- Hear from real parents about School of Rock – More/Hide
“The School of Rock is such a great concept. It allows you to join forces with other musicians to complete the song and practice as a band; how cool is that! Not only does this build camaraderie and create peer pressure but it makes them better musicians. We’ve already recommended the program to several friends. That’s how Tony got to SOR and now we’re working on another of Max’s friends, Nick. You want your kid to be passionate about something, so they have something they can own whether it be sports, scouts, dance or whatever. School of Rock does this for my son. We have discovered a talent we didn’t know he had. My son would live at School of Rock if he could.” – Susan Snyder, Clifton, VA
“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! Our son has had the opportunity to learn and experience so much at SOR. Prior to his attending, he was taking classes in classical guitar and chorus. He shared a desire to learn rock n’ roll and we couldn’t wait for SOR to open a campus in Ashburn. With his exposure to music at school, in conjunction with what SOR has to offer, our son feels like he is acquiring a more well-rounded musical experience. He has been challenged with new material, gained a foundation in theory and song writing, as well as learned how to work in a group with other students to put on phenomenal rock ‘n roll concerts in “real” concert venues.” – Trisha Ybarra-Peters, Leesburg, VA
“Our son loves going to SOR and performing quarterly. It has given him confidence, as well as grown his musical talent. SOR gives our son a place to go to and a group to belong to, in which to learn and grow musically.” – Marcella and Kevin Walsh, Vienna, VA
“An incredible program. I wish I’d discovered it sooner for my daughter. I have two shredding guitarists enrolled at School of Rock. It is an incredible program that not only teaches musical skill, but builds confidence and a spirit of cooperation among the bandmates. The School of Rock program has given my boys focus and enabled them to set real goals to strive for. The instructors and music director work so well with all the kids and I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is to see my kids performing on stage and playing music to a caliber that you would not normally expect to hear from kids so young. My heart swells with pride when I tell people that my kids are rock stars!” – Judy Downey, Silver Spring, MD
“SOR provides an outlet for the expression of creativity and helps students of all ages work together to improve musical abilities. From this comes increased confidence, self esteem and a pride of accomplishment that is unique. The students are held to a high standard and this pushes each and every student beyond his or her expectations. In addition, he has made meaningful friendships across gender and age lines. Being exposed to his instructors and being cast in various shows has forced him to encounter different genres of rock and to think about his playing in new and different ways. This is the first generation that really likes its parents music and it is awesome to hear them playing the music of our youth – we’re cool parents!” – Melinda and Alan Brody, Fairfax, VA
“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. ” – Caren Appel, Vienna, VA
“Oh MY GOSH! My son is such a rock Star!!!! He has been playing for three years now and to see the confidence, not to mention how much fun he is having, is such a joy to me. I have to admit that some of this music was not to my taste when I was growing up with it. But now I am a huge fan. The teachers make it so enjoyable for the kids. They have to work, but it is fun work for them. When they are on the stage and see all the people there to watch them…well, there is nothing like it. Thanks so much for giving so much joy to my son and to me!” – Angie A., Oakton, VA
“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.” – Bob and Cindy Pitcher, Annandale, VA
“John has been in the program for 3 & 1/2 years since the opening of the Silver Spring location (6th through 9th grade). It has been a great creative outlet for my son and has taught him the value of practice, practice, practice. He also has great confidence in performing before large crowds because of the months of practices and lessons leading up to each performance. He says he is never nervous when he performs with the SOR because he is so well prepared. John has gained an enormous amount of discipline from his SOR experience. He has put in a lot of hours of lessons and practices (at SOR and on his own) for 3 & 1/2 years (from the ages of 11-14) without complaint, which is amazing considering his age and all of the other activities competing for his time. John also has benefited greatly from the opportunity to perform in real rock venues. I do not know of any other music program that provides such a unique opportunity for kids to experience the thrill of performing before such large crowds of adoring fans. In addition to the regular shows, my son has performed at the School of Rock Festival and the D.C. Woodstock Festival. All of these shows have been nothing less than awesome experiences for John and his family.” – Vickie Duncan, Potomac, MD
“My son has aspirations to major in a career in music, the high school does not offer much in the way of guitar other than a few classes. School of Rock has given my son the opportunity to spread his wings musically, to be able to get on stage and perform has really boosted his self confidence. His lessons there are in depth and his teacher is open to any concerns we may have as parents, they go above and beyond to help our son excell in order for him to achieve his dream.” – Judie Mijares, Sterling, VA
“School of Rock is a wonderful performance based music school with incredible teachers that will keep your child interested in learning to play an instrument. School of Rock gave both of my children talented, experienced, knowledgeable teachers who teach them to play music they love and then perform that music on stage at actual clubs! Furthermore, since the School of Rock has, at minimum, four sets of shows per year, my kids are always excited and inspired to practice and learn a new set of songs in preparation for the next live performance. I strongly encourage prospective parents to attend a show and see the level of confidence and ability that School of Rock students have attained!” – Lily Bellini, Falls Church, VA
“School of Rock is as integral to our regular schedule as school, homework and sports activities because we feel so strongly about it. My son, now almost 12, will likely want to do it until he has to leave the school at age 18! 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!” – Deb Colbert, Silver Spring, MD
“My kids have become accomplished musicians through the unique combination of lessons, rehearsing with other kids and regular performances. The music director and teachers here really connect with the kids……they all work hard to put on a great show and there is a wonderful sense of accomplishment and belonging among the students. My kids shine in their middle and high school bands because of their performing experience from SOR. The confidence my kids gain from performing in front of an audience is imeasurable and transforming.” – Stacy Arshadi, Reston, VA
“Great impressions of the School of Rock…I’m impressed that my son wants to go to the School of Rock, and he wants to be on time; and he is learning guitar at an accelerated rate. The School of Rock has helped my child be more outgoing; along with excelling in musical skills. The School of Rock has helped build confidence in my child, not only in his guitar playing skills, but the confidence in being able to participate in a group activity – which he could never achieve in sports; but he can over-achieve with an instrument in his hand. The School of Rock has provided my son with a place to belong and a place to excel with musical ability that is “cool”. My son feels that he has a place to belong that is “cool” outside of the increasing pressures for kids to participate in group sports; where they may not feel that they can succeed or where they belong. My son has realized that music is just as “cool” as sports, if not more cool.” – Lisa H., Ashburn, VA
“For those kids who love to rock, it’s an immersion program in the classics. It is just the best music education program there is in this area for kids who want to perform rock and roll. Watching my son playing in the SOR shows have been the happiest times in my life. Important Benefit #1: Playing in a band is a team experience, like sports but without the competition. He learned valuable social skills, how to cooperate when playing music with other people, how to overcome frustration and make each song better every time they practice. And I’ve seen him apply these skills to other areas of his life. By having weekly band practice and individual lessons, my son not only got better on his instrument but progressed quickly in his performance ability. Important Benefit #2: The kinds of kids who are attracted to SOR are often the kids who don’t easily find an outlet for their creative impulses in traditional school-related or extracurricular activities. SOR is cool, it’s fun and it opens doors creatively that they didn’t know were there. I always knew my son had the soul of a performer and SOR gave him an opportunity to show it to the world.” – Valerie Cantor, Fairfax, VA
“Great opportunity for kids to build confidence and perform real rock and roll in a live setting. Jenna has grown as a singer and is developing her voice with every SOR experience. She has become much more confident on stage in front of a live audience. She has pushed herself to perform genres of music that she otherwise wouldn’t have pursued. ” – Marian Lally, Silver Spring, MD
“The SOR is different from other music programs because it combines regular lessons with real rock band practices and performances. This helps the students learn to play off of each other and learn the mechanics of playing in a band. 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.” – Jamie Wood, Sterling, VA
“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!” – Dana R., Centreville, VA
- Hear from some real School of Rock students – More/Hide
“The Best of the 60s show was my first as a main singer and my first experience learning lyrics and leading a band. I also acted as a leader to many of the young students. During the show I also learned how to use my drumming to support the music rather than command it. My skills excelled both off and on the stage. I also loved playing outside in Silver Spring. My favorite part of the whole show was playing a song with three of my closest SOR friends that we ourselves suggested and (the music director) had never heard. We prepared the whole song and played it after only three rehearsals. Although it did not end up being the best song in the show, it have the most energy and was the most fun.
I love School of Rock because it is a full and rich learning experience. I have seen how everything I have learned in School of Rock helps me both inside and outside of music. The lessons I learn at SOR help me in performing, learning, writing and recording music. They also help me in my own band. The open, friendly and accepting social environment at SOR has helped me branch out and make friends while also being comfortable with myself and my personality. I also love my relationship with the SOR staff. Sometimes that are teachers or directors and sometimes they are my colleagues but they are always my friends.”
- Ian, 14 years old
“School of Rock has been my second home. Going multiple times a week, at one point four, it was a consistent place I could go to where I knew that I would always be welcome. Feeling like a part of something is really incredible and I never got anything like that from friends at real school. The relationships and connections that were spawned from my SoR experience are irreplaceable – these are the most important people in my life. I also never thought I’d get to be decent at an instrument due to my lazy demeanor and my consistent ability to learn everything 80% of the way, but by the time of our last show, I felt like I had learned enough to consider myself a musician.”
- Chris Wood – Graduation Senior, School of Rock member 5 years
“My favorite SOR Show was Queen because I really enjoyed hanging out with all the amazing people that participated in the show. Everyone learned their parts and we had a pretty easy time compiling the songs. I practiced in every bit of my free time because I was really proud that I could play some of my favorite songs. I also liked Queen because it really gave me a challenge. It is a great feeling when you can play a difficult song without thinking about it. The actual show itself was really fun. I felt like everyone really performed those nights. It was also fun when two songs from the Queen show tied for first place at Battle of the Bands.
What I love about School of Rock is the feeling I get when I step through the door. I feel really happy when Iâ€™m there. If I am having a bad day and I come in for rehearsal, my whole mood changes. I also love how many exciting opportunities SOR has brought me, like performing at the 9:30 Club as an opener for VACO and being able to participate in an SOR CD. ”
- Ally, 12 years old
“High expectations were set for me in the Pearl Jam show. I was given two sets of challenging songs with the best musicians in the school. Through lots of hard work and practice we came together as a band and put on an amazing show. This challenge turned out to be a window of opportunity for me to improve my playing and musicianship. I took advantage of this opportunity to the fullest, showing my true capability, determination and commitment to myself, my bandmates and the school. Through these experiences I have matured, improved my skill instrumentally, and created great friendships with many School of Rock members, allowing me to progress as a person, friend and a musician.
The School of Rock is my favorite place in the whole world. I love being there, and I love playing and practicing there. However what I love the most about the School of Rock is the people. Everyone that attends the school is like a great big family. We help each other out when we’re down, and we support one another when we’re doing well. I feel like whenever I’m at the school every single other person there is just as excited as I am to be there. We’re all ready to start playing and cooperating to create the magic known as music. I love the opportunity that the School of Rock has given me to live and breathe the music.”
- Ben, 12 years old
“The Aerosmith show really boosted my talents as a bassist and I enjoyed the genre music the most. Not only did I enjoy the music but my friends from the previous show were in Aerosmith, and I made great new ones who enjoyed the same music as I did. During the Aerosmith show I played Mama Kin and Walk This Way which are the hardest songs and which improved my skills.
I love School of Rock for many reasons. First, School of Rock taught me to play using all of my fingers, while a bunch of other music programs taught me to play with one finger. Also School of Rock lets me be myself – high energy, excited and insane. Lastly School of Rock teaches music but also how to move on stage and to just have fun with it. But this is only scratching the surface of why I love School of Rock.”
- Alex, 15 years old
“My favorite SOR show was Motley Crue because it was a great show and I had some good songs. Motley Crue was my third show at SOR, so by that time I had gotten used to the program, and had made many friends. It’s the friendships and playing together that makes the shows remarkable, and with every show since I’ve had a great experience.
I really just love the program in general. I think it works extremely well, and the instruction and the students are excellent. The best thing about it, though, may be that fact that you can actually perform. The point of music is to perform and share it with other people and SOR is one of the only places that actually allow you to really experience that. You learn music to perform it at SOR so it also influences how you play. I think if someone is serious about wanting to play music, SOR would be the right place to start.”
- Ramsey, 14 years old
“My favorite School of Rock show was Southern Rock because it was a very challenging, great show, and it was perfect for me. It definitely made me better due to the challenging parts of the show. I met great people as well.
I love all of the great music and kids involved are a huge benefit. I feel that the teachers are the most patient and amazing teachers in the world and our director is just incredible at everything. I feel that the people here are my family, like brothers and sisters. I don’t know what I’d do if there was no School of Rock.”
- Cole, 13 years old
“Although I have not participated in many shows, I think that the 90s show was my favorite so far. It was my first show and it was a wonderful experience. I absolutely loved it! I enjoyed the people, the songs, and the ability to be taught by such talented teachers. Unfortunately I am going to be graduating soon so I will not be able to participate in many more shows which is disappointing, but I have greatly enjoyed the shows I’ve been in so far.
I love School of Rock for many reasons. I love the relaxed, clean, music oriented atmosphere, the passionate teachers, and the awesome, dedicated students. I think it is a great after-school program. It is very positive and welcoming, and a guaranteed good time. I have enjoyed my time at School of Rock. I has been a wonderful experience.”
- Laurie, 17 years old