If you closed your eyes and walked into a room where a School of Rock House Band was performing, we imagine you'd probably be surprised to find that when you opened your eyes, you'd be looking at a group of 8th-12th graders.
We recently went behind the scenes at School of Rock Rochester and were lucky enough to watch them play an original track (written by members of the House Band), and hear from both staff and students about what makes School of Rock such an incredible experience for young musicians.
"The mission of School of Rock is to teach kids about performing...and life through music," says School of Rock Rochester's General Manager, Michael Latcha.
From Kindergarten all the way to 12th grade, School of Rock offers programs for every age and skill level, culminating with the School of Rock "House Band," an audition-based program that shares the stage with popular local bands at venues all around Detroit.
"What I love about playing music in Detroit is...it always feels like home. Even if you don't know the people in your audience, they're always rooting for you," says House Band guitarist Aaron Lomasney.
School of Rock teaches these students more than just the technical aspects of playing instruments - it also coaches them on performance, on stage presence, and even about the history of Rock 'n' Roll!
Drummer Josh Pajak says he doesn't think he truly found himself until he stepped into the school, a sentiment echoed by many of the other students we spoke to.
"Music and the School of Rock has really made me confident as a person and has influenced me to be myself, and accept who I am and embrace it," says vocalist Sophia Wahl.
Another aspect of the school that students mentioned was how much they appreciated that their instructors were also active in Detroit's music scene, performing in other local bands that sometimes even graced the stages of the same venues - or even the same gigs - as School of Rock.
Take a look at this video (above). Listen to these students. Watch them perform. Soak in the essence that is School of Rock.
As vocalist Emma Kowalczyk points out, "Every city has a sound," and School of Rock helps young musicians learn about Detroit's musical history - and inspires them to become part of its musical future!
(And ladies and gents...what could be more Detroit Proud than that?)
For more videos and for upcoming event dates, visit School of Rock Rochester on Facebook HERE.
for more features.