Dave Wish

Music Education at the Speed of Music

We live in a time of rapid change, new technologies and disruptive innovation. What does this mean for music education? What does it mean for you? What does it look like when music education moves at the speed of music?

Music exists as a subject in school but, more than that, music exists as a social, emotional and economic force in societies around the globe. In this talk, we’ll consider what a life journey in music that starts today might look like as it progresses into a world that is increasingly digital, increasingly fast-paced and increasingly complex.

We will also look at what music education means in the broadest sense. Does it happen mostly in classrooms? On stages? On-line? What does it mean to be a music teacher and a music student? We will look at what music looks like in schools, what it looks like in communities and, most importantly, what it looks like in each of our own hearts and minds.

It has been noted that many of the jobs that your generation will hold when you graduate high school didn’t even exist on the day you were born. It is expected that people entering the workforce now will have many different careers, some linked and some not so linked. What does it mean for music education to move at the speed of music? Let’s talk about that…


Fueled by his belief that all people are innately musical, Dave Wish founded and serves as CEO of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that funds and runs one of the largest instrumental and vocal music programs in US public schools today. Little Kids Rock is also a leading provider of free instruments and curriculum. Dave has initiated and managed the launch of campaigns to restore, expand and innovate music education for more than 1,000,000 children in 44 states.

Dave’s work has been highlighted by national and local media outlets including The New York Times, CNN Headline News, Time Magazine, MTV, A&E, Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Dr. Phil Show and National Public Radio. He has also been a speaker at the LEGO Idea Conference, Imagine Solutions Conference, Social Innovation Summit, TEDxSantaCruz and the Net Impact Conference.