January 15, 2009

 Leading music products company offers long-term support to music education charity.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation announces a long-term strategic partnership with Little Kids Rock, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit providers of free lessons and instruments.  The goal of the partnership is to transform children’s lives by restoring and revitalizing music programs in public schools across the United States.  Fender is assuming a leadership role in Little Kids Rock’s nationwide effort to keep music in our schools.
Little Kids Rock is a charity that began in 2002 as a grassroots effort to bring the joys of music education to low-income children. Since that time, it has catapulted onto the national stage and become one of the nation’s leading instrument donors to school age children.
“We have been big fans of Little Kids Rock for several years and are very impressed with the services and resources that they have developed,” said Richard McDonald, senior vice president of global marketing for Fender.  “Kids need and deserve help with direct access to making music now more than ever. The Fender community is proud to support the vital work of Little Kids Rock.”
The Little Kids Rock program trains and equips schoolteachers across the country to run contemporary band programs that feature guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. Participating schoolteachers receive free training, curriculum and instruments.  The organization now serves tens of thousands of students in 18 cities, with new cities being added each year.  Little Kids Rock students learn how to play popular music styles including rock, reggae, metal, hip hop and others; they also learn how to compose their own music and how to improvise.
“Little Kids Rock is the most exciting thing to happen for music education in decades,” said Bob Morris, Fender’s director of music education.  “They are putting music back in the schools where it belongs, and teaching kids how to play and write the music they love.  What could be better than that?”
Little Kids Rock founder and executive director is delighted to have the support of Fender.  Says Wish, “Fender is a legend in the musical instrument world but I believe that their commitment to children and music education will make them a legend in the philanthropic world as well.”  He adds, “What happens when ‘The Spirit of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ goes to school? Tens of thousands of underprivileged students receive free instruments and lessons.  This partnership will help to transform a lot of children’s lives.”
Many notable musicians have also come forth to support the cause, including Guns ‘N Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist, and Fender endorsee, Duff McKagan.  "What Little Kids Rock does for kids who can't afford music classes is phenomenal.  As a father myself, I believe strongly that all kids deserve and need music education.”  McKagan also donates a portion of sales from his own instructional "Behind The Player" DVD to Little Kids Rock.  
Additionally, Rob Zombie and former Marilyn Manson guitarist, solo artist, and fellow Fender endorsee, John 5 adds, “It is really terrible how music programs across the country are being eliminated.  I am excited that Fender is standing up for kids' right to rock."  John 5 has performed at a benefit concert for Little Kids Rock and also donates a portion of sales from his own instructional "Behind The Player" DVD to Little Kids Rock.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll. Iconic Fender® instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today’s musicians and collectors. FMIC brands include Fender®, Squier®, Guild®, Tacoma®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, Charvel®, EVH®, SWR® and Groove Tubes®, among others. For more information, visit www.fender.com <http://www.fender.com/> .
Check out Fender in our new space on the 3rd Floor, Ballroom E at Winter NAMM, Jan. 15 – 18, 2009!
Little Kids Rock was founded in San Francisco in 1996 by David Wish, an elementary school teacher who had grown frustrated with the lack of music education funding at his school. Wish began offering an after-school guitar class to his students. The informal project led by him and a handful of volunteers grew steadily; today, Little Kids Rock is nationally recognized and serves tens of thousands of students in ten states. Honorary board members include Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Les Paul and other famous friends in the music industry. Chapters are found in New York; Chicago; Los Angeles, Oakland and West Contra Costa County, Calif.; Newark, Trenton and Jersey City, N.J.; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Dallas and Houston; Shreveport, La.; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington D.C.

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