AUSTIN, TX – Every generation has its cultural gap when it comes to musical genres. We have witnessed it time and time again from the juke joints to Elvis, Sex Pistols, metal bands such as Metallica, and of course, Hip Hop. Any child growing up from 1990 to recent has been exposed to Hip Hop whether at school functions, friends, at home, or in their neighborhood. However the negative influences of Hip Hop content relating to drugs, the degradation of women, hustling for money, and egotistical gloating have caused many youngsters to have a delusional outlook on the way to be successful in this world. They often tend to idolize these seemingly glamorous depictions of the way life works. Nowadays, a lot of kids are under the impression that certain luxuries are owed to them – that worldy possessions are in some way an extension of who you are on the inside, and the kinds of people with whom you are supposed to associate yourself with.
As lovers of music and and more importantly, using music to spread positivity and encouragement to our peers and future generations, KTBA knows that music and songwriting are great ways to motivate children. Classic Hip Hop actually began as a creative way to express ideas about society and yes, often put a glaring spotlight on issues within the rough neighborhoods where change was needed most. Today, it is disappointing to see so many Hip Hop artists choose to stick to the new mold, instead of empowering the next generation to be creative writers, free thinkers, and most importantly, knowing how to express those ideas effectively.
One teacher in Austin TX, noticed the effect of Hip Hop culture on his students and decided to do something about it. Mr. Kastava, a middle school teacher at Kipp Austin Vista Middle School in Austin, TX., set up a Hip Hop Appreciation course at his school in order to meet his students at their favorite music form and use it to expose them to a different perspective on what Hip Hop could stand for. His project would require writing journals for the students to write their ideas on paper, and supply them with the Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary to help them write positive hip hop messages. With a limited budget, he wasn’t able to provide these materials for his classroom without having to come out of pocket or his pay.
Mr. Kastava explains, “My students come from a low income area in Texas where hip-hop is a large part of their lives. Over 95% of our students are either Hispanic or African-American. They attend a charter school, and are very motivated to be successful, but sometimes cannot afford those resources that will help walk them down the road towards success.”
As a result of the donations we received this week, Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation were able to seize the opportunity to help Mr. Kastava reach his goal. We funded the rest of his pledge drive so that his school could have a classroom set of journals and rhyming dictionaries. It is through this donation that we hope that these students in Austin, TX will be a light to their peers not only in their classroom but ideally in their school and community. This writng project will also give Mr. Kastava the opportunity to implement the standards of modern English which is always a benefit to the school’s curriculum and its reputation for having successful college matriculation through the school district.
To date, Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation has funded more than 25 music projects and scholarships since we began operating last year. We have helped over 3400 students participate in some sort of musical experience from drumming classes, guitar lessons, instrument repairs, lesson books, and more. Every donation to this foundation is a seed to sow into future generations. We take the time to hand-pick our music projects, and ensure that the needs of the children are met, and that we can see the lasting impact of the donation is clearly evident. If you would like to sew a seed into a music classroom, donate to Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation and help us make a difference in the lives of students all over the country!