Tag Archives: Arts

KRF Profiles – Vicki Woods

VickiMy name is Vicki Woods, and I’ve worked at Kids Rock Free® for eight years.

I think my favorite thing about working here is that I love watching the kids grow, both in talent and inches. I just step back sometimes and marvel as I watch life unfold before my eyes.

Sometimes I look at a class that is really getting into a song, and I remember how some of them struggled at first. I remember a kid’s “light-bulb moment.” It’s great when they finally get it, how to do something on their own. Unfortunately, a teacher’s job is to work herself out of a job: that’s when a student takes the knowledge and runs with it. When they find their own voice, and mature into a true artist.

I love working for Kids Rock Free because we help instill good habits that apply to all aspects of life. Practice, persistence, determination, problem solving, are all things that music education brings. We also help kids find, within themselves, the optimism and confidence that they really do have the ability and the drive to learn.

I also try to show them how to practice efficiently, spending less time but accomplishing better results. This can be applied to homework habits, and scheduling chores to take less time. That will leave more time for fun!

Great Opportunities for Spring!

SpringMusicApril 5 – KRF Benefit Event: Close the Box (KRF Student tickets $5)

April 12 – KRF Bands perform at Day of the Child in City Park, Corona

April 26 – FREE Workshop for KRD Students with Mike Peters of ‘The Alarm’

June 1 – KRF Spring Jam Student Performance!!!

June 23 to 27 – BLUES CAMP! Sign up at BluesKids.com


KRF Profiles – Pam Hogan

Pam Hogan

Hello, I’m Pam Hogan, the Executive Director for Kids Rock Free. I’ve been involved with KRF for the last five years. Two were spent as an outside consultant writing grants and helping to build support campaigns for KRF. Then the last two as the director.

My favorite thing about working here is being able to listen to the kids playing from my office . I get to watch them walk in with instruments larger than they are, and then visibly grow into those same instruments. I love the enjoyment I see in their eyes and the exuberance they express in making music.

Watching young people grow is really an amazing thing to behold, you get to see them really extend themselves beyond their own person. Very young children are naturally very tuned to themselves, but as they develop they begin to have a keen awareness of culture, art, and their community.

Helping to foster that connection to others is wonderful. Particularly after we have guided them, seeing them change and then watching them guide others. I get to see them share their enthusiasm and inspire younger siblings or friends, acting themselves, as mentors. As an onlooker, it’s thrilling to see camaraderie blossoming. I wish I could download the memories I have of them.

While the research says music has a positive impact on math and on reasoning; we can’t see that directly. But what we do see is the effect on their self-pride, their confidence.

I think that with all the emphasis on group work in school, and in the business world—that camaraderie, mentorship, and the feeling of harmony builds individuals who literally know how to play well with others.

That’s something we definitely see and celebrate.


KRF Profiles – Henry Rodriguez

photo 2Hi there, I’m Henry Rodriguez, I’m the drum teacher at Kids Rock Free. I’ve been involved since 2002, when the Fender Museum first opened. I left in 2005, but then returned in 2008. I just couldn’t stay away!

I think KRF is a really upbeat and positive environment. All the instructors are talented and knowledgeable and I love working with all of them. Not only are my colleagues great, but I think we’re all very productive together. We’ve established our curriculums in symmetry, but then we also have freedom to work with kids individually, and we get to play outside the box.

As a teacher that’s really important to me, because some kids don’t respond to curriculum right away. Our size, and our structure is such that I can be creative. I want them to learn, but I want them to have fun too. Sometimes I’ll create a competitive environment in the classroom, the kids get all fired up and want to outdo each other, the next thing we know we’re breezing through the supplement book and we’re ready to move on to the next phase. Getting through the early process of learning, so that they can experience the joy of actually having knowledge can be profound.

I personally document and video my students’ performances, so that they can see themselves growing in mastery. That gives them motivation to play on bigger stages. We have many talented kids that show the promise and will now have the opportunity to go really far. That realization that they really have learned. That’s awesome.

We can’t force kids to learn, but we can create an environment of opportunity. We get to create an experience that’s custom made for each kid. That makes them more likely to stick it out through the tough parts. Kids quickly become passionate—we create a place for them to learn passion.

Learning to Rock

Just before the holidays I overheard a couple of students chatting here at KRF on their way home. The boy was bemoaning making the same mistake over and over and his sister, who couldn’t have been more than eleven, turned to her brother and quoted Batman Begins:


Sandy* was right, getting over mistakes just takes practice. Putting in hard work really makes a difference. You can listen to the latest recordings from our KRF Band: Cutting Edge


 We don’t just need to learn a task in order to perform it well; we need to overlearn it. Decades of research have shown that superior performance requires practicing beyond the point of mastery. The perfect execution of a piano sonata … doesn’t mark the end of practice; it signals that the crucial part of the session is just getting underway.
Over-Practicing Makes Perfect | TIME 

Help our kids practice, by sharing the gift of music!

*names have been changed 🙂