The Blogs

December Student of the Month: James L.

At only twelve years old, James L. is one of Music & Rock School’s most seasoned performance veterans. Since he started taking guitar lessons here almost two and a half years ago, he has participated in every winter and summer concert, and performed at Relay for Life, Common Grounds, PeakFest and the Apex Jazz Festival. He also just completed his third Studio Session with his band, Zombie Truckers Stole My Wheelchair!

Music & Rock School featured in Active Alex Magazine

If you pick up the November issue of Active Alex Magazine (it’s a free magazine available at most Apex and Cary area grocery stores), be sure to read the article “Does Your Child Want to Rock?”  Reporter Ellen Dalbo wrote a great piece about Raleigh-area rock band programs and featured Music & Rock School in the article.  We discussed at length our Masters Program, All-Access, Studio Sessions, and performances as a means to motivate and enhance music lessons for kids.  Active Alex also sent a photographer over to snap some shots of some of the students during our last Mas

November Student of the Month: Sydney M.

Sixteen-year-old Sydney M. has been taking guitar lessons at Music & Rock School since July of 2009, making her one of our longest-running students at the school. For the first two years, she was mainly focused on guitar, eagerly getting involved in all the MaRS student concerts, including both Peakfest and the Apex Jazz Festival recently, and even participating in one of our studio sessions. However, she recently decided to take it one step further and signed up for voice lessons as well!

Getting in the Game: How to get your child to practice more

Parents make a significant investment in lessons (and instruments) for their kids, and they want to see that investment pay off.  But the one-on-one lesson dynamic often leaves parents unsure of what their kids are supposed to be practicing.  Moreover, in the absence of their instructor, the students are responsible for motivating themselves outside of their weekly lessons.  In this scenario it is easy for kids to fall into a rut and lose interest in their instrument.  The comparison I use often is if your child was on a soccer team that practiced every week, but never p

All-Access Revamped: Our Year-Round Rock Band Program

We’ve recently modified our All-Access program to be modeled after our summer rock camp, as it was hugely successful this summer.  In All-Access players are grouped together and meet weekly for a 90-minute instructed band rehearsal to learn songs, write music and prepare for live performances.

October Student of the Month: Alex K.

Thirteen-year-old Alex began drum lessons at Music & Rock School nearly a year and a half ago. In that time, he’s gained a reputation as a student who jumps at the chance to perform and play with other students. Alex participates in the Master Class every two months and has performed in every concert since starting at MARS. He also played at this year’s Jazzfest in downtown Apex with his MARS student group, Feedbakk.

Drum instructor Clay Anderson now part of the M.a.R.S. team!

I’m excited to announce the addition of another stellar instructor to our teaching staff here at Music & Rock School.  Beginning in September, Clay Anderson will be teaching drums at M.a.R.S.  In addition to more than a decade of teaching experience, Clay has been a working musician for twice as long.  Among his many projects, Clay currently plays in Chapel Hill groups Puritan Rodeo, a roots rock/Americana band, and the funk/rock hybrid sounding, Honeychile.  Clay has studied at Berklee College of Music and is currently completing his music education degree at

M.a.R.S. and Apex Jazz Festival in Cary Magazine

Cary Magazine did an article about the upcoming Apex Jazz Festival, which will be Saturday, September 17th.  There is a mention of Music & Rock School in the article, as we have 4 student rock bands that will be performaing on the free, all-ages outdoor stage from 3:00-4:00 at the festival.  The bands have been hard at work rehearsing for this high-profile gig in Downtown Apex, so we're all excited!

M.a.R.S. Supporting the Arts in Apex

Of course we at Music & Rock School are fans and supporters of all things music.  But we try our best to support all musical and artistic endeavors in our community.  Two that have been brought to our attention recently that we'd like to make everyone aware or:

Beginner Bluegrass Jam

7-9pm, Every 2nd & 4th Thursday

Apex United Methodist Church, Music Building room 201

Contact: pioje@yahoo.com or ashort@bellsouth.net

All skill levels welcome!

 

Teen Art Studio w/Kathryn Cook - Summer Intensive

M.a.R.S. featured in the Cary News & Southwest Wake News

On Sunday, May 8th Music & Rock School was featured on the front page of The Cary News and The Southwest Wake News.  We're really excited about the feature, and think the paper did a really nice job highlighting our Masters Program and capturing our philosophy here at Music & Rock School with quotes such as this one:

"The school is the ultimate iteration of rock 'n' roll in the 21st century, a real-life version of the Rock Band video game where everyone can strive for stardom."

Music & Rock School Student to Perform at Durham Bulls Game

 

We’d like to congratulate voice student, Casey Denbow, who was recently selected to sing the National Anthem at an upcoming Durham Bulls home game.  Casey was one of nearly 150 people who auditioned to perform.  The Bulls only made this opportunity available for 17 of their home games this season.  So if you’re at the game on June 21st when the Bulls face the Buffalo Bisons, you’ll see Casey singing in front of about 5000 fans!  Huge congratulations, Casey!

2011 Summer Rock Camp Registration Is Open

Registrations for our 2011 Summer Rock Camp, Crash Course, is now open!  Camp is open to young musicians between the ages of 12 and 16 years old, on guitar (acoustic & electric), bass, keyboard, drums and voice.  Campers DO NOT have to be students at Music & Rock School to participate, but they should have prior experience playing their instruments (understand the basics and have the ability to perform complete songs).

New Videos and Masters Program Dates

The MaRS team has made a few updates to the website in the past few weeks.  We added a bunch of video clips from our Winter Concert on December 18th.  The students sold out the venue and performed to just over 150 people.  The new videos are on the video archive page.

Studio Session Program Up and Running

We recently launched our Studio Session program to give students the recording studio experience.  Students participating in the Studio Session learn a song in their weekly lessons, record it as a band, name their band, design album artwork, and produce a CD single.  Our first session was this past Saturday and we had two groups of students record the song "T.N.T" by AC/DC, and it was a huge success.  I wanted to share the CD artwork for both groups since it turned out so cool.

New, Larger Location for Music & Rock School

We have Moved!

Beginning Monday, September 20th, Music & Rock School will reside in it’s new, larger location at 132 Salem Towne Court.  The new studio is in the same building, but right next door to the previous location (134 Salem Towne Court).

With more room to rock, we’ll also see the addition of some new programs on the schedule.  Included are a second version of our already successful Masters Program, and an exciting new program providing weekly band rehearsals for students.  More to come!

Keyboard/Piano Lessons Now Available

I'm excited to announce that Music & Rock School is now offering keyboard and piano lessons. Consistent with our philosophy at Music & Rock School, lessons are more focused on rock and pop music, and preparing students for performance and playing with other musicians. While our piano instructor, Matt Kesic, studied concert performance piano in college, his playing experience also includes extensive work playing and recording with rock bands.

Merge Records and Idol Records Support the cause at Music & Rock School

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of activity at M.a.R.S. headquarters, but I wanted to take a couple of minutes to thank the folks at Merge Records, as well as Erv Karwelis, founder and president of Idol Records, for supporting what we do here at Music & Rock School. Both record labels sent care packages with posters, stickers and CDs to decorate the new studios!

Voice Lessons and The Art of Screaming

Have you ever wondered how rock singers can scream for an entire concert and NOT lose their voice? The answer is proper training in their voice lessons. If a singer screams the wrong way, they'll constantly lose their voice, tear up their vocal chords and potentially cause themselves permanent damage. If they scream the right way, they'll improve their singing technique and be able to scream night after night, worry free!

Student Profile: Olivia Oschman

Olivia Oschman has only been playing the guitar for six months, but prior to starting she had wanted to learn to play for over two years.  When you consider that Olivia is only nine years old, it means she's had the desire to play guitar for almost a quarter of her life!  Since starting lessons at Music & Rock School, she's wasted no time in setting goals and working to achieve them.  Only a few months into lessons she was already playing some of her favorite songs.  "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat...check.

Drum Lessons Now Available at Music and Rock School

I'm excited to announce that drum and percussion lessons are now available at Music & Rock School in Downtown Apex! I've hired Theous Jones on as the drum instructor, and I think drum students in the Apex area are really going to benefit from his knowledge and approach to teaching drums and percussion.

Stand Up & Rock: The art of playing guitar standing up

How often do you see your favorite rock stars playing concerts sitting down, drummers excluded? Part of learning to rock on the guitar is, well, ROCKING on the guitar. And that means strapping that guitar around your neck, standing up and rocking out! The first time you play guitar standing up though, it can almost feel like you're playing guitar for the first time... period. It takes practice to get comfortable, just like everything else involved with playing the guitar.

News & Observer recognizes Music & Rock School

‘Rock Reborn at Apex School’ — Music & Rock School was featured in the News & Observer today. It features some nice quotes from student Parker Fredrick, and a mention of the new Masters Program. The full article is available in the News & Observer online edition by clicking here.

M.A.R.S Students Rock For Charity

Music and Rock School students have been asked to perform as part of a fundraising event on Saturday, September 26th. The 1st Annual Rock Around Red Robin, held in Apex, NC, is billed as a rock 'n' roll street fair, complete with a rocking chair marathon, Guitar Hero competition, and live entertainment all day. The students from Music and Rock School will be joined by seven other musical acts performing throughout the day.

Dealing With Frustration When Learning to Play an Instrument

At some point everyone gets frustrated with their progress when they're learning to play guitar, or any other instrument. The key is learning the best way to deal with that frustration so it doesn't completely freeze your progress, or worse, cause you to quit playing.

How Do I Choose a Guitar?

Finding the right guitar for a child is sometimes overlooked when parents get their kids involved in music. While a hand-me-down guitar from a sibling or an uncle is easy on the budget, there's a possibility that it could actually hinder the child's progress. First consider the size of the guitar, and if it fits your child, but also think about the type of guitar.

Guitar SIze