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.