Over the last few years, local school systems have faced increased budget cuts. With a lack of federal funding and the COVID 19 pandemic looming, many schools are opting out of maintaining their music programs.
David Wish realized years ago how many children's lives would be negatively impacted without music and decided to do something about it. He founded an organization called Little Kids Rock that now keeps over 1 million kids engaged with the love of music. His story gives us all hope that we can each do our part to SAVE THE MUSIC for our children.
For more about the story behind Little Kids Rock, click the link below to save your seat for a full video interview with David on December 2nd at 7 pm EST.
IK supports Little Kids Rock and we spoke recently with David about the origin of his non-profit organization and how things are going.
IK Multimedia: With music education often underfunded in schools, how did you convince your school to allow you to start your original 'Guitar classes'?
David Wish: My original guitar classes started as an enrichment activity after school. My general education students were invited to participate. Who knew they would gain interest so quickly?!
Over time, more students wanted to join and learn the guitar. When students are excited about what they are learning, there is no stopping them. My after-school activity quickly brought on the support of volunteers and musicians.
Now, 18 years later, over 5,000 teachers use Little Kids Rock's music program that has served more than 1,000,000 students across the country.
IK: How did the idea of getting music companies like Sweetwater, Harman, Les Paul Foundation, and now IK Multimedia involved come about?
DW: We have seen an incredible sense of philanthropy from music industry companies. Their donation of instruments and equipment shows their commitment to music education, just like we have seen from IK Multimedia.
Across these companies, there's value to the transformational power of music and what it means to students. If we seek harmony in the world, we must invest in harmony.
IK: IK Multimedia has donated 500 iRig Voice Microphones to LKR, how will these be used to help the kids?
DW: We are so grateful for IK Multimedia's donation of 500 iRig Voice Microphones! Composing and songwriting is a powerful way for students to express themselves.
We saw this evidenced this year in the meaningful songs Little Kids Rock students wrote as showcased in our 2020 Songwriting Exhibition. Though many students are learning at a distance, this donation of microphones inspires them and helps them continue making music.
IK: How has COVID changed how you are engaging through the program?
DW: Students, teachers, and parents are facing a school year like none other. Across the country, teachers have become the emotional first responders that kids need.
Little Kids Rock is dedicated to providing the resources needed to thrive this school year. Whether entirely virtual or in person, we are ensuring classrooms have what they need.
For many teachers, shifting to a virtual environment has been one of the biggest adjustments. In response, Little Kids Rock has been sharing free online video lessons and other resources to keep students engaged. You can check out the free lessons here.
Learn more about Little Kids Rock