Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit that transforms children’s lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in public schools.
Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and, by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.
Little Kids Rock began in 1996 when teacher David Wish created his own music program in response to the lack of musical education at his school. Wish collected spare guitars from his friends and began giving his students free lessons before school, during lunch and after school.
Since then, the program has gone national, and in 2002 they began partnering with public school districts that had either little or no musical education in their curriculum. To do this, Little Kids Rock puts on professional development workshops where district teachers learn how to teach music - Little Kids Rock style. Little Kids Rock believes that if you teach music like it is a language it is easier for children to experience joy with an instrument.
So, teachers are taught to let students express themselves through an instrument immediately and to put an emphasis on teaching children how to read and write notes on paper later. Once the workshop is done, Little Kids Rock then donates all the instruments a school will need to run a successful program, and even provides a weekly curriculum that teachers can follow.
One of the most unique aspects of the Little Kids Rock program is the music the kids play. Students learn the music they love, think more Beyonce and less Bach, and they are taught to be music makers. This means that while it’s fun to learn how to play the latest hit, it’s also extremely gratifying and a big confidence builder for students to compose their very own song, with the chords they learned just this week.
Another way students build confidence and self-esteem through Little Kids Rock is through the organized Jam Summits that happen throughout the year. At these concerts, children in different programs across one city come together, showcasing their newly learned skills on stage in front of their parents, peers and friends.
For the last ten years, Little Kids Rock has been restoring music education programs across the nation and has been teaching children the power of music and self-confidence one chord at a time.
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