We are thrilled to announce our second nominee for the 2017 Make a STATEment Award program, which celebrates New Mexicans who are heroes in our community. These individuals strive to make life better in New Mexico by building a better future through various projects and initiatives.
The June Make a STATEment nominee is Albuquerque middle school teacher Robb Janov, founder of Rock and Rhythm Band at Jefferson Middle School, which provides alternative, hands-on music performance classes. It is a model of inclusion and encourages students from every socio-economic, academic, and cultural background to join—with instruments provided at no expense to the participants. “I designed the Rock and Rhythm program, now in its 22nd year, to offer teenagers a unique music experience that sparks their creativity and gives them a sense of empowerment and belonging. Providing an inspiring, supportive environment and dramatically changing the approach has been essential in igniting a wide range of students who are either intimidated by or can’t afford the expense of traditional music programs,” explains Janov. In each class, up to 30 kids are transformed into a rock band in just two months—and more importantly find an inspiring channel for their energy which helps them build confidence and make positive choices. There is no audition process for the program, and students are not required to have any previous musical training. The power of the program is directly tied to Janov’s dedication and passion. His model has been utilized as a template to create alternative music programs across the country in other middle schools.
Since founding Rock and Rhythm Band, Janov has expanded its sphere of influence with the launch of the Rock and Rhythm Foundation (RRF), a non-profit that provides music opportunities and resources for youth and adults as well as professional support for teachers. One RRF initiative is the Rock and Rhythm Youth Orchestra—an evening class open to interested high school musicians, which enters its 7th season in August 2017.
Got an idea for a great nominee? Please send a brief description and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.