Here at the studio, along with a busy recording schedule, and private lessons being taught, we are just about a week out from or winter Rock School concert. My dad started Rock School 15 years ago as a program to help kids meet other fellow musicians, and learn the dynamics of playing in a band together. What started of as a summer camp with a humble show at the free stage of the Central States Fair, and then a few summers at the Elks Theatre, has now expanded to a year round program at Flat Iron Recording with three annual concerts performed at the Dahl Arts Center. To say I'm proud is an understatement. Not only is my dad still at it, but my brother Scotty, who was in the very first Rock School band, is now a guitar teacher and Rock School coach himself. Helping run a small family business can be a big challenge, but at the end of the day working side by side with these two is pretty awesome.
I was in Rock School for 5 years, and trading in my pointe shoes and ballet classes for the summer to be in an all girl, pop punk band made for some of my favorite memories. My band’s name changed at least 6 times, but my band mates stayed relatively the same group of girls.
Walking in to my first practice not knowing anyone, and being the teacher's daughter on top of it all was a little nerve wracking. But as cheesy as it sounds, the saying, "music is a universal language", is so true. It connects the most diverse people in a way nothing else can. Everyone in my band was wildly different in personality, and I’m not sure we would have all found each other as friends in a different setting; but when we walked into the practice room, and started talking about our favorite bands and what songs we wanted to play, I felt like I completely belonged.
Show day has always been the best kind of crazy. It's one of the only times all of the different bands interact together. We would all be rounded up in the balcony of the Elks Theatre, excitedly comparing set lists and (attempting) to tune our guitars, then listen to the other bands while we waited to play our set. usually one of the local news stations or the journal would show up, so we felt like serious rock stars. Not every song went how you wanted it to, and we'd have the occasional flop, but the audience still erupted, and everyone cheered each other on. I may not have seen it then, but those concerts helped give me the confidence to share my art and my creativity, which has been invaluable to me.
These days, the day of the show is a little different for me being on the orchestrating side of things. I appreciate more than ever all my dad managed to do with just a hand full of volunteers, most of which being kids in the program. Gear gets loaded and unloaded, lights get set, errands are run, sound checks are done, and running the ticket booth at the door are all accomplished by Dad, Scotty and I, along with a faithful band of kids who show up early and stay late. We are so thankful for their help, and I think it's a testament to how much they really enjoy being a part of Rock School.
It's so funny to think back to how nervous and critical of myself I would always be when I was playing in the concert. Because now as an adult watching from the audience (that still sounds weird to say), when that first band starts to play, I can’t help but grin ear to ear, and be amazed by how talented these kids are! Even if you don't have a child playing in the show, Rock School concerts are so much fun to watch. I can't wait for our winter concert next Thursday, December 14th at the Dahl. Click HERE for concert details, and we hope to see you there!
Rock School is a great way to further your child's involvement with music, and meet peers who have the same passions as they do. Your child does not need to be an advanced student, but we do ask that they have at least the basic level of skill in their instrument of choice to participate in Rock School. If your child is just starting out in their interest in music, we are happy to start them in private lessons and when they have built up enough skills to start Rock School, there are Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters to join in the fun! For more info, head to our lessons page HERE.