For those about to rock

Two years of pandemic has forced a lot of changes in hobbies for people. I used to do frequent photography shoots, including group shoots and studio work. COVID pretty much killed that. With the disruption to my routine, I looked a new ways to pass the time and I landed on music. I was not alone.

Mid last year, I started with some one-on-one guitar lessons at a local music store. The instructor was great but the whole experience was lacking for excitement. The social aspect was absent. My daughter started taking lessons too at the same place and it was the same let-down. Music is about performing, and shuffling to between lessons and solo practice at home was missing that aspect.

On a whim, I decided to give the School of Rock a try for my daughter. I figured performance-based learning would build deeper engagement for her and make her want to practice. I would take her to her lessons and hang out in the waiting area for the 45 minutes.

As luck would have it, the adult band was rehearsing at the same time as my daughter’s lesson. Here was a group of folks in my age range, all learning music and all having fun. I played fly-on-the-wall, listening to the rehearsals and conversations. They were all different skill levels and they didn’t care if they missed a few notes. It was about the experience and having fun.

After a couple of weeks of observing, their new performance season was going to start, so I decided to take the plunge. I signed up for lessons and the adult band. Even though I totally sucked, the group was super accommodating to me as a noobie. My guitar instructor was amazing. He had a deep, formal education in music and a couple decades performance experience in multiple bands. Even though I was playing simplified versions of some the songs, it was still an awesome experience to actually perform with a band.

We just wrapped up the end of the season with a big show this past weekend. Yeah, I still screwed up some of the small stuff, but I made progress that I wouldn’t have made without the performance aspect. Our “Heavy 70s” theme included learning classic songs like Baba O’Reilly, Dream On, Godzilla and others.

Next season starts in a few weeks and I’m already excited about it. I’ve made a great group of friends and enjoy learning the songs. While you might think School of Rock is for kids, based on the movie, you would be missing a great opportunity as an adult if you want to learn an instrument and actually perform. I recommend giving it a try and maybe I’ll see you in the rehearsal room at School of Rock – Plano!

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