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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

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."