The largest private investment in a public school district’s music education program in the history of the United States.

Amp Up NYC is an initiative that is putting Modern Band music programs into 600 NYC Public Schools. Modern Band music programs focus on teaching kids to play the music that they know and love. By focusing on newer genres of music such as rock, reggae, country, pop and hip hop, Modern Band helps get kids engaged in making music quickly and easily.

Little Kids Rock has partnered with Berklee College of Music to support the expansion of Modern Band music programming in the New York City Department of Education – he nation’s largest public school district. Launched in early 2014, the initiative will be rolled out over a three-year period to include an additional 600 schools and serve 60,000 K-12 students in NYC with robust music education programming. Amp Up NYC will provide teacher training, classroom instruction, state-of-the-art online technology and a large donation of instruments.

“We are excited because we have been working with Little Kids Rock for many years and we’ve seen how effective their work is… We hope that this becomes a model for other large [school] systems in the United States to follow.”

- Paul King NYCDOE Executive Director of the Office of Arts and Special Projects

The Amp Up NYC initiative will serve as a model for building district-wide Modern Band programs in other public school districts in the United States. It will put the New York City Department of Education at the forefront of the movement to expand music education opportunities at a time when budget cuts are forcing the elimination of many such programs.


Launch Event (Mar. ’14)  •  Modern Band Workshop (May ’14)

Charly Schwartz

Charly joined Amp Up NYC in February 2014 as its director. Charly brings over twenty years of experience in team leadership, operational management, marketing and youth development to Amp Up NYC. Most recently, prior to joining Amp Up NYC, Charly served as the Chief Operating Officer at America SCORES, a nonprofit organization that uses sports and creative expression to engage, empower and inspire thousands of at-risk public school youth in low income communities around the country. Prior to America SCORES he served as a Vice President at LeadDog Marketing Group, an award-winning marketing company he helped found in 1999. At LeadDog, he shepherded the infrastructural development of the company as it quickly grew in revenue, clients, services and employees, directing various operational functions along with supervising both administrative and account teams. While at LeadDog, Charly also served as an adjunct professor at NYU. Before moving to New York in 2000, Charly was the Director of Operations at a promotion agency in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Producer for the 1996 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major sporting events, including the MLB All-Star Game. His professional career began in the area of informal education, serving as a regional Assistant Director, Senior Advisor and Program Director for a national Jewish youth organization, where Charly primarily worked with elementary school and high school students.

As a first-generation Cuban-American, Charly’s native language is Spanish. He began playing piano with a private Cuban teacher at the age of five and later, in public school, learned to play the drums. As an adult he focused on Latin percussion, and currently plays timbales in a Latin Soul band and in his own Latin Jazz quintet. He has studied music theory, solfege and performance in private lessons, school settings, rehearsals and workshops (including at the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Spanish Harlem, a Berklee City Music Network member).

Charly lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Email: charly@littlekidsrock.org


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