SpreadMusicNow and Little Kids Rock Donate 2,000 Musical Instruments to Hartford Public Schools

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE           October 2014

 

SpreadMusicNow and Little Kids Rock Donate 2,000 Musical Instruments to Hartford Public Schools

Representatives from nonprofit partners Little Kids Rock and the SpreadMusicNow education fund delivered some of the 2,000 musical instruments to Hartford Public Schools on Thursday, Oct. 16, as part of the launch of a new instrumental music education program called Modern Band.

Officials from the two organizations joined Hartford Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez at 12:40 p.m. on Thursday for the inaugural drop off of keyboards, guitars and a drum kit at the E. B. Kennelly School, 180 White Street in Hartford. The event included a musical performance by the Hartford Public High School Academy of Nursing and Health Science Choir.

 

By the end of the day, similar deliveries had been made to 21 more schools in the Hartford district.

Last month, dozens of Hartford Public School teachers took part in a daylong professional development training session to learn how to apply the strategies of the innovative Modern Band music program in their classrooms. The program was established through SpreadMusicNow and Little Kids Rock, a leading provider of free instruments and music instruction to U.S. Public schools. The program is expected to provide music lessons to more than 3,200 Hartford students. It also incorporates professional development training in the Modern Band curricula for 60 teachers in the next three years.

 

Modern Band music programs teach the popular musical styles of the past 60 years, from rock and reggae to Latin and R&B, among other genres, with a heavy focus on improvisation, composition, and getting kids to play from day one. Modern Band complements existing programs such as jazz band, choral programs, marching band, and orchestral music. Dozens of certified music teachers will be trained and equipped to bring Modern Band programming to children in grades K-12.

Little Kids Rock has pioneered the Modern Band movement, currently operating in 1,140 schools in 27 cities, having served more than 300,000 kids since 2002.

 

“Little Kids Rock’s mission is to give every child the opportunity to unlock his or her inner music-maker and we do that by leveraging the human capital already in the schools in order to take the burden off of school districts that already face tight budgets,” says Little Kids Rock founder and executive director David Wish, who used to teach first grade in California. “Thanks to the generous support of SpreadMusicNow and Hartford Public Schools, this dream will become a reality for the children of Connecticut’s capital city.”

SpreadMusicNow, based in Redding, supports music instruction provided through collaborations among K-12 school systems, local and national nonprofits, higher education and cultural institutions, and professional musicians committed to giving back to the next generation. SpreadMusicNow funding will support students in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury this fall.

 
 
“SpreadMusicNow encourages students interested in exploring music as a career,” said Richard J. Wenning, BeFoundation’s Executive Director. “We help them develop as musicians and build their college and career pathways. With SpreadMusicNow, BeFoundation and its partners are building a national source of support for emerging musicians. Little Kids Rock is an ideal partner with which to build this national initiative, and Connecticut is the perfect state for us to begin our work together.”
 

ABOUT SPREAD MUSIC NOW

SpreadMusicNow.org is a national fund established by Connecticut-based BeFoundation to help musically-inspired children and teens develop as musicians and creative thinkers. SpreadMusicNow funds music instruction for under-resourced youth, helping to shape their futures and build lifelong success. BeFoundation established the SpreadMusicNow Fund at the Fairfield County Community Foundation. For more information visit www.spreadmusicnow.org.
 

ABOUT BE FOUNDATION

BeFoundation is a private, family foundation dedicated to transforming the lives and communities of disadvantaged youth in Connecticut. BeFoundation invests in organizations that share a commitment to expanding the pathways available for college, career and life success while building creative, smart and engaged communities. For more information visit www.befoundation.org or call 203-938-9000.
 

 

ABOUT LITTLE KIDS ROCK

Headquartered in Verona, NJ, Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit that won’t rest until all students have the opportunity to unlock their inner music-makers. The organization partners with school districts to train public school teachers in their innovative curriculum while donating all of the instruments and resources necessary to run Modern Band music programs. Little Kids Rock began as a schoolteacher’s vision to give his students access to music education that is relevant to them while diminishing budgets for the arts made that more and more difficult to do. What began as a single after-school guitar class has since exploded into a national movement that is bringing free, weekly, “Modern Band” music lessons to more than 135,000 public school children due to the efforts of nearly 1,200 teachers nationwide. To date, Little Kids Rock has served over 320,000 students. More info at www.littlekidsrock.org

Please contact keith@littlekidsrock.org or Jackie Coleman, the Senior Advisor for the Arts at Hartford Public Schools for more information.

 

 

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