- Private lessons combined with supervised group rehearsals to present new challenges and drive faster learning.
- Focus on rock music due to its enormous range of artistic styles and technical challenges, and because kids love it.
- Individual instruction in Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Vocals and Songwriting & Recording.
- Cover all aspects of formal music education - theory, skill development, performance and music appreciation.
- Make everything we do so much fun that students don't realize how much they're learning.
The original School of Rock program combining private lessons, group rehearsals and public performance - Learn More
Our new program that combines a private lesson with a group playing experience in an efficient one-hour visit per week - Learn More
Our introductory program that gets complete beginners and younger students ready for our Rock Performance program - Learn More
A new program for advanced students who want to focus on developing their own band playing original music. - Learn More
ARE WE THE RIGHT MUSIC SCHOOL FOR YOU? Click Here for the Top Ten Benefits of becoming a School of Rock student.
Congratulations on exploring a very different approach to music lessons for your child. If you're like the parents of our current students, you'll be glad you did. Because if we're the right program for your child, he or she will be happier and more self confident than you've ever seen. You'll have to tell your child to stop practicing to go to bed rather than nagging them to practice. Your child will rush you to get to practice on time instead of the other way around.
We think it's important that the kids be able to play music as quickly as possible to keep their interest. So we teach in a way that is easiest for each child to grasp and along the way we add the music theory and technique the kids didn't think they needed to learn or wanted to know. And by then they want to learn them because they are PLAYING music.
From the moment a student joins our school he or she is playing music - real rock music, with other musicians, on professional equipment. These are not your old-fashioned "wait-through-fifty-other-kids-mangling-their-songs-until-your-child's-turn-arrives" recitals but real rock concerts at real rock venues before real rock audiences. Imagine YOUR CHILD playing Pink Floyd, The Who, Black Sabbath, AC/DC or Southern Rock in front of a crowd of 300 people!
Of course our students learn to play music but they also learn teamwork, cooperation, leadership, sharing, self confidence, stage presence, presentation/performance skills and a sense of accomplishment. Best of all, they have fun. And so do the parents. When was the last time you ENJOYED listening to your child practice a musical instrument? Our students are playing the songs we parents grew up to. So listening to them practice and attending one of their concerts is entertaining in many ways.
P.S. If our name sounds familiar to you it's likely because our first school was the inspiration for the 2003 hit movie "School of Rock" starring Jack Black as well as the subject of a documentary "Rock School".
P.P.S. Yes, you will be the "Cool Mom and Dad" when you enroll your child in the School of Rock!
Are you new? When did you open?
The School of Rock has been operating since its founding in Philadelphia in 1998. Our first school in the Greater Washington DC area opened in February 2006.
How do I know if this is right for my child?
Click Here for a set of questions we have developed to help you determine if our program is right for your child.
How do I join?
Download our enrollment package at the top right corner of this page, or any program description page.
My son/daughter really wants to sing in addition to learning an instrument - do you have voice teachers?
Yes, we have voice teachers. Students study vocals in a weekly private lesson in the same manner as other students studying guitar, bass, drums or keyboards.
Which instruments are included?
Our core instruments are guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals. We can arrange for instruction on other instruments upon request.
Is this a year-round program?
Yes. We organize our program annually around three performance seasons.
What ages do you take?
We take kids ages 5 to 17. Beginner to Advanced students are welcome.
Do you have a summer program?
Yes, in addition to our regular program we offer a summer boot camp program that is a mini School of Rock experience. It's a rockin' two week session, during which we will work with the kids both individually and in groups, preparing to give a rock concert on the last day. It's a lot of fun, so come out and kick the jams with us this summer. Space is limited in the summer program, so contact us now to get on the list. Enrollment is first-come, first-served. Please click "Summer Camps" menu link on our left navigation bar.
My kid has never played an instrument - can we still enroll?
Yes. We believe we're the best in the world at training both beginners and advanced students, and we accept students at all experience levels. Beginners participate in the shows along side of more advanced students. We have beginners performing in live shows within just a few months. We cast students in different parts and songs based on their ability level and our educational goals for the student.
What is your approach to teaching music? Does it work? Do you teach theory?
See below for an expanded discussion of our method, but in short, students learn specific songs that present specific technical challenges and illuminate needed theory concepts. In the process students learn specific skills and techniques needed for proficiency on their instrument. By selecting the right piece for the student to learn, specific technical skills are learned. Our teachers introduce music theory in the context of other learnings, and we hold group classes to cover music theory concepts such as chord construction, harmony, rhythm figures and so on. We think the Washington Post had it right when they said that we're "The country's preeminent rock music school for children ages 9 to 17." We work towards the next performance, our kids have a great time and we're creating fantastic musicians!
Why is the School of Rock the best choice for my child?
There are many places that teach music lessons in Washington DC area, but we're different because the School of Rock:
- Specializes in teaching kids - Teaching kids is different than teaching adults and our curriculum and teaching style was developed especially for kids.
- Specializes in Rock Music - All of our teachers are working Rock musicians. We believe there are meaningful theory, melody and rhythm lessons inherent in classic rock and our concerts are selected with these learning opportunities in mind.
- Provides both private lessons and group sessions - Our students benefit from one-on-one private lessons once a week with an instructor and regular group-play rehearsals. These two different learning environments enable the greatest advancement in playing ability as well as the most fun.
- Provides a great value - When you consider the private lessons and group play time our program is an exceptional music education value.
- Does not require contracts - Because some of our students are exploring music as one of many extra-curricular activities in order to decide what they enjoy we do not require a contract. You pay tuition on a monthly basis and if your child wants to quit you do so with 30-days notice.
We believe we do it better than anyone else. Don't take our word for it, though - check out the parent comments on the right side of this page.
We combine private lessons with group play and public performances (in our performance programs) to accelerate learning and turn kids into real musicians. Our method works in much the same way that children learn to speak their native language, or that adults learn a new language with an immersion approach. This approach has been proved to be effective at creating outstanding musicians, not only through our program for rock music, but in other programs such as the Suzuki Method for classical music. These core principles are:
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important, so our students are encouraged to listen frequently to the music in their assigned show. This is made easier by the fact that it's rock music and they love it.
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways. In music these short phrases are called "licks" or "riffs." By learning the specific note-for-note licks or riffs of their show assignment, our students build a musical vocabulary and the ability to "speak" with their instrument.
As with language, the student's effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each student learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Students are also encouraged to support each other's efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.
- Learning within a Band
In addition to their private lessons, students participate in regular group rehearsals and performances at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.
- Assigned Repertoire
Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in our rock repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.
- Delayed Reading
Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. in the same way, students should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.
"Having our daughter join the School of Rock was one of the best decisions we ever made. Not only has she discovered a passion for playing music, but this formerly shy girl now gets on a stage in front of hundreds of people with grace and joy."
"School of Rock is our son's home away from home! In the 2 years that he has been involved in the program he has never wanted to miss a 1:1 or group rehearsal. As a matter a fact, he often asks to go on days that he is not scheduled for a lesson to get extra practice, work with friends on songs, or just spend time with other kids who share his love of music. Our son explored many other extra-curricular activities prior to SOR, and no other activity was able to keep his interest. When our son looks back on his middle school and high school years, SOR will defintely be a highlight. SOR has been a blessing to our son and our family!"
"As he continues to learn and grow as a guitar player, our son has been able to help other students and he has learned to be respectful and patient with students of all ages and abilities and have other students look up to him."
"This is the first generation that really likes its parent's music and it is awesome to hear them playing the music of our youth - we're cool parents!"
"The School of Rock has helped build my child's confidence, not only in his guitar playing skills, but his confidence in being able to participate in a group activity. He's never achieved this in sports, but he can over-achieve with an instrument in his hands."
"Our son's two years in the School of Rock have been tremendously positive for him. The program and instructors are outstanding. Not only have the lessons, the shows, and the contact with other young musicians brought out his musical talents in a huge way, but the support of the school staff and the overall experience there have been extremely good for him socially. We're as pleased as we can be, and grateful to the School of Rock for making this opportunity available."
"After several years of taking individual drum lessons elsewhere, Tony's finally playing the music he loves in a band. His skills and confidence have grown tremendously and he's made some great friends!"
"It not only teaches kids a love of (great!) music, but it gives them confidence to learn various songs, and then to stand up in front of an audience and play, sing and perform. It builds skills well beyond music, by getting kids to stay on task and build toward the goal of the live shows. And for the parents and attendees of the show, you would never even know these are kids playing, they are THAT good!"
"The benefits that my child has received while attending The School of Rock have been that she gets the opportunity to learn to sing like a professional in a warm, positive, and encouraging climate. She feels completely accepted and comfortable expressing her vocal ability in a manner that is appropriate to her style of singing. We're sincerely glad we chose to place our daughter at The School of Rock!"
"Our son learned more at one SOR summer camp session than he did during 6 months of regular music lessons. The variety of rock styles and musicians has greatly expanded his musical universe and kept his interest in learning new techniques high."
"My child is very creative and this school is a great outlet for it. School was a drag until he started playing guitar at SOR and started getting good at it. For the first time he was actually really good at something and it boosted his self-esteem immensely. That success has increased his confidence overall. He is working harder in school and experiencing success there as well. He understands why teachers are tough and appreciates that. He also sees that hard work and practice pays off. He has learned what "being prepared" means. As a parent, I love that my child has learned these lessons; thanks to the efforts of the SOR."