band classes feature guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, vocals, technology, and computers. Heavy emphasis is put on composition, improvisation, and recording. Kids regularly get to record their own music and even make their own rock videos. As the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of free music instruction and instruments to public schools, Little Kids Rock has changed the lives of nearly 250,000 children in some of the nation’s most economically disadvantaged communities.

Little Kids Rock provides teacher training workshops as well as musical instruments to start up the program for teacher who complete their full day training.   The program is already thriving in some of the nation’s largest public school systems including the New York City Department of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Dallas Independent School District, and the Chicago Public.  In fact, several colleges and universities that train music teachers are now offering their students methods courses that focus in part or entirely on Modern Band.

HOW BLACKWING FOUNDATION IS HELPING

The Blackwing Foundation has partnered with the Little Kids Rock since 2013 providing a multi-year funding block grant commitment to expand adoption of the Modern Band program.  In addition to our funding support, a special emphasis of our outreach effort has been to build awareness , and assist in establishing new regional partnerships with Little Kids Rock and locals schools to bring access to the Modern Band program to schools in Northern California’s Central Valley Region.   As such the Foundation introduces to local and regional partners such as local school districts, County Education offices and the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music and their Music Education Program.  This has lead to extension of Modern Band teacher training workshops in the Central Valley for a growing number of teachers looking to start up with the program as well as music education students at the University, training to become music teachers.   After piloting at one local school, currently the Stockton Unified School District is in process of roll out to more schools throughout the district.