Press Release

Pandora Partners With National Nonprofit Little Kids Rock to Expand Music Education Programs in Oakland Unified School District

Company Release - 10/12/2017 3:21 PM ET
  • Innovative “Modern Band” music education program will benefit an additional 2,000 local public school students so that ALL OUSD students will have access to culturally relevant instruction; Hundreds of instruments donated to Oakland area schools
  • All music teachers in the Oakland Unified School District learn new nationally renowned curriculum just in time to get “Ready to Rock!” for new school year

OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On Friday, October 13, Little Kids Rock and Pandora will celebrate the launch of twenty additional “Modern Band” music programs in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Little Kids Rock currently supports eighteen OUSD teachers’ “Modern Band” music programs. Thanks to a generous donation from Pandora, teachers from twenty additional Oakland-area schools will be able to participate in an eight-hour professional development workshop at Westlake Middle School and receive music education instruction from Little Kids Rock, the nation’s leader in culturally-responsive, inclusive music education. More than 2,000 Oakland students will benefit from this donation, and participating schools will receive hundreds of brand new musical instruments.

“Music education is a vital component of any child’s learning experience,” said Roger Lynch, president and CEO of Pandora. “We’re proud to partner with Little Kids Rock and Oakland Unified to ensure every child in Oakland has access to music education and instruments, and to help foster the next generation of musicians and fans.”

Countless studies show that kids who have access to music education in schools do better academically and socially. Little Kids Rock empowers educators to teach kids to play the music that is culturally relevant to them, whether that’s Rock or Hip Hop, Country, Rap or R&B and it focuses on improvisation, composition, and getting kids to make music immediately. The program, which is part of a burgeoning national movement to put students at the center of their learning experience and keep arts and music programs thriving, complements existing music offerings such as jazz band, choral ensembles, marching band, and orchestra. Kids become proficient while playing the music that inspires them and participation in “Modern Band” increases their engagement with school and learning, while fostering critical 21st-century skills like teamwork, creativity and communication.

“Music is an important part of our curriculum, keeping students engaged, helping them in other classes and bringing out their creativity,” said OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Having 20 more schools gain the ability to teach ‘Modern Band’ music will inspire even more young people to find their inner musicians. We thank Pandora and Little Kids Rock for their support of all Oakland students.”

Little Kids Rock is nationally renowned for the unparalleled support they give to school music teachers. At their workshops, public school teachers learn how to teach “Modern Band” in their classrooms, learn how to write and perform their own songs and learn how to play guitar, keyboard, bass, ukulele and drums. In addition to the training, hundreds of these instruments will be donated to the Oakland School District, thanks to Pandora’s generous donation. Teachers will use these instruments to provide hands-on music lessons to over 2,000 students.

“Little Kids Rock is grateful to receive Pandora’s support and commitment to empowering young music makers,” says Little Kids Rock CEO and Founder David Wish. “It’s an honor to work with Pandora, which is reaching millions of young people nationwide with their music streaming service. Their support is ensuring that hundreds more students in the Oakland area will have access to the life-long gift of music education.”


Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools. As the leader in culturally-responsive, inclusive music education, the organization partners with public school districts to build music programs as diverse as the kids being served. Little Kids Rock trains teachers to run its innovative “Modern Band” curriculum, and donates accompanying instruments and resources as necessary to teach popular music in a way that empowers students to experience instant achievement. What began as a single after-school guitar class has since exploded into a national movement that brings free, weekly music lessons to over 320,000 public school children annually through the efforts of more than 2,000 teachers in 200 school districts nationwide. More info at


Pandora is the world’s most powerful music discovery platform – a place where artists find their fans and listeners find music they love. We are driven by a single purpose: unleashing the infinite power of music by connecting artists and fans, whether through earbuds, car speakers, live on stage or anywhere fans want to experience it. Our team of highly trained musicologists analyze hundreds of attributes for each recording which powers our proprietary Music Genome Project®, delivering billions of hours of personalized music tailored to the tastes of each music listener, full of discovery, making artist/fan connections at unprecedented scale. Founded by musicians, Pandora empowers artists with valuable data and tools to help grow their careers and connect with their fans. | @pandoramusic | | @PandoraBrands |


Pandora Gives is Pandora’s charitable arm that focuses on supporting the communities in which we operate through employee volunteerism and strategic partnerships with local and national nonprofit organizations. Pandora’s current focus areas are music education, music enrichment and closing the opportunity gap.


In California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 86 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success.

To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit and follow us @OUSDnews.

Little Kids Rock
Laura Charlton (formerly Johnson)
Cell: 760-450-7749
Stephanie Barnes
Cell: 415-722-0883

Source: Pandora and Little Kids Rock