Saturday, September 21, 2013
School of Rock inspires young musicians around DFW with hands-on approach
The school has six locations throughout the metroplex.
Rock music has long been a staple of American culture. The School of Rock is helping pass its legacy on to the next generation through its unique instruction format.
"We don't teach music lessons the traditional way," said Dean Tarpley, Dallas School of Rock co-owner. "In the old world of teaching music, you would sit a kid in a room and give them instruction. We don't believe in that method. We are all about a nontraditional approach to teaching music."
As part of the learning experience at the School of Rock, each student is assigned to a group and each group focuses on a specific artist or genre of music. They rehearse the music together in preparation for their exam, which consists of a live performance at one of many venues around the Metroplex.
"I often compare the School of Rock to sports. A lot of people quit music because it wasn't fun for them. Imagine in sports if you went to take a lesson and all you did was sit in a class, then had to go home and practice alone. If that was the way it was done, a lot of kids would not stick with sports," said Terry Longhway, Dallas School of Rock co-owner.
The school will often bring in guest professors to help give the students a sense of what they can expect if they continue to pursue music as a career.
"The guest professors are intended to be a fun and unique experience for the kids. They are real musicians that have gone into the industry and made it," Longhway said.
Each of the school's live performances has a theme to it. Longhway said the next Dallas School of Rock performance will be from noon to 6 p.m. on September 21 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. The show will be split into two sessions; from noon to 4 p.m., some of the less-experienced artists will perform, and from 4 to 6 p.m. the concert will feature some of the more advanced musicians from the school as part of its Dean's List showcase.
"The Dean's List is something the kids audition to be part of. They will do a variety of different types of music. A lot of their music will be a little more challenging and wide spectrum of music," Longhway said.
School of Rock has several locations in the Metroplex including Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Keller, McKinney and Southlake. Another location is scheduled to open in Flower Mound on September 21. For a complete list of school locations and events, visit dallas.schoolofrock.com.
"We try and bring fun and happiness into the communities. We play a lot at different schools and other events. These performances allow us to show the community the really great attitudes of these kids," Longhway said.
Tarpley and Longhway decided to open a holding company to manage, operate and acquire several School of Rock locations after working together as consultants over a 10-year period. They opened their first location in Rochester, Mich., and decided to form the holding company to allow them to open additional franchise locations.
They want to open an artist-development company in the near future to help their students learn how to make the right choices when dealing with agents and producers within the business.
"That part of the industry is just a completely different business," Tarpley said.
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