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The First Grade Blues Band plays CSU San Marcos Wed. May 9!

First Graders going to college…how cool is that?

On May 9 from 4:00-6:00 pm, the First Grade Blues Band from Garrison Elementary School in Oceanside, CA will perform at Cal State University San Marcos. (Check out the room we’ll be rocking in the above photo.)

Members of the CSU College of Education, CSU professors and teaching candidates, Oceanside Unified School District members, student families, and Garrison staff will be part of the audience. KPBS education reporter Kyla Calvert will be on hand with a film crew to document the special event for a feature KPBS is doing on our work.

The event began when Dr. Leslie Mauerman, Associate Professor of Education at CSU, heard about how we were using music to engage students and address many areas of the curriculum. She thought our class’s use of music could provide some inspiration to the people she’s training to be teachers, and we began a dialogue which ended up in this special concert.

All 25 members of Mr. Schwartz’s class are part of the band. We’ll be playing at least 4 songs using various combinations of students. Our band is only 2 months old so you can bet that we’re rehearsing really hard to be on top of our game!.

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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.

For Your Further Interest

Check out these educational links, including Mr. Schwartz's approach to using fishing and hands-on science to motivate and engage students.

Social Connect

We invite you to use the Facebook & Twitter links above to get the very latest on our music and appearances.

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.