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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Matthew Wade sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his new CD, “Diamond from Coal,” his fourth album with his band, My Silent Bravery.