Joel Lopez, John Marshall Fundamental Secondary School's music director (second from right); Scott Smith, Guitar Center Pasadena store manager (third from right); and Little Kids Rock students from John Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, in front of Guitar Center's Pasadena store.

Guitar Center, Little Kids Rock Replace Stolen School Instruments

Guitar Center recently partnered with Little Kids Rock, a leading nonprofit music education provider to U.S. public schools, to help replace audio equipment and instruments that were stolen from the John Marshall Fundamental Secondary School in Pasadena, California, earlier this month. The replacement instruments and audio gear were presented to the students and the school's Music Director, Joel Lopez, at Guitar Center's Pasadena store on March 27.

"At Guitar Center, our mission is to help people make music, not only by providing a retail channel for consumers to purchase instruments, but through sponsorship of music education in our schools and providing free lessons to our customers," said Scott Smith, Guitar Center's Pasadena store manager. "When we heard of this horrible situation, it only made sense that we help by replacing as many stolen items as possible."

"Marshall High School is thrilled to have the support and donations of Guitar Center in order to support the continued learning and performance of music inside and outside of the classroom," Lopez said. "The music program would not be where it is without the support of such excellent community partners and friends."

In 2014, Lopez attended Little Kids Rock's free music workshop, where he and other teachers from the Los Angeles area were trained and equipped to launch the Little Kids Rock "Modern Band" program, which helps facilitate the teaching of popular musical styles that kids know and love, like rock, hip hop, country, blues and funk. More than 13,000 students in over 170 Los Angeles area schools currently run Modern Band programs, which complement traditional music programs like choir, orchestra, marching band and jazz band.

"When we heard that instruments were stolen from one of the schools we support, we were obviously devastated, especially since it is National Music In Our Schools Month," said David Wish, Little Kids Rock founder and CEO. "We are so grateful that Guitar Center could help replace the instruments on such short notice so that our kids can continue to unleash their inner music makers this school year."