You will not find another organization as committed to students and teachers as Little Kids Rock. They provide wonderful resources for children to make music and provide excellent training for teachers to help support. I am an elementary school music teacher and my classroom has been transformed by this program.
Little Kids Rock has not only allowed me to reach more students in my music classroom then I have in the past, it has also given me confidence as a teacher to offer the kids something new. I love how this program scaffolds so it can reach the most beginner of players to challenging those who are ready for more. I’m so glad to have their support.
This organization is entirely passionate about their mission in getting more music to more students. Making learning relevant to students -- Little Kids Rock creates relevant lessons that teachers are able to embrace in classrooms.
I have been a Little Kids Rock trained teacher since 2010. My students and I love Modern Band! Thanks to LKR, we have enough acoustic guitars for the whole class, several electric guitars and amps, and a Pearl drum kit! Together with a few keyboards I already had for my classroom, we are a real rockin' group! I actually teach Modern Band to all of my fourth and fifth graders during their regular music class. We learn to play the Blues, improvise, and play some rock and roll. I love teaching it and they love learning it. You can see my young Blues Band play on our spring concert last school year on my YouTube channel under the playlist "Modern Band". Music lights up the entire brain and makes connections that impact the rest of a child's education. I give them a strong music background in the lower grades. In the upper grades, they get to play THEIR music! Little Kids Rock is a very worthy and impactful organization. I am definitely a better teacher thanks to Little Kids Rock. Diane Woodward
I am a Little Kid's Rock teacher in Dallas Texas. I have been teaching music for a long time and since I started teaching Modern band, I see students come alive and want more! This program has allowed me to reach even those that have been "troubled" or "lost". Love it!
Little Kids Rock is an absolutely amazing organization that serves children all around the country to receive music education. I am a 4th grade special education teacher and I volunteer at my school to do a music after-school program. Little Kids Rock has donated all the instruments that I need to get the kids started. They have also provided extremely accessible lesson plans and music charts that I use in every lesson that I teach. They make teaching music as easy as possible. As long as you have a passion for it, they make sure you have the tools to succeed.
For seventeen years I've taught music to children whose parents could never dream of giving them lessons. Little Kids Rock steps in and helps with instruments and modern curriculum to make a difference in the lives of kids in need. Donors who help this organization are putting tools right into the teachers and kids hands! Thank you!
I am a teacher who has instruments, provided by Little Kids Rock. It is an amazing experience for children to play a guitar at school. Many of them just don't have the funds for an instrument, let alone lessons. That's where Little Kids Rock steps in. To provide instruments and training to teachers. Seeing kids play the modern music that moves them is such a blessing.
I am a music teacher for Chicago Public Schools. Little Kids Rock has provided our program with instruments, curriculum, and support. The community of LKR teachers from all over the country is inspiring. LKR is well run and responsive to our needs. I'm looking forward to implementing their curriculum during the 2015-2016 school year, and hopefully for many years to come.
I attended a Little Kids Rock teacher training in 2010 — all day on Saturday and Sunday. I came away with a great deal of valuable curriculum and teaching ideas. Two weeks later, my school received 30 three-quarter-size nylon string acoustic guitars, each with its own case. Every year since then, my students have been able to take these guitars home over night to practice chords and songs. They perform, they coach each other, some of them are strengthening relationships with a parent or older sibling or aunt who plays guitar and works with them at home. These are 9 and 10 year old children in a city school. Little Kids Rock is a powerful motivating force for kids in my school. The support the organization has provided in succeeding years has been terrific. I feel so lucky to be a Little Kids Rock teacher.
This amazing charity has supplied my 150 students and myself with amazing instruments! We love little kids Rock!!
Words cannot describe the amount of love and magic that this brings! :-)
I have been a Little Kids Rock teacher since 2010. LKR provided my elementary music classroom with acoustic guitars and me with plenty of training, so that I was able to introduce Modern Band as another "stream" into my classes. They also provide an ongoing "Teacher Hang" website where I can connect with other Little Kids Rock teachers across the nation and download tons of materials, as well as share materials and ideas, share videos of my students, and make friends with like-minded colleagues. They have also provided some electric guitars, including one Taylor that just arrived out of nowhere one day, and is the pride of my classroom. They have promised me a trap set next. Because of LKR, my students have had the opportunity to play with James Burton (Elvis' and others' lead guitarist) twice, an experience of a lifetime for them and for me. My students perform annually at Artfest, which is the largest children's arts festival in the South (Shreveport, LA) and give a spring concert.
This past summer, I flew to Ft. Collins, CO and attended the LKR National Conference for Teachers for three days at CSU. This was practically free for me (other than the flight), and I learned so much that I was able to take back to my students. I can hardly wait to go next summer!
I am providing so much more for my students than just the fun of playing "their music", although this is significant. All of the research shows that learning to play an instrument actually increases the volume of the corpus callosum (part of the brain that connects the hemispheres) and creates more connections in the brain than any other activity that has been studied. This helps my students with executive function, fine motor and emotional growth. I know it has a very positive impact on all of their other studies.
I'm proud to have served Little Kids Rock for almost 8 years.
A big chunk of my professional energies involves providing consulting services to companies serving the K12 education sector . I see an endless variety of different products, programs and practices and about education being applied across the US schools and districts.
At the individual school and classroom level, I can honestly say that for very small amounts of funding, I can't think of many other educational program that provides anywhere near the level of impact on children's lives and educational progress that Little Kids Rock provides. LKR provides an amazing ROI.
In addition, Little Kids Rock benefits teachers-through enabling many to do what they really want to do: teach and impact kids lives.
And oh yeah, there's also the bit about just how totally cool it is seeing kids' total enjoyment making music they love with other kids!!!
I was ready to leave teaching. As a NYC music teacher after 8 years of not having supplies I was ready to give up. After taking the LKR workshop I had all the supplies and support I needed. It has been 7 years since then. LKR saved me career and has been changing my students lives for the better!
I have been working alongside Little Kids Rock since 2011 and have had the pleasure of seeing all of the amazing things this organization does, year after year. I have seen the smiles on children's faces when their favorite musician stops by their school to drop off new guitars. I have seen their excitement when Lady Gaga enters the room. I have seen what happens when they are given the opportunity to play on stage with some of the greatest living legends in rock and roll. Not only does Little Kids Rock do wonderful things for the children and schools they serve, they make sure everybody has a blast along the way! I cannot think of a cooler nonprofit!
I have been involved with helping Little Kids Rock raise funds, awareness, and plan events that have furthered their mission of bringing a lifelong gift of music two children. This organization does not pump up it's stats, or make specious claims. They just do great work, and do it very well. It is an honor to be associated with the good people at Little Kids Rock and the children they serve!
I am a general music teacher in a inner city, low income middle school in San Francisco. This is my fourth year working with Little Kids Rock. I can't say enough great things about this organization. First, Little Kids Rock does exactly what they say they are going to do…they put instruments in the hands of children. Because of Little Kids Rock, all of my students are able to learn on the acoustic guitar. LKR have donated acoustic guitars, keyboards, electric guitars and bass guitars to my classroom.
The curriculum that Little Kids Rock has is so simple and so intelligent. The illustrations and photos that they use in their curriculum help me to serve my general population, my English language learners and my Special Education students. The lesson plans cover exactly what I need in order to teach to the standards.
Little Kids Rock has also given my students the opportunity to play with professional musicians at their Gala events. These events have changed the way some of my students feel about themselves and has helped them increase their self esteem through doing something that they love.
I LOVE Little Kids Rock!
This organization has changed the lives of hundreds of my students over the past 7 years. I work in a school of poverty where students struggle every day with math and language arts. This organization has given students so much to hope for as they excel in music class. Students will never be alone knowing that they have something that they love doing (playing music)!! I am so grateful that this organization has supported me every step of the way and continue to do so. No email or phone call goes unanswered. More importantly what they have reaches the people who need it. Little Kids Rock really ROCK!!
I work in Dallas, TX in a low SES neighborhood and this organization is giving me free instruments to use with my students. These kids don't get all of the best opportunities, but thanks to Little Kids Rock, they do get the opportunity to learn the joy of making music.
I teach music in a large public high school in NY. The first time I heard of Little Kids Rock I thought i would take a chance because I wanted to do something new for my students, and we did not have the money to buy new instruments. The training session was an unbelievable wealth of information, and was the best thing I have ever done in my 8 year career as a teacher. The joy on the kids' faces when we opened guitars was great, and many of them were shocked that they were just given to our school. The methods are SO easy to use, and The Hang puts everything together in the easiest way. Kids learned to play so quickly because they were excited about what they were learning and it was relevant to them. Their parents were dumbfounded at the spring concert when they saw everything their kids could do, and many of them didn't believe their son or daughter could play drums or keyboard. The entire thing was so rewarding for the students, the parents, the school and myself, I can't recommend it enough. Kids need to make music, not just read and write about it. This idea is the key that LKR is based on, and I couldn't agree more. THANK YOU for bringing the chance of making music to my school!!!
I have helped hundreds of students experience music after school in Boyle Heights. In my seven years teaching LKR many of my students continue to perform in the community. A great program that has given countless students an opportunity to rock out they would've never had.
I have been teaching music for the last four years with Little Kids Rock and it has revolutionized my teaching. Their Modern Band approach to music for kids is so much fun - you forget how much you are learning. The tools they provide make it an easy access for the kids to learn the music they love. And the instruments they put into schools open up so many doors for our kids! My own students have begun to write songs and share their talents in many performances through the year. They grow in confidence, skills, and commitment as they fall in love with making music - a pastime they will enjoy for life!
Little Kids Rock (LKR) daily transforms lives through music. The teacher's lives are enriched and the students receive training that will positively impact their lives. Personally, I have seen children that have "given-up" on school, turn around their lives to becoming a leader in their school - and it was all due to the influence of Little Kids Rock. Through Little Kids Rock the students are taught: PRACTICE is needed to succeed - it's not just luck. WE DEPEND ON EACH OTHER - everyone is important. And that if you work really hard together as a group.... There is the "coolness" factor that changes everything for the student (and teacher)!! The support from LKR headquarters is always there. The directors of LKR give opportunities to the teachers of LKR so that the entire organization is never stagnate, but is constantly progressing. LKR needs to be in every school! What would happen to education if the concepts of LKR were used in every school? That is the change education needs!!!
I learned more about Little Kids Rock from 1Love.org's website. I think what they do for underprivileged kids is fantastic. I especially like their grassroots approach and their commitment to the kids above all else. I highly recommend this organization! A+!
Altruism in the form of empowering our disadvantaged urban youth. I speak as an LKR advocate/teacher in NJ for three years...their methods are unprecedented, their network is growing exponentially, and their core values and pedagogy applies to all content areas as well.
Review from CharityNavigator
My role with the Dallas ISD is coordinating partnerships that support our 230 schools. For the past four years, we've been blessed to have support from Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit with an incredible track record of transforming children's lives by improving and revitalizing music education in public schools in Dallas and 25 other cities nationwide. We honored this group with our highest recognition, the Superintendent's Partnership Award, in 2010.
Little Kids Rock is unique among nonprofits in how clear a path there is from a donation to a direct service. Money raised goes right to kids, and you can see immediate, life-changing impact from the moment they hold an instrument for the first time. LKR teachers are the most dedicated, creative volunteers I have ever met in 14 years of professional nonprofit experience. Rock on, LKR!
I am so honored to be a part of Little Kids Rock and to be one of their ambassador teachers. What LKR has done for the two schools I teach at is phenomenal. What LKR has done for our district is unparalleled. They have trained and equipped over 100 teachers in the Dallas area. At my schools alone, they have not only given over 60 instruments, but have provided teacher support like no other organization I have ever seen. Through LKR, I have been able to meet musicians and music teachers from across the country, learn, work on curriculum, and grow as a teacher.
Little Kids Rock makes every teacher feel like somebody important. In turn, we teachers are inspired to make our students feel the same way. Little Kids Rock is not only helping to put music back in the public school classroom, it is putting fun back in learning...
Review from CharityNavigator
I was introduced to Little Kids Rock in January of 2011 by one of my college professors. Interested in music PR (as a potential career), I had researched the company and found that as a charity, LKR raises money to restore and revitalize music education in public schools. It wasn't until I became a volunteer that I FULLY understood what this organization does for children. Yes, they provide free musical instruments and lessons to students who's schools have been stripped of the funds to provide for them, but they also allow for students to learn and explore their creativity and confidence. Without these lessons, students have a stronger chance of getting into trouble, and being less engaged in their school work. LKR gives kids something to look forward to - it makes them WANT to get up in the morning and go to school. It's said that approximately 52% of students engaged in music are more likely to attend college and/or continue their education after high school. That statistic alone had this organization on the top of my favorite list. With music lessons boosting a child's confidence and creativity, it's no wonder why music classes are so important to a school's curriculum. Don't let a rock star slip through the cracks! Help LKR help our children.
After coming across the Little Kids Rock organization , I was totally impressed by their mission & commitment !
Having been fortunate enough to grow up & participate in school music programs during my elementary , junior high & high-school years during the '60's , I'm well aware of the advantages & positive impact that education provided myself & my peers ! Many of them, including myself , are still involved in music as performers or business professionals or both .
Luckily through my company & my network of clients / friends , I've been able to connect LKR with some people & opportunities that will hopefully further their cause & benefit all concerned !
Also previously held a fund-raiser & plan on doing more in the future !
Review from CharityNavigator
I am so thankful and honored to be part of the Little Kids Rock Family. I got started with this program on accident. The music teacher could not make the Little Kids Rock Workshop in Chicago back in 2007, so I was asked if I'd like to check it out. No worries, give up my weekend to see how we can qualify for free guitars. I myself had just started playing an instrument in 2005 so this was exciting for me. After experiencing the LKR pedagogy and how they simplified theory into student friendly terms, I was hooked! Flash forward three years later, and now I currently hold a music endorsement on my teaching certificate! I originally started as a middle school History teacher, moved to Physical Education, and now I hold an accredidation for music from the Berkley College of Music. Who would have thought that this weekend workshop would change my life as a person, starting musician, and an instructor! The kids love love LOVE this program, especially now that they can transition between chords! LKR has provided a curriculum, a drum set, and of course GUITARS!!! When LKR is scheduled at my school, it is the highlight of my day. We have had such great times, jammed with professionals, played in front of 300 + people, the list goes on and on. And why did this happen? Hard work, dedication, and the tools provided by the Little Kids Rock Foundation to get us at the level where we are today!
I got very lucky and became a music teacher at my school in the South Bronx. I had been a New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching 5th grade. I started an after school guitar program and at the end of the year, was offered a position teaching music. (The school had no music or art program prior). I was excited, but also quite nervous because I didn't have any experience teaching music. My very first day as a music teacher, I was sent to a workshop and saw an ad for free guitars for my school. It was an organization called Little Kids Rock and all I had to do was attend a weekend seminar. It sounded cool, so I signed up. That weekend seminar was THE defining moment of my pedagogical career. Not only did LKR provide instruments for my school, but they provided ME with a solid philosophical foundation for music education. I implemented the methodology and curriculum which LKR provided into my daily classes. I also used it during the after school program. The music program literally changed the culture of the entire school. The rock band became a staple of the community. We were given the opportunity to play at Madison Square Garden, city hall, The Knitting Factory and more. I am so grateful for LKR for all they've for me and my students. They have literally changed the lives of hundreds of students in New York. I cannot say enough for this organization and what they do for our children. Additionally, I think it's important to mention that LKR does not simply train a teacher and forget about them. We are literally part of a community. Teachers use 'The Hang' a community website to share lesson plans, post video of students performing, keep in touch. LKR is awesome!
Little Kids Rock is an amazing organization. When I began teaching at my current school 10 years ago, I learned about a free music workshop that would guarantee guitars for between 10 - 20 students. The summer workshop was led by LKR's very energetic founder and had a big impact on all the teachers who attended. In addition to the free guitars and other music materials for students, LKR arranged other summer sessions for teachers to get together and share strategies as well as opportunities for students to "play out" around San Francisco or to work with professional musicians from the Conservatory of Music.
I was first introduced to Little Kids Rock several years ago, when as a music teacher, I was given the opportunity to attend a free workshop with them in which they would donate guitars and materials to my music program. I was typically cynical about these workshops, having attended many that seemed to have no practical classroom basis. This one was very different, it really revolutionized my program. Throughout the weekend, a group of about 20 teachers worked with Dave Wish, their Executive Director, learning new and exciting ways to educate our students and revitalize our music programs. The programs focus on contemporary music helped to supplement our traditional teaching programs and validated the hard work we already do in the classroom. At the end of the workshop, I received a set of 40 guitars for my program, some music software, and a book of curriculum. However, what we learned with Dave was the most important aspect of the workshop and I quickly became as involved as possible. Throughout the years, I have consistently become more a part of LKR. When the program expanded, I became one of the teacher trainers that make it possible for LKR to train more teachers in more cities. My students constantly got amazing opportunities to perform with some of their rock heros and legends. Any time I have ever needed anything to help my program, LKR is just a phone call away, and even though they have grown exponentially, I can always expect a quick response and a personal hello from the executive director. For the last six months, I have been helping LKR move to their next phase, incorporating more styles and instruments, expanding past the guitar curriculum to a full modern band manual or teaching. It has been exciting and really has made teaching fun for me and my students.
Little Kids Rock positively changed my teaching. As a music instructor with a Master's Degree, I was successfully teaching the regular education student but I was searching for a way to reach the students that had already given up on school due various reasons - these were the "lost children" in the educational environment. Little Kids Rock provided that avenue to reach these children. I have been using the tools given to my by the organization such as guitars, drums, and complete classroom material to reach these students for three years. Not only have I been able to get these students involved in school, but something I didn't plan on was that I was able to engage the child's support system as well. Some of their guardians have taken part in the music growth with the Little Kids Rock performing groups at our school. Now the children that participate in the Little Kids Rock program, not only learn musically, but positively grow in their own self worth - that confidence will influence all facets of their lives.
After meeting founder David Wish and visiting a music class at PS-11 in the Bronx I was convinced that the Little Kids Rock model was one of the more effective and innovative solutions to support music education in inner city schools.
Little Kids Rock has transformed my practice as a teacher and as a musician. I have gone from being a teacher who only plays guitar in her spare time to bringing all my guitars to school and sharing them with a group of kids. We've built a community of young rock and roll musicians and fans who enjoy hanging out together and jamming. The kids have become natural and relaxed performers and songwriters. When we teach kids how to play a song, we can teach them so much more than the technical skill. We can teach them about the role of music in social change. We can teach them how to represent themselves, to be active participants in the culture instead of passive recipients. We can teach kids to be inclusive--there's a place in the choir or the band for everybody who wants to play. We can teach kids that the arts are social, they help us communicate and create collaboratively. Music be a source of comfort and empowerment for kids. It can be a magnet, that keeps on encouraging kids who might otherwise become discouraged. Through participation in Little Kids Rock, I have come to understand that music, like language, belongs to everyone.
I am a pretty accomplished guitarist, rock fan and blues fan. I consider American blues and rock to be of cultural significance. From personal experience, I know that music, and rock music, and guitar playing, can transform a life, can bring joy to the challenged, and give strenght to the struggling. This program provides a perfect way to bring music education, creative expression, and enhanced learning to my school. Though I am a good guitarist, this program offers a unique and extremely effective way to teach music, guitar, and other instruments to children.
I am an elementary music teacher, but only a self-taught guitarist. My skills were enough to lead a group singing. When I attended an Little Kids Rock Clinic, I was SO excited with their easy to follow material. I became a better guitarist in those 2 days and learned how to share basic guitar skills in a fun way. And even more, I learned how to help those guitarists improve. My guitar club went from 6 kids to 40 in one year with the guitars I got from LKR. Now every year I have more applicants than guitars to my group. It is such a big group, my principal got me an assistant to help tune them up and work with my advanced players! The guitarists have gotten good enough to accompany our choir during several performances in the year! Guitar is by far the most popular club I have out of six music clubs! What I like most about LKR as a teacher is their on-going support and motivation for our students. They are always sponsoring contests for the kids and teachers. The website is very helpful. They are continually working on new material to help teachers. And even thought LKR has helped my music program tremendously, I love that you don't have to be a music teacher to be involved in Little Kids Rock. You just have to want to share music. My kids have gained so much since I became part of LKR. They are writing songs, they're excited about playing, they love to perform - It has been a Win-Win relationship! I have gained so much from LKR. I have more ideas than I can use. They challenge me by using great technology as a teaching tool. They share the new keyboard material and drum material with us. I learn from other teachers. It is a phenomenal organization! Going to the LKR Clinic in Houston, TX was the BEST decision I have made to improve music at my school!!!
From its inception, we have been aware of the work of LKR. With the extensive cutbacks across the board of arts classes in schools across the country, LKR took up the cause and began to make a difference. They have made significant progress but despite all they have done it is clear that MAXIMUM support is needed, including bringing their work to any/every school in need. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. LKR is already doing it and doing it successfully. What is needed is more support to help expand their programs until there is no more unmet need. ABC4All supports nonprofits/NGOs worldwide (more coming): http://home.abc4all.net/resources/view/145954/?topic=32255 Respectfully, Burton Danet, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist (retired) Co-Founder, ABC4All Portal4Relief http://home.abc4all.net/
Little Kids Rock has changed my teaching. My students are so excited to come to school and play popular music on guitars. Class morale has increased. Parental involvement has increased. Students are finding ways to express themselves through music. I can't wait to come in on Wednesdays and rock out. My second graders feel like the kings and queens of the school!
I am a professional Los Angeles Music teacher. I heard about Little Kids Rock from my school district. Their plan was to develop guitar classes within the district. LKR asked teachers to attend 3 Saturday training sessions and they would supply us with a classroom set of guitars. My class flourished. I started with 1 class. The next semester we went to 3 classes. The following year I was teaching 5 guitar classes. In each class there were 40 students for a total of 200 students. The kids had a great time
I became a Little Kids Rock guitar teacher in 2007, mainly by being inspired by David Wish, the founder. His desire to spread music across this country to the students who don't have the resources or the means was infectious and his attention to the details of how to do it right was very impressive. During the three years that I was involved as a teacher for LKR, I watched the level of quality rise and rise. It begins with a teacher workshop where LKR assesses if you are a good candidate to join their program. Once you "pass the test," it becomes an amazing journey with excellent equipment provided at no charge and tremendous materials and support. The bottom line is that the students don't pay a dime. They have a guitar of their own to play at home and at class. They have the opportunity to watch and listen to other students all around the country through great online sites. I have just loved watching my students become musicians. Little Kids Rock has been blessed by some great support by awesome musicians, but the basic program is such high quality because of the LKR staff that has always been available to help with any problems or questions and has continued to provide such great materials. During the last year, an online community of LKR teachers has made it even better. It's easy to be the leader of an LKR guitar group with all of those resources behind you. Hey, what can I say? I'm a cheerleader! It's September and I'm ready to do it again.
I started working with Little Kids Rock in 2004 where they presented their vision, gave our school free guitars and curriculum and gave myself a weekend's worth of Professional Development. I was a part of LKR's first LA chapter and have utilized all that LKR has to offer ever since. I truly believe they are one of, if not the best resource for Music Educators, even if you are a General Ed teacher interested in giving kids a music class. This Non-profit is devoted to constantly growing not only to reach as many students as possible, but also to best meet the teacher's needs- which is the absolute best way to impact our students. LKR brings instant success into children's lives so that they have access to things like: creativity, expression, sense of belonging & worth, fun, learning, connections & relationships... I could go on forever. I have a student who started LKR with me when he was in 6th grade and this year he will graduate High School this year. He has had some of the best experiences of his life by means of what LKR has done for my music programs. He is only one example of students that have told me similar stories. Little Kids Rock, rocks!
I walked into Little Kids Rock looking for a part-time internship. What I found was a full-time career filled with passion, one-of-a-kind experience, inspiring people and most of all, the opportunity to change lives. Little Kids Rock provides teachers with the tools and materials to transform children's lives, while also transforming their own. For many children, music is so important because it unleashes their trapped creative sides, keeps them focused and in school, and/or builds their confidence, work ethic and communication abilities. I go to work every day inspired and leave work every day even more inspired. I cannot imagine finding a organization that is as fulfilling, fun and fast-paced as Little Kids Rock. Keep on Rockin! I walked into Little Kids Rock looking for a part-time internship. What I found was a full-time career filled with passion, one-of-a-kind experience, inspiring people and most of all, the opportunity to change lives. Little Kids Rock provides teachers with the tools and materials to transform children's lives, while also transforming their own. For many children, music is so important because it unleashes their trapped creative sides, keeps them focused and in school, and/or builds their confidence, work ethic and communication abilities. I go to work every day inspired and leave work every day even more inspired. I cannot imagine finding a organization that is as fulfilling, fun and fast-paced as Little Kids Rock. Keep on Rockin!
I became involved with LKR after reading about them in Time Magazine. I had just finished a 2 year stint as a high school music teacher during which I rebuilt a program in a manner that ended up being very similar to the movie School of Rock. I sent an email to Dave, the Founder, he called me and I was immediately in love with the concept. I loved it partially as a musician, but mostly because of what I had observed teaching in a private school. Most people, I believe, have the perception that children who attend private school have an advantage in the quality of instruction in math and the sciences. In my experience, reality is the opposite. What kids get in private school is exposure to what is first to be cut in public school; the arts. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I weren't able to play guitar. That music is considered expendable when compared to math or science is a real disservice to kids and our society, and I say this as a technical professional. LKR seemed to be on target with its message and truly differentiated in its approach. It's fairly easy to collect instruments and deposit them at schools. That hardly begins to deliver a valuable experience for kids. LKR is built around a unique and complete pedagogical program that embraces teacher as well as student, and sets everyone up for success. That was in 2003 and I've been involved ever since. During the past 7 years I've mainly focused on fund raising via local events and individual donors. The donation from YEF is my crowning achievement to date. A real testament to the effectiveness of LKR came when YEF increased its commitment the next year. I plan to spend the rest of my days doing whatever I can to spread the love and value of a musical education through LKR.
I ran the NJ Marathon to help raise money for LKR. I ended up raising over $1,100, which is enough to support supplies for 2 classes. I can't express how happy I am to even make a difference in these kids lives. I hope they make something of their music experience at such a young age. I did not have that opportunity as a child, so I understand how important it is. The LKR staff was great and supportive through out my how fund raising experience. They even invited me in their Headquarters to meet the team. I look forward to running more marathons in effort to help LKR and their goal.
I’ve worked with (and have tried to work with) numerous non-profit organizations during the past ten years and I’m often disappointed to see how poorly run and ineffective many are. Perhaps that is because I’ve worked with nso many venture-funded technology-start ups over the years and I’m used to seeing clear vision, focus, accelerated growth, disciplined planning and execution. BUT -- from the very beginning I saw that LKR has had, and continues to demonstrate these key ingredients for success - much more so than many of the tech companies I've consulted to! From the first day I met Dave Wish, Little Kids Rock founder and Executive Director, I was amazed at his vision, charisma and dedication to bringing music education to kids who need it the most. Now, seven years later, I’m even more impressed with Dave and his team’s ability to execute on this very huge vision. Starting with guitar lessons and a few instruments in one classroom for a handful of kids to becoming one of the largest “full-service” music education programs in the country -- providing an amazing curriculum, training for the teachers and free instruments for nearly 100,000 kids to date – how incredible is that! And the stories that pour in from teachers, parents and these kids about how this program and music has transformed their lives is ultimately the inspiration that keeps me and the rest of the team and volunteers motivated to do as much as we can to continue accelerating the growth of this organization. Some of my other favorite things about Little Kids Rock are that it is a “Modern Band” curriculum, teaching music like rock, hip hop, rap, blues… the music kids love. It really engages the kids and the teaching methods get them playing from day one. We’ve also seen how complimentary this curriculum is to other traditional music programs such as Jazz Band, Marching Band, Chorus and Orchestra - when those programs still exist in the schools - which is more and more rare. I also love that the kids learn how to improvise, compose and create original work. The program has been heavily geared so far towards low-income school districts where kids would not otherwise receive music education if they don’t get it at school – this is so important as I truly believe (and there is a lot of evidence to support) that inspiring children to express themselves through music, they build confidence and self-esteem that is critical to success in school and beyond.
Four or five years ago my principal sent me an email telling about Little Kids Rock offering a weekend seminar for people wishing to teach guitar to students. I signed up and was wowed by the enthusiasm of Dave Wish and his crew. He managed to teach us as he expected us to teach the class and made 10 hours of staff development the most fun I've ever had on a weekend school-related activity. With the 10 guitars I received from LKR, I went about spreading the love of music to students in my school. We did not have a music teacher and I was their exposure to music at school. What a grand time we had. The kids came for an hour every week on Friday afternoon and learned guitar, wrote songs, sang, and generally had a grand time. I watched these kids blossom during the year both musically and academically. Every year I have taught the LKR curriculum, the majority of the kids in the group have been on the Honor Roll and/or have scored proficient on the state test. Coincidence? I think not. The perseverance needed to master an instrument enabled them to persevere at their studies. The kids are motivated and seek outside learning opportunities to perfect their instrument playing. Kids otherwise unmotivated wrote songs and won awards. They mustered the self-confidence to perform outside of our school at several community functions. I am excited to imagine what great things lay in store for them as they go on to high school and beyond. I believe that the Little Kids Rock organization has set them on the right path. In addition, the staff themselves are accomodating, supportive and available to those who need their assistance. I cannot say enough positive things about this organization! Rock on!
I joined Little Kids Rock after a long career in industry as a business executive and consultant. In 2001 I decided to retire, and pursue a career in teaching that I always desired. I was hired as a Science teacher by the Orange School district in New Jersey, and began to teach Science to 7th and 8th grade students at the middle school. I had played guitar since childhood, and had been thinking about teaching guitar to my science students but knew that they didn’t have the resources. Then, I saw a photo and article in my local newspaper about a young man named David Wish who had begun a program called Little Kids Rock, designed to teach inner city students how to play the guitar and compose their own music. We made contact, and I have been a part of this wonderful program each school year ever since. Through these years I have seen my students grow through the beginning struggles of initial learning, to the joy of musical exploration and mastery. They have overcome shyness and played in concert. They have had the opportunity to meet and play for professional entertainers. They have put words to their own music, and recorded these original compositions,and won awards for them. They have increased their self confidence with every success they have achieved. See example on Youtube at this site: www.youtube.com/user/OrangeRockers#p/a As for myself, I have gained much from my association with these kids who number over sixty since I started. And also from the visionary, David Wish, who gave me the opportunity to see this wonderful organization succeed and grow, supported by the dedicated people who make up the Little Kids Rock staff, and teachers across the country who are all totally committed to bringing instruction, composition, and the joy of success through music. I am proud to be among them, but, my greatest joy occurred this year when one of my students corrected me on the way I was strumming my guitar to a popular tune that he had learned. I realized then that I had graduated to the role of advisor, and he the role of teacher.
Little Kids Rock Inc. is honestly one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life, thus far. I joined this organization during the eighth grade as a student of Orange Middle School. I was insecure and unsure of how Little Kids Rock would change my life. My Instructor was Mr. Alan Christian, who made a new learning experience seem easy, fun, but most of all, involving. Through the organization, I was able to get a guitar to practice with (which I could not afford at that point), dynamic guitar lessons, and a family-oriented learning environment. I am now 21 years old, and thanks to my involvement with Little Kids Rock, I went on to starting my own band and music production group. My musical inspiration was endorsed by a great group of people, and thankfully I am now inspired to do the same. Thank you Little Kids Rock, for the lasting impact on my life! Special thanks to Alan Christian and David Wish!
Where do I even begin,maybe by saying that Little Kids Rock is by far the best place I have ever worked at, and the staff behind LKR are simply amazing and most importantly inspiring. I learned so much from everyone at LKR especially from the founder Dave Wish, who is such a great person. He sets a goal and makes sure that everyone is a part in helping achieve it, as well as being able to celebrate the success that follows. His constant positive energy really made one feel great even on the gloomiest of days, but that does not only go to Dave, but to all LKR staff. LKR is a wonderful place, and an amazing organization that truly is helping change the lives of children through music. I hope that one day the organization is able to go global, because I have plans on starting an LKR program back in my home country.
Little Kids Rock changes lives. I've been teaching Little Kids Rock guitar for 2 years now. I teach in the inner-city, at a Title I elementary school (low socio-economic status). Students who never stand out in general music classes come alive in rock guitar and can amaze you by creating their own music. I've seen a special needs student, who struggled with making friends because of his looks and behaviors, play "Smoke on the Water" and gain respect of his peers and make friends cross grade levels in the class. I've seen a dislexic place two years in a row in the song writing contest. I've seen timid students crack out of their shells when the group has been asked to play for the city counsel or at Fair Park. I've seen a student diagnosed with short term memory loss and other learning issues, rock the drums, bass, and electric guitar and gain groupies in the process. All of my students in Little Kids Rock, including my special needs students, passed their State required standardized tests this year. The program teaches more than the skill of playing guitar, but also: self-respect, self-worth, responsibility, teamwork, loyalty, perserverance... Little Kids Rock makes a difference!
Little Kids Rock has empowered my students to explore their creativity, self expression, and passion for music. The pedagogy insures confidence building and a fundamental comfort with the instruments students choose to play. I had always dreamed of starting a guitar class but didn't have the resources. When I met Dave Wish not only was I able to start the class but now we have a successful program where kids can play a variety of instruments, explore the music that they know and love, write their own music, and, most importantly, perform for their peers and community. Our students have made connections with business leaders, mayors, and rock stars, and they know that there is an amazing world available to them that they have entered because of Little Kids rock.
Little Kids Rock has changed my entire role as a teacher. I get to spend my entire teaching time working at two different schools teaching guitar classes to grades 6-12! The successes everyday I have seen with my students are something that will stay with me forever!
Can you imagine a world where Music Education's funding gets smaller and smaller every year? Welcome to the world we live in. This is where Little Kids Rock comes in. Little Kids Rock supplements schools budget for instruments and provides valuable materials to music teacher to help keep their curriculum fresh and interesting. We are a group of guitarists and musicians in the Baltimore Metro area. We looked long and hard for a group charity. All signs took us to Little Kids Rock. Read some of the touching stories, watch the kids in their videos and see the pride and confidence they extrude. There's no better musical charity for our money. Help them out so they can reach more cities. The Baltimore Guitarist Group loves Little Kids Rock!!!
During my tenure with the Hot Topic Foundation Board, I have had the opportunity to interact with Little Kids Rock on numerous occasions. Our Board has granted funds to Little Kids Rock since 2005 and partnered with them on numerous initiatives and events. The enthusiasm from the LKR team is contagious and inspiring. They are also one of the most organized, planful and stategic-thinking organizations I have worked with. Little Kids Rock supports a terrific cause and goes about supporting this cause "smartly".