The Beat Goes On: School of Rock Offering In-Person & Online Learning

By: Scott Davis | October 5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of School of Rock - Rochester.

School of Rock has been educating the next generation of rockers for well over a decade, but like the rest of us, they’ve never quite had a year like 2020.

Located in Rochester, School of Rock is a performance-based music education school that offers lessons to all musicians, no matter how experienced they are. The school puts kids, usually ranging from ages seven to 18, in groups based on their skill level and work up to performing at live shows.

Obviously the school faced their biggest hurdle this past spring when the coronavirus pandemic forced venues and the school itself to close. Michael Latcha, general manager of the Rochester Hills School of Rock and a Detroit musician for more than 16 years, said that the school had to make a huge pivot at the end of March and try to keep the level of education up to their standards while teaching online.

The school used their app to rely on keeping students informed with what was going on and Zoom rehearsals became how the groups interacted with each other. The school focused on songwriting, how to record and edit and other elements that would be easier to do remotely than in person. Latcha said that they found ways to make the learning experience more complete and students found it rewarding.

Even though those few spring and summer months looked different, School of Rock was still able to give students the tools to help them grow not only as musicians but as people as well. Latcha said that their goal is to teach students how to express themselves and how working together can create something that is bigger than ourselves.

“One of the most valuable things about music is that you create something that you can’t tangibly have, so it’s the value of creating an idea that can really move people. Music teaches us how to be human while being fun,” Latcha said.

The school reopened its doors in July with an abundance of safety protocols including limiting the amount of students in each classroom, social distance markers, dividers and masks being required while inside the building. The school is still offering online learning and has continued to go the extra mile to make sure every learning environment is a safe one.

“Things have been going great these last few months and we’ll continue to sanitize and disinfect our classrooms to keep our lessons going,” Latcha said.

School of Rock’s fall classes begin October 5 with enrollment open for both in-person and online courses. The school accepts enrollment all year long and will be trying to do limited indoor performances throughout the fall and winter season. The school hopes to have a showcase in January but only if it is safe to do so. 

You can find more information on how to enroll on School of Rock Rochester’s website. You can also see past performances, along with information on upcoming performances, on the school’s Facebook page.