Little Kids Rock, the largest nonprofit music program in U.S. public schools, today unveiled a bold new brand, Music Will, with artist support across a wide variety of genres from Slash and Usher to Hozier, Mavis Staples and Darryl DMC McDaniels. The 20-year-old national nonprofit aims to bring the gift of music to a million more kids in the next five years.
“For two decades, we have been leading the charge to innovate the way students learn and make music,” said Little Kids Rock Founder and CEO, Dave Wish, a former elementary school music teacher. “Starting today, we are Music Will and hope everyone will embrace the change by finishing the sentence with their own take on what music will do.”
What started as one elementary school in a single city has expanded to 6000+ schools, in 928 cities and towns across 50 states. To date, Music Will has brought free music lessons and instruments to 1.2 million students across the country and trained a national network of teachers to bring highly-inclusive, culturally-responsive, student-centered music education to students, using genres including hip hop, rock, pop, Latin, rap, and country.
“None of this would be possible without the support of passionate teachers, public school systems, private donors, corporate partners and artists who care enough to pay it forward,” said Wish.
Many legendary artists have lent their support to the movement by offering their perspective on what music will do. Examples include: Slash “Give you a huge creative outlet;” Usher “Define you;” Hozier “Give you a space to know yourself, understand yourself;” Mavis Staples “Heal your body and make you feel good;” and Darryl DMC McDaniels: “Knock down the walls that separate us.”
“Long-time music teacher at Miramonte Elementary in South Los Angeles, Jose Vergara, believes music education is an essential factor to the social and emotional development of every child. “Music is life changing,” says Vergara. “It makes shy students confident, creates community, builds friendships and provides a safe place to express yourself.”
Music Will transforms lives by transforming music education. For more information, visit current.musicwill.org or follow on social.
Christian Wissmuller • MMR Global