Jack Black’s School of Rock dream has finally come to fruition, and not just on the silver screen. But unlike the 2003 comedy, the School of Rock in question staffs professionally trained teachers, offers five different programs of study and has a nod of approval from Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, whose daughter attended the school in Long Island. This performance-based music school has opened 69 locations in the United States and Mexico, now including one in Seekonk.
Teaching guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards and drums, the school runs on a basic philosophy: one-on-one lessons plus real band experience. That’s right, kids form groups (bands) and perform for both peers and the local community, building skills and confidence in the young rockers. That’s what owner Phil Martelly and general manager (or “principal”) Mike Weber are all about: a commitment to the local community and local music scene.
From beginner’s Rock 101 to the advanced Artist Development program, there is always something happening at School of Rock. Talented youth can audition for the All-Stars program, a prestigious honor which allows the best of the best to tour for the entire summer and play alongside big names. (In the past, SOR All-Stars have shared the stage with Alice Cooper, Eddie Vedder and KT Tunstall, just to name a few.)
Weber ensures that School of Rock students “get to feel that rush of being on a big stage in front of hundreds, maybe thousands of people cheering them on.” Now that’s not your typical music class.