By fourth grade, Phil Cruz had become accustomed to being picked on by the neighborhood kids, who pushed him down the bleachers one day. Saddest of all, his older brother PJ was among the bullies.
But while the bullies laughed, Phil joined the Little Kids Rock program at Gibsonton Elementary. With support and encouragement from his Little Kids Rock teacher, Mr. Johns, Phil practiced guitar and built up his confidence to the point where he was able to stand in the spotlight onstage at his school talent show, performing in front of those same bullies, who now cheered for him. And his big brother, who didn’t have Phil’s back the day he was knocked down, now backed him on the drums.
Nishang Jiang recalls being forced to sit at the piano and practice for hours as a young child in China, and not enjoying it. One time, she threw her sheet music on the floor out of frustration and sat there upset for a long time.
However, Nishang’s musical world was rocked when she moved to Jersey City, NJ just three months ago and enrolled in a Little Kids Rock class.
>How do you express your emotions? Do you go for a run? Paint? How about writing a song?
What do you remember about music class when you were in school?
Was it your zany music teacher with the Beethoven haircut conducting Hot Cross Buns for 30 first graders with recorders? Was it the fear of hitting a wrong note in a Tchaikovsky violin concerto and being yelled at by a mean band director? Do you recall the hours of tuba practice every time you slip a disc in your lower back?
And all the while, while you waited for the bell to ring, you dreamed of rushing home to practice power chords and play the latest Van Halen song on your electric guitar.
The sad reality is that the public schools across the country with enough funding to even include music classes offer an antiquated array of songs and instruments that do not resonate with today’s children.
How do you express your emotions? Do you go for a run? Paint? How about writing a song?
At the age of eight, Aaliyah Baez experienced a life-changing event – she lost her father. Songwriting has since become a creative outlet for her to express her feelings.
“Writing a song about my father and sharing it made me feel better,” said Aaliyah, now 14. She wrote “Daddy’s Little Girl” as a way to cope with the hardship of becoming a teenager without a father.
When you donate $50 to Little Kids Rock, you your gift puts a brand new guitar into a child’s hands, but did you know that your donation also helps children find their voices… literally?
Nancy Robles grew up in Dallas, TX with a severe speech impediment that causes her to stutter in between words…
Two years ago, Nancy broke free from her insecurities and sang publicly for the first time when she submitted an original composition to the annual Little Kids Rock songwriting exhibition. Her teacher noticed something that amazed him and Nancy – her speech impediment completely went away when she sang!
Do you ever wish you could communicate with someone without using words? Talk telepathically, or have a conversation with your eyes?
At Little Kids Rock, we believe that this is possible when you understand the language of music and the art of the jam.
After visiting a class in New York City in November, G. Love decided to take his show on the road, first to Atlanta and then to Nashville. In addition to bringing new guitars to each classroom, G. Love answered questions and jammed with the students, adding some harmonica to their blues numbers.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Diamond once said, “Performing is the easiest part of what I do, and songwriting is the hardest.” No doubt, songwriting remains one of the most challenging, yet rewarding tasks musicians face in their careers.
“When I sing my own song, I feel unique, because I know that nobody else in the world has another song that’s like mine,” ten-year-old Little Kids Rock stu…
October means students are back in school and beginning another exciting (and musically charged) school year. We know you are busily involved with homework and extracurricular activities, so we’ve found some eye-grabbing news on music education for your perusal…