The faculty members at the School of Rock believe that immersion is the best way to learn any new skill, which is why they don’t just teach students how to traverse the notes and rhythms of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals in isolation. In addition to teaching students the technical skills during one-on-one lessons, the professional music instructors push them to fuse their individual parts into songs during full band practices with fellow beginner rockers. This combination of one-on-one attention and cooperative group learning helps kids of all skill levels hone their craft while overcoming common pitfalls such as stage fright or playing off-tempo. As kids learn to shred riffs, pound out drum solos, and summon Ronnie James Dio by hitting the correct vibrato atop a silver mountain, the classes build their confidence and kick-start a lifetime of loving rock 'n' roll.
Though he no longer serves as a faculty member at Berklee College of Music or the New England Conservatory Extension, Gil Graham still devotes his musical talents to young people. At his Drumming Preparatory School, he takes a systematic approach to teaching students aged 5 up to college age the basics of the drum kit. In private and group classes, and college-level labs, he teaches skills such as sight-reading, stick control, and looking cooler than the guitarist in a range of musical styles.
Spotlighted in Time magazine and the New York Times, Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is a nationally renowned program offering a unique take on musical education for children 6 months to 5 years old. Classes consist of 45 minutes of singing, dancing, and musical storytelling. Children's songsmith David Weinstone, whose insectivorous curriculum has exploded in popularity since 1997, passes the baton to Mid-Atlantic Songwriter's Award-winner Stacey Peasley so the tintinnabulous tones of tuneful tots might also ring out from the City on the Hill. Rather than being strict and results-driven, the teaching style at Music for Aardvarks is based on adult modeling and exposing children to ideas and sounds without dumbing them down. Parent participation is strongly encouraged for atonal squealers and former Yes drummers alike. Check the Music for Aardvarks website for the drop-in class schedules.
On your Boston tour, you'll shove off from Christopher Columbus Park and roll along Boston Harbor before hooking a sharp left on one wheel toward the Seaport District. After gliding through the Boston Harbor Arches, you'll speed over the Northern Avenue Bridge into the Seaport District. After taking in the Federal Court House, ICA, Children's Museum, and more, you'll loop back through the sculptures and interactive art of the Rose Kennedy Greenway to your starting point. Smashing through plate glass, overturning fruit carts, and leaping between Segways to engage in feats of derring-do are optional and highly discouraged. The Cambridge route is no less exciting than the Boston circuit, curving through Harvard, Kendall, and Central squares before leaping over 16 exploding school buses.
The low thrum of an electric bass. The clean jangle of an electric piano. At School of Groove, owner Christopher Vuk presides over instructors as they fill the space with music and help students through scales, rhythms, and eventually full pieces on a wide range of instruments. The teachers have played music alongside musicians including Herbie Hancock, John Mayer, and Paul Simon, and guest rock musicians occasionally lead sessions to impart their skills or explain why they think every smashable guitar is full of candy. In private lessons and group sessions, hands-on practice illuminates the processes of improvising, writing, and recording music. Students at the school can also join a band, where they'll write their own music, build teamwork skills, and perform at venues such as Hard Rock Cafe and Ryles Jazz Club.