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Little Kids Rock
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S. Mark Taper Foundation Donates $75,000 to National Non-Profit Little Kids Rock to Support Music Education in Los Angeles County Schools

  • Little Kids Rock’s Innovative “Modern Band” music education program expanded to benefit more than 25,100 public school students; Hundreds of instruments donated to Los Angeles-Area Schools
  • 57 Teachers in Los Angeles County Schools learn new national renowned curriculum shown to inspire at-risk youth with culturally relevant instruction

LOS ANGELES, CA  – February 15, 2018 – Thanks to a generous donation from the Los Angeles-based S. Mark Taper Foundation, 57 teachers in Los Angeles have been able to participate in professional development workshops across the city to bring non-profit Little Kids Rock’s renowned Modern Band curriculum to underserved students. Little Kids Rock is the leading provider of donated instruments, culturally relevant music curriculum, and music teacher professional development in the country. More than 25,100 Los Angeles County public school students will participate in Modern Band programs, and schools will receive hundreds of brand new instruments.

“Our mission is to enhance the quality of people’s lives by supporting non-profit organizations and their work in our communities,” said Adrienne Wittenberg with the S. Mark Taper Foundation. “We believe that music brings people and communities together, and that music education is a vital component of any child’s learning experience. We are proud to work with Little Kids Rock to make an impact in the Los Angeles community.”

Countless studies show that kids who have access to music education in schools do better academically and socially. Little Kids Rock empowers educators to teach kids to play the music that is culturally relevant to them, whether that’s rock or hip hop, country, rap or R&B, and it focuses on improvisation, composition, and getting kids to make music immediately. The program, which is part of a burgeoning national movement to put students at the center of their learning experience and keep arts and music programs thriving, complements existing music offerings such as jazz band, choral ensembles, marching band, and orchestra. Kids become proficient while playing the music that inspires them – from Beyonce to Taylor Swift, Blink 182, Drake and AC/DC – and participation in Modern Band increases their engagement with school and learning, while fostering critical 21st-century skills like teamwork, creativity, and communication.

At Little Kids Rock’s workshops, teachers learn how to teach the renowned Modern Band music program in their classrooms. They learn how to write and perform their own songs and how to play guitar, keyboard, bass, ukulele, and drums, all of which will be donated to schools in Los Angeles County, thanks to the generous donation of the S. Mark Taper Foundation. Teachers will use these instruments to provide hands-on music lessons to over 25,100 students.

“Little Kids Rock is grateful for the support of the S. Mark Taper Foundation, and for their commitment to empowering young music makers and the communities in which they live,” says Little Kids Rock CEO and Founder David Wish. “By supporting Modern Band in Los Angeles County public schools, the foundation is ensuring that thousands of students will have access to a first-rate and entirely new type of music program.” 

In total, over the course of the 2017-2018 school year, the suport of the S. Mark Taper Foundation has helped launch 57 new Modern Band programs, allowing Little Kids Rock to serve more than 25,100 students in 330 classrooms across Los Angeles County.

Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit dedicated to transforming kids’ lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools. As the leader in inclusive, culturally-responsive, student-centered music education, the organization partners with public school districts to build music programs as diverse as the students being served. Little Kids Rock trains teachers to run its innovative Modern Band curriculum, and donates accompanying instruments and resources as necessary to teach popular music in a way that empowers students to experience instant achievement. What began as a single after-school guitar class has since exploded into a national movement that brings free, weekly music lessons to over 320,000 public school children annually through the efforts of more than 2,000 teachers in 200 school districts nationwide. To date, Little Kids Rock has served more than 650,000 students. More info at


The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in local communities.