March 2019

Sweetwater Announces National Sponsorship of Little Kids Rock

Chuck Surack and music teacher Laura McCoy unveil instruments being donated to St. Joe Central Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, by Little Kids Rock.


 Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack has announced that Sweetwater is the national sponsor for Little Kids Rock, a nation-wide nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by expanding and innovating music education in our schools through a program called “Modern Band.”

In addition, Sweetwater has facilitated the establishment of the Little Kids Rock program in six schools in the Fort Wayne Community Schools district: Abbett, Maplewood, Price, Bloomingdale, Washington, and St. Joe Central Elementary schools.

The announcement was made during a presentation of the donation of instruments by Little Kids Rock representatives and Chuck Surack to St. Joe Elementary School and teacher Laura McCoy. McCoy was a high school classmate of Chuck Surack.

As national supporter of Little Kids Rock, Sweetwater has made significant cash donations to the organization, and is offering its customers the opportunity to donate to Little Kids Rock online at point of purchase. Sweetwater’s Little Kids Rock web page is at:


In the back row, the grownups, from left to right: Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson, Little Kids Rock Founder and CEO Dave Wish, St. Joe Central Elementary music teacher Laura McCoy, and Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack, surrounded by Ms. McCoy’s students.


Modern Band is a culturally-responsive approach to music education that allows students to see themselves, their culture, and their community reflected in their school music program. Students learn by playing, performing, and composing the music they know and love, be it rock, pop, R&B, hip-hop, or other popular music styles. Instruments include drums, guitar, bass guitar, and keyboards, in addition to vocals.

Students in grades one, two, and three at all seven FWCS elementary schools will receive Modern Band education. A crucial element of the program is teacher training in the Modern Band curriculum, as well as Little Kids Rock’s donation to each school of the instruments and resources necessary to teach popular music in a way that empowers students to experience instant achievement.

Little Kids Rock Founder and CEO David Wish said, “The support that Sweetwater gives to our students and teachers around the country is instrumental (pun intended) to our efforts to bring music to their schools. It’s nice to know that the entire company is rooting for and supporting our kids.”

Chuck Surack remarked, “Little Kids Rock is quickly joining the ranks of the traditional music education programs. Its “Modern Band” model will engage the interest and participation of an expanding segment of our students, and, I believe, will someday be as important to the school music curriculum as jazz, concert, and marching band, orchestra, and choral groups.

Little Kids Rock partners with public school districts across the country to build music programs as diverse as the kids being served. What began as a single after-school guitar class has since exploded into a national movement that brings free, weekly music lessons to more than 320,000 public school children each year through the efforts of more than 2,000 teachers in 200 school districts. To date, Little Kids Rock has served more than 650,000 students. Learn more at

Group Photo: