On Wednesday, May 10, public school teachers from Newport will gather to expand their music education background and rock out with their peers. The educators are training on a new and innovative music program designed to ensure students have access to music programs that are as diverse as they are. The training is provided by Little Kids Rock, a leading provider of free instruments and music instruction to U.S. public schools.

This new crop of Little Kids Rock teachers is anticipated to receive a donation of approximately more than 100 musical instruments including guitars, basses, drum sets, and keyboards, which they will use to provide music lessons to nearly all of the more than 2,000 Newport public school students. Funding for this donation to the schools was made possible by the Bazarsky Family Foundation. These teachers are the most recent group to receive professional development and resources from Little Kids Rock, joining colleagues from 1,800 schools in 130 school districts in the United States who have already established Little Kids Rock curriculum in their classes and reach more than 275,000 students annually.

Little Kids Rock’s music programs teach kids the popular musical styles of the past 60 years, from pop and rock to reggae and R&B, among other genres. The method focuses on improvisation, composition, and getting kids to play on day one. The program, known as Modern Band, is part of burgeoning national movement, and complements existing music electives such as jazz band, choral ensembles, marching band, and orchestra. At Little Kids Rock’s Modern Band workshops, teachers learn to play guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums, write and perform their own songs, and learn how to teach a Little Kids Rock music program at their schools.

For more information on Little Kids Rock, visit www.littlekidsrock.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).