Skip to content

Little Kids Rock brings music education to schools

on March 31, 2016

On March 23, members of the Pandora music streaming company held a music day at Roots International Academy, a middle school in East Oakland, as part of their Little Kids Rock program, which works to bring music education to schools serving a low-income student population. Teachers at these schools can take training classes, learning to teach using Little Kids Rock’s music curriculum, and earning credits to be exchanged for guitars, pianos and even Macbooks.

Dr. Bryan Alvarez, who first came to Roots Academy as a substitute teacher in November 2014, began Roots’ first elective two months later: music class. And after he and a few other teachers began participating in the Little Kids Rock training classes, all sorts of equipment started to arrive, from guitars to drumsets to laptops to keyboards. Since then, students have been practicing not only instrumental work but also music production, using the laptops and the computer program Garage Band to compose their own songs.

At the event on March 23, music students spent the morning rotating between different Pandora-led stations, going from the jam session station in the auditorium to a lyric-writing game in the music room to making instruments out of paper plates and pipe cleaners, and finally to a music “Jeopardy!” game in the library. In the afternoon, all Roots students gathered in the auditorium to hear well-known Bay Area musicians perform.

Click the video above to see how the day unfolded.



  1. Ken Williams on February 16, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Bryan, Please send me the tax form for the Guitar I gave you, I would like to wrap this up as soon as possible.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter,
    Ken Williams

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
Oakland North

Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top