Carmel rock stars to take the stage by storm


By Adam Aasen

For years now, some teenagers have eschewed traditional piano practice for weekly professional lessons on how to play the guitar or drums.

But at the School of Rock, they don’t just teach these young people to be musicians. They teach them how to be rock stars.

“To get on stage, you really have to have confidence,” said Elyse Causey, general manager. “You have to learn how to work with a team. You have to be dedicated. Of course, we teach them how to play their instrument, but there are all these other skills as well.”

On May 2 and 3, School of Rock will have a chance to show Carmel music lovers what these young rock stars have learned. A free preview show will be held at Wolfie’s Grill from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring students ages seven to 18. The show will feature different themes for each performance, including AC/DC songs, heavy rock and one-hit wonders.

A final performance will be held June 6 and 7 at the Hard Rock Café in downtown Indianapolis.

The Carmel location of this national franchise opened two years ago in the Monon Square Shopping Center. Since then, the school has doubled its enrollment from about 70 in their first year to about 140 currently. It’s adding more live shows and summer camps and it has expanded its physical space to accommodate a growing student base.

School of Rock takes a different approach to teaching students. Instructors start off by teaching students individually, so they learn the basics on how to play their instrument. After a few weeks, they put the students into groups so they have a “rock band” with which to practice. They have peers to keep them accountable and provide a fun way to learn collaboratively.

“We want it to be a community, not just a place to take guitar lessons,” Cauley said.

The school is also taking a group of 20 students to Summerfest, the largest music festival in the United States, to compete in a battle of the bands with other School of Rock locations from around the country.

Summer camps are also available, including camps for beginner, intermediate and advanced students, as well as three specialty camps: songwriting, guitar building and making music videos.

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