Since receiving the order in March that we families in L.A. are “safer at home,” many parents have feared that their children will spend more time than ever playing video games on Xbox or PlayStation. Their concerns are valid, but this is also an opportunity to explore music. I believe that nothing replaces quality, comprehensive music lessons when it comes to helping students build confidence and express themselves while learning a new art form.
Music performance, as a craft, combines math, language, art, style and many other disciplines in a way that helps children (and adults) develop the focus, critical thinking and leadership skills they’ll need to succeed in a variety of professions. It’s no coincidence that advanced music students are often the most accomplished academically. Just ask Brian May, the guitarist for the band Queen. May also holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Imperial College London.
What makes learning music so powerful? First, music is a creative outlet where students learn to express themselves in ways they couldn’t anywhere else. Second, it’s fun. And third, especially at School of Rock, it’s social. Our students learn by playing their favorite songs with their peers in a real band setting until they are ready to perform on stage at a real venue in front of a live audience.
But the obvious question, given our current environment, is, “How can a student learn music effectively from home?” With amazing, passionate instructors and technology, remote lessons and group classes that are engaging and interactive.
Since launching our new School of Rock Remote in mid-March, the feedback we’ve received from parents of students using our Method app is really positive. One parent wrote “Our Zoom lesson was way more fun than what they are sending home from [regular] school. [This was the] first time I saw my kid smiling while learning since school closed.”
Another wrote, “I like the unconventional approach to music lessons. I appreciate SoR’s embrace of technology (with the app and with the speed that you set up online lessons). The teachers are fantastic.”
At School of Rock, we provide students of all ages an exciting and engaging learning environment for taking guitar lessons, drum lessons, bass lessons, keyboard lessons and singing lessons. Drawing from all styles of rock-and-roll, our students learn theory and techniques via songs from legendary artists such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa. Thanks to the school’s performance-based approach, students around the world have gained superior instrumental skills and confidence on the big stage, with some moving on to record deals and larger platforms such as “American Idol,” “The Voice” and Broadway.
Our classes include Little Wing for ages 3-4, Rookies for ages 5-6, Rock 101 for ages 7-13, Performance Program for ages 7-18 and adult classes for ages 18 and up.
Ryan Schiff is district manager at School of Rock West L.A.