More than 150 kids from around Montgomery County rocked the stage at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Saturday for a growing music program called "Rock-in Schools."
The movement's goal is to reform the music education around the nation by simultaneously introducing contemporary and traditional music programs.
Despite overwhelming statistics on the positive impact of music instruction on overall academic performance and school attendance, a large percentage of secondary students do not participate in music education at school because instructors say they are not motivated by some of the traditional band and orchestra programs that comprise most public school music classes.
"These kids may love music, but unless they can afford after-school private instruction, they can miss out on the tremendous benefits afforded by a formal education in the arts," said Alyssa Shepard, parent volunteer for the Rock-in Schools program.
Rock-In Schools also has the support of several industry companies including, JamHub, Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center, Zildjian, D'Addario and Hal Leonard.
"JamHub is proud to be a part of the good things that are happening with these new contemporary music programs in the Montgomery County Middle Schools and we hope that other school districts will take notice and follow their lead so that music programs can appeal to more kids and every child will have the opportunity to play music in school," Steve Skillings, president of JamHub, said.
Rock-in Schools staged the benefit concert at The Fillmore to raise funds to develop more rock music programs in county schools. Students from five Montgomery Country Public Schools were the stars of the show – advocating for popular music instruction.
The concert featured songs ranged from the 1950's to 2012, and included rock bands, show choirs, rappers, solo vocalists, digital musicians, traditional instrumentalists, violinists and cellists – many performing together on the same stage.
All proceeds from the volunteer-run benefit concert will be used for instruments and sound systems so that more public school kids can participate in these types of engaging, in-school music opportunities.