HARMAN and Little Kids Rock Launch National Partnership to Expand and Modernize Music Education in U.S. Public Schools
HARMAN, the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, and Little Kids Rock, a national music education nonprofit, announced a partnership today to strengthen music education nationwide in inner-city public schools nationwide by funding the development of a new music technology curriculum developed by Little Kids Rock. To kick off the official launch on October 1, Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HARMAN International, will join David Wish, Founder and CEO of Little Kids Rock, at Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn, NY, to surprise students with a donation of music gear in support of the school's music program.
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Adam Saleh, student at at Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn, NY, tunes his guitar before a performance celebrating HARMAN and Little Kids Rock's newly announced partnership to strengthen music education nationwide in public schools. (Photo: Business Wire)
"Our goal at HARMAN is to inspire the next generation to realize their possibilities through the power of music, technology and service and we are proud and honored to be a part of establishing music education opportunities for students across the nation and world," said Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HARMAN International Industries. "Our collaboration with Little Kids Rock will make resources and technology a reality for young students to nurture and reach their full potential."
Today's public schools are faced with budget cuts that have forced many to close music programs, and schools in low-income communities are disproportionately affected. In fact, the most recent Department of Education survey found that, in 1999, 100 percent of school districts with a majority of "free or reduced lunch" students had music programs, but this decreased to 81 percent by 2012.
Little Kids Rock looks to tackle this challenge by providing free music instruction, musical instruments and teacher training, to public schools across the country. With HARMAN's support, Little Kids Rock will hire a HARMAN Technology Education Fellow to develop a brand new technology curriculum for the Little Kids Rock network. This curriculum will be used by the nearly 1,500 public school teachers who have been trained and equipped by Little Kids Rock to run its innovative Modern Band program in schools, which teach kids to play, compose and improvise the popular music styles that are culturally relevant to them.
As part of their commitment to bringing music education to underserved communities, HARMAN will also donate professional grade equipment from its extensive portfolio of top brands to Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, and to three additional schools across the United States in the month of October. The students at these schools will benefit from equipment including: AKG® microphones and headphones, DigiTech® switching systems, Soundcraft® mixing boards and a JBL® portable AV system.
"The world of music does not stand still; nor should the world of music education," said Little Kids Rock Founder and CEO, David Wish. "Technology and music have merged rapidly over the past decade, and thanks to HARMAN's support, Little Kids Rock will soon be able to educate students in things like electronic music production, sound mixing, recording, and many other technological innovations that expand when, where and how we make music."
"It's exciting to hear of the partnership between HARMAN and Little Kids Rock. This partnership represents a unique opportunity for students, teachers, academics and the music technology industry to collaborate on modern programming for music making and learning," said Alex Ruthman, Associate Professor of Music Education and Music Technology, New York University.
To celebrate the launch of HARMAN's partnership with Little Kids Rock, representatives from each organization, including Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal and Little Kids Rock CEO David Wish, visited the Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn, NY this morning to deliver the donated product and instruments. HARMAN will continue to support the band program at Juan Morel Campos Secondary school throughout the year providing opportunities to perform at the HARMAN New York Flagship store on Madison Avenue and corporate functions.
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems; audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company's software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 27,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.2 billion during the 12 months ended June 30, 2015. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.
About Little Kids Rock
Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to unlocking children's inner music-makers by revitalizing music education programming in public schools. The organization partners with school districts to train public school teachers to run its innovative Modern Band curriculum and donates all of the accompanying instruments and resources necessary to teach popular music. Little Kids Rock started as a schoolteacher's vision to give his students access to music education that is relevant to them while diminishing budgets for the arts made that more and more difficult to do. What began as a single after-school guitar class has since exploded into a national movement that is bringing free, weekly music lessons to nearly 200,000 public school children due to the efforts of nearly 1,200 teachers nationwide. To date, Little Kids Rock has served more than 400,000 students. More info at www.littlekidsrock.org