The Band

The Kids Like Blues Band is a real live performing band made up of 30 second grade students in Oceanside, CA and their classroom teacher Mr. Jon Schwartz. The kids are regular children doing extraordinary things with music, language arts, the visual and performing arts, technology, and US History. They have 15 blues songs in their repertoire and can play a 35-minute set as a self-contained unit or with an accompanying rhythm section. They have played on TV, at street fairs, talent shows, and college campuses. With their teacher, they’ve made a series of pro quality videos and audio recordings geared towards educators and laypeople. Check out their Video Page.

Kids Like Blues Band

Using Blues as a Thematic Teaching Tool

The Kids Like Blues Band has been featured by the US Dept. Of Education, KPBS and a host of other publications for their use of blues music as a thematic teaching tool. They use the lyrics and music as a springboard for teaching academic content standards in reading, writing, listening, speech, social studies, and the visual and performing arts. To watch this all happen click here.

As they’re mining the song for opportunities to teach the academic content standards, students choreograph dance moves to the song, learn how to phrase the words correctly and modulate their pitch, tone, intonation, and pronunciation, and work together in an authentic community learning environment to bring each member along as a fully functioning member of their “gigging” band.

To see more about how students benefit academically from our work, check out our Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQ).

Our Goal

Once we’ve used the music as a springboard to teach academic content standards, our goal is to take our work to completion by performing it onstage and recording it together in digital multitrack audio and video editing programs.

The students even learn how to operate programs like iMovie, Photoshop and Garage Band.

iMovie icon Photoshop icon GarageBand-icon

So far our performances have included playing a street fair, for a large audience of staff and students at the Cal State San Marcos College of Education and on local TV news and KPBS TV (watch these performances on our videos page). We're a real band, and we're learning and rocking! We have about ten songs in our repertoire.

Video: Sweet Home Chicago

Kids Like Blues Plays Sweet Home Chicago
Click video still to watch the Kids Like Blues Band music video, "Sweet Home Chicago."

Blues & Thematic Teaching


Click video still to view how our program works and details how we cover specific academic content standards.

In the News

We have been featured by US Dept. of Education, KPBS, and more. Click here to view what all the buzz is about.