The Rock and Roll Conservatory is a facility dedicated to mentoring the next generation of influential artists. With a focus on the mentoring of students, as opposed to a conventional method of teaching, the RnRC develops more than just an understanding of music within its students.
Music lessons cultivate creative talents that may otherwise lie dormant. The instructors at Live Music Academy tap into that potential in each student and nurture it through lessons, even if the pupil only performs as a hobby. Private lessons focus on instruments such as drums, piano, and voice, whereas group classes teach music theory, and group training can help entire choirs perfect their harmonies.
Be it a house party, a wedding, or a prom, Ramundo Andrews, a.k.a. Deejay Mythikal, is ready to plug in his laptop, turn on the mixer, and crank up a variety of tunes to fit the scene. He soundtracks parties with new and old school tracks in a range of genres such as rap, soul, and disco. Though he's been playing records for five years, Deejay Mythikal's musical experience dates back to high school where he first began to play in local bands. Since then, he's delved into musical production, sound engineering, and song composition.
When Seattle Drum School owner and founder Steve Smith first began leading private lessons, bands such as Queen and Pink Floyd were just hitting their stride. That was nearly four decades ago, before air guitar became a legitimate art form, and well before Steve opened the doors to SDS in 1986. Since then, though, Steve has fostered the school into a thriving music institution, and one that currently boasts a faculty of more than 40 talented teachers. Such a large staff translates into an equally diverse selection of lessons for students, who can hone their skills in everything from guitar, piano, and voice to saxophone, turntables, and, of course, drums.
Flung from the concert stage by the drummer of T-Rex, a single drumstick caught by eighth grader Donn Bennett began a lifelong passion for collecting rare and celebrity drum sets. He began selling and trading equipment from his home, and eventually his constantly expanding collection prompted him to open his own shop in 1977. Today, as recorded by King 5 Magazine, more than 50 signed snares hang from the store's ceiling above a show room circled by 15 sets previously used by drummers from bands such as Green Day, Aerosmith, Kansas, and Cheap Trick. Snares played by The Who's Keith Moon and Kiss' Peter Criss, a signed drumhead by The Beatles' Ringo Starr, and feline whiskers fashioned into drumsticks by Josie and the Pussycats round out Donn's extensive exhibit.
Along with the displayed celeb drums, Donn dispenses new and used drum gear to customers along with vintage snare parts and major-brand replacement parts for sets in need of repair. Stocked with two professional drum sets and a Roland electronic drum tutor, soundproof learning rooms shelter pupils and instructors during private 30- or 60-minute lessons for all skill levels. Along with annual rock camps and clinics, Donn's staff leads specialized classes in diverse drumming topics such as mastering the techniques of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham and the cymbal-smacking techniques of Animal from the Muppets.
The sound specialists at Bellevue American Music help outfit local bands and aspiring rock stars with musical equipment from brands such as Fender, Korg, Yamaha, Roland, and Bogner in the bright, open showroom. Learning to play the intro song to Hogan's Heroes from sheet music is much easier with an On Stage XCG4 guitar stand ($13.49) and artillery of D'Addario EXL120 strings ($5.99). Hone vocal skills outside of showers with an On Stage mic stand ($29.99), or squelch creative differences with the raucous roar of the Peavey Vypyr 15 amp ($99.99). Those eager to accessorize the recent growth of their folk-indie beard may nab a Lee Oskar harmonica ($38.99) and settle into their tax accountant's stoop for an impromptu show.