The Maine Kids Rock Initiative, a statewide program that offers professional training to teachers as well as grants for instruments and equipment to schools with identified needs, enters its fifth year (2021-2022) with the addition of the following educators to its roster:
- Lanissa Nadeau (Brewer Community School)
- Neil James (Geiger Elementary/Lewiston Middle School)
- Bridget Kazukiewicz (King Middle School, Portland)
- Joshua Lund (Benton Elementary School)
- Michelle Biddlecom (Winthrop Grade School)
- Brittany Elwell (Carmel Elementary/Suzanne Smith Elementary/Caravel Middle Schools)
- Thomas Stott (Beech Hill School, Otis)
- Oren Robinson (Palermo Consolidated, Windsor Elementary Schools)
- Nadine Baker (Rose M. Gaffney/Machias Memorial High School)
These teachers join the ranks of nearly 70 additional teachers across Maine who utilize the Modern Band approach to music education with nearly 1,500 students at all grade levels.
“My administrators and I are very excited to bring music into the 21st century for our students,” said Joshua Lund, general music educator. “At Benton Elementary, we are planning to integrate MKR into the general music class experience as well as starting new co-curricular ensembles. The training, resources, and equipment provided through Maine Kids Rock are sure to help transform what music can be for the students in my school!”
The Maine Kids Rock initiative continues as a partnership between the Maine Department of Education and the national non-profit organization Little Kids Rock.
“We’re thrilled to continue to grow Maine Kids Rock, bring more music education to Maine, and reach even more kids by using the music they know and love,” said Miranda Altman, Senior Director of Program Operations for Little Kids Rock. “We are incredibly grateful to the teachers of this initiative as we enter our fifth year. Welcome to the nine teachers that are newly joining this program!”
Throughout the year these teachers will receive free professional development opportunities, and their schools will receive a set of classroom “rock band”-style instruments for students to use as they explore music education through a modern music lens. Learning opportunities for students go beyond just learning to play a guitar or drums; they also explore songwriting, the development of interpersonal skills, and boost self-confidence as performers.
For more information about the Maine Kids Rock Initiative through the Maine Department of Education, please contact Visual and Performing Arts Content Specialist Jason Anderson.