News / Arts & Entertainment

Teens Love Staying After Class at the School of Rock

Students at the School of Rock program perform in a band as they receive instruction, March 2011
Students at the School of Rock program perform in a band as they receive instruction, March 2011

Multimedia

Roger Hsu

Is Rock and Roll something young people should learn at school? The founders of an after-school music program called School of Rock believe it is, and it's a school that kids love to go to.

These teenagers in a classroom in suburban Virginia are not just jamming for fun. School of Rock is a private company that operates in almost 70 schools throughout the United States. In these classes kids learn to play the instrument of their choice. Vocal lessons are available, too. The jumping and strutting… they teach themselves.

Emily Volles is learning to be a rock singer. “I never actually performed before, so this is the first time I am doing performances and stuff. I just love performing for people and I didn’t really realize how much I love to perform until I came here.”

Kaila Haston said both her mother and father wanted her to enroll. “My parents, when I came here, they were so excited about this. My dad encouraged me to do this all the time. And my mom she loves it too.”

Fees are about $275 per month. For that, beginners get a weekly individual class and a weekly group rehearsal. The school also gives advanced classes. Lessons are taught by professional musicians.

Branden Mijares said before coming to the School of Rock, he was only interested in computer games. “I didn’t get into any kind of music until I was in 7th grade. Before that, just straight computer, computer games. I was a hardcore nerd.”

Mijares says he is learning about more than just music. “You can learn about who you are, truly, on the inside. I play late at night and I start playing riffs that I’ve never heard myself play before. They speak to me in a sense, in that they tell me how I am really feeling.”

Chris Edwards, another guitarist, said he feels the same way. “Being here just playing with other people, I learned how to just have fun. Before I was sort of laid back and quiet, but after I came here I learned how to have fun.”

For Kris Moorhead, though, a drummer and singer, the School of Rock means much more than having fun. He said the school helped him get through a very sad time. His sister died of leukemia 10 years ago.

"Originally, when my sister died, I was eight-years old, and I had just been kind of depressed," said Moorhead. "I started listening to music, and I was in a dark place,but eventually, learning to play drums, singing - those things helped me get through it, which saved me.”

Now he is fighting his own battle. A year ago he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. For him, the School of Rock is its own kind of therapy.

“I am not trying to say I am the greatest person in the world, but I know a lot of people will miss me and need me so they are my inspiration, my friends and families. And School of Rock is definitely a part of that. Music in general saved my life and the (the lives of) many people I know,” said Moorhead.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."