Venerable Hoosier guitarist Larry Crane will smash a guitar for the opening of the first Indiana School of Rock. The new music lesson school is the first of its kind in Indiana; it teaches kids and teens from 8-18 guitar, drums, keyboard and vocals. Part of a national chain, the School of Rock will kick off its spring season with grand opening ceremonies this Saturday, March 17.
Throughout the courses, participants take weekly private lessons and join in group rehearsals to prepare for a concert they'll put on at a local venue at the end of the session. This session's concert will take place at The Earth House.
"We are a unique option for kids who truly want to learn music and develop a passion for it by actually playing it--for real, not just by sitting in their room strumming their guitar or playing "Bah Bah Black Sheep" with their piano teacher," said Elyse Causey, general manager of the new location.
School of Rock invites professional musicians to act as guest professors at their institutions all over the country; some of those august instructors include John Freese (Nine Inch Nails, The Offspring, Guns N' Roses), Earl Slick (David Bowie, John Lennon), Jean Paul Gaster (Clutch, The Bakerton Group), Steve Howe (Yes, Asia) and many more.
Students of the School have the opportunity to increase their involvement through summer camps and the All-Stars program, which selects the best of the crop of current students to perform on a national tour. These advanced students have performed for over 100,000 people at storied venues including CBGB's and The Kitting Factory and festivals including Red Rocks, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.
Causey said the School of Rock is great for any kid looking for a fun place to hang out with friends, but that parents will feel the benefit too.
"That's one of the great things about our performance-based program; the kids learn to love to play rather than simply learning to practice," said Causey. "But the great thing is that once they begin to fall in love with performing and with playing their instrument, they'll begin to want to practice and to want to do well, especially when the have an upcoming show to prepare for."
At the grand opening, student musicians from Chicago's School of Rock will perform with their band The Bajas. The Scratch Truck will be on site, serving the crowd modern comfort food.
Indiana guitar legend and original Mellencamp band member Larry Crane and his band will be the last act on stage; they're scheduled to perform beginning at 2 p.m., concluding with a guitar smash around 3 p.m.
Between the Bajas and Crane, a teacher band made of instructors from Carmel High School will perform.
During the concert, attendees can tour the new facility and try out different instruments. There will also be a guitar give-away during the event.
For those wondering about the connection to a 2003 film, Causey has the answer.
"Yes, School of Rock starring Jack Black is loosely based on the company--but no, unfortunately we aren't expecting a visit from Mr. Black any time soon. We wish!" said Causey.