Tag Archives: music education

How KRF Changed My Life – Part 2


Age 13
Bass Guitar


Kids Rock Free really changed my life. Before joining the bass class on Thursdays, I hardly knew how to play a note on bass. I really have learned a lot in Lee Zimmer’s class, like how to play tons of songs, riffs, and scales. Now I can play in bands or even just jam out by myself or with a friend. I now play with a band once a week, and without Kids Rock Free I would never had been able to do that. Not only have I learned so much on the bass, I also made tons of new friends! Kids Rock Free has really change my life in tons of awesome ways. 

A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors

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From everyone here at Kids Rock Free® at Fender® Center for the Performing Arts, thank you for showing your support: the D’Addario Foundation, Riverside County EDA, Union Pacific Foundation, and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation for our 1st quarter  of 2014.Classical Guitar 2009 Pic 4

You have kept music in the hands of our kids! We are so grateful to you for not only showing how much you value our organization, but showing how you value music and the arts in our community.  Thank you for helping us continue to imbue others with the joy and dedication that true music appreciation brings.

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.