Little Kids Rock, the leading non-profit provider of free music lessons, instruments and teacher training to U.S. public schools, and Ear Candy Charity, an Arizona-based non-profit that also provides youth access to music education through online instrument drives, today announced that they will be joining forces. Little Kids Rock will absorb Ear Candy Charity and implement its Online Instrument Drive platform, which will empower members of the public to donate directly to Little Kids Rock’s 1,000+ trained teachers and choose who they’d like to support. In addition, Ear Candy Charity’s founder, Nate Anderson, will join Little Kids Rock’s staff as the West Coast Director.“Little Kids Rock is so excited to take the next step in this musical journey with Nate and Ear Candy’s Online Instrument Drive platform,” says David Wish, founder and executive director of Little Kids Rock. “The marriage of these two charities will result in many more children receiving the lifelong gift of music, as well as many more teachers receiving the instruments, curriculum and tools they need to better serve their kids.”Founded by former first grade schoolteacher David Wish, Little Kids Rock has grown from a single, after-school music class, to a nationwide movement of public school teachers who are helping to transform kids’ lives by giving them access to “Modern Band” music classes in their schools. “Modern Band” classes focus on teaching kids to perform, improvise and compose songs in the musical genres they know and love, like rock, reggae, hip-hop and R&B. Little Kids Rock also donates brand-new instruments like guitars, keyboards, basses and drums to support schools’ “Modern Band” programs. Little Kids Rock’s programming and resources, which are free for public schools enrolled in the program, have impacted the lives of nearly 250,000 public school children in more than 25 major public school districts across the United States.Ear Candy Charity has successfully impacted more than 60,000 under-served youth by placing musical instruments with schools and after-school programs with its Online Instrument Drive. The Online Instrument Drives connect music teachers with instrument and financial donors to place high quality instruments in the hands of their students. Anderson sought to expand the system’s offering to reach more children outside of Arizona through an established national partner, and found Little Kids Rock. They will launch a new Little Kids Rock chapter in Arizona in 2014.The next chapter of Ear Candy is an exciting one, as we combine with Little Kids Rock,” says Ear Candy founder, Nate Anderson. “We are leveraging our success in Arizona to help hundreds of thousands of children across the country gain the access to music education they deserve. My vision for Ear Candy was to grow the organization to make a national impact, and this merger makes this dream a reality.”
Ear Candy Charity supporters can still support Little Kids Rock’s efforts to fulfill the mission of transforming children’s lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in public schools. Visit www.littlekidsrock.org to make a donation or get involved.