"I basically live, eat, and breathe music," says Strum and Sip owner Christopher Bloom. A 27-year veteran guitar player, Bloom already had 15 years of teaching experience and his own production studio when he had the idea to open Strum & Sip with some friends. Setting up shop at local watering holes, the guitar virtuosos cultivate a laid-back ambiance where students can sip their favorite drink while teaching their fingers new chord shapes or plucking patterns and learning songs to serenade people at a family gathering or congressional filibusters.
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.