Kate Battenfeld has been teaching Music Together in Carlsbad, CA, for almost 20 years. She is also a music educator at Buena Vista Elementary School. Here’s her story.
Since 2002, Little Kids Rock has been on a mission to restore and enhance music education in public schools. To date, they have donated over 75,000 instruments, curriculum tools, and professional development resources to K–12 and collegiate educators. Last winter, I was awarded a grant to start their Modern Band program at Buena Vista Elementary School. In Modern Band, students learn to perform and improvise popular music using guitar, bass, percussion, keyboard, and vocals.
I was thrilled to be able to introduce Little Kids Rock and Modern Band to Buena Vista Elementary, and my students were equally excited. Beginning in January 2018, fifth-grade students rehearsed once a week, quickly catching on to basic keyboard skills and simple guitar and ukulele chords. They named their band “The Dolphin Wonders” and were proud and excited by their renditions of “Best Day of My Life,” and “I Gotta Feeling.” My students loved being on stage as they showcased songs for friends, family, and the school community.
“I think it’s really cool that people care about kids and their music learning experiences,” said one student. Another chimed in: “Plus, it’s really fun to hang out with your friends and play songs together!”
I look forward to continuing and expanding the Modern Band program in the fall. This coming school year, my goal is to incorporate it into all of my classes, from grades kindergarten through five. This month, I am attending the Little Kids Rock Modern Band Summit in Fort Collins, Colorado! This four-day professional development conference includes teacher-led workshops, special guest speakers, and nightly jam sessions that foster creativity and community in a peer network of more than 2,000 Modern Band practitioners nationwide. I can’t wait to tell you all about it when I return!
Music Together is proud to support Little Kids Rock and the mission to change lives through music. Learn more.