UPDATE Feb. 23, 2014 -- School of Rock has opened a second location at 104 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, Mo. 63122.
A new music school in West St. Louis County is marching to the beat of a different drummer — one like John Bonham of Led Zeppelin or Neil Peart of Rush.
School of Rock, which opens in Winchester, on Thursday, Aug. 1, provides a supportive haven for kids that just want to jam, said the school's general manager Amy Mareing. Mareing previously ran a School of Rock in Chicago for six years.
"The reason we are unique is because we couple all of our lessons with performances," Mareing said. "It's an incentive that they are jamming immediately with other students."
School of Rock will offer private lessons, open jams, summer workshops, Rock 101 for those with no experience, performance groups and touring groups for kids ages 7 to 18. The first summer workshops, including Explorers Clinics and Performance Clinics, are being offered throughout early August before most schools restart. Instructors are all active music performers, and they will teach vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards and drums.
"We use the pioneers of rock to teach kids different skills," Mareing said. It leads to a diverse experience she said. For example, students who attend for a year, may do 12 weeks of Pink Floyd, 12 weeks of classic blues and 12 weeks of '80s hair metal. "That's quite a bit of different ways to learn instruments. Plus, you'll do a sound check, load your gear, set your stage ... it really holds everyone responsible, and it's just fun."
The school has three rehearsal spaces and two connect to recording studios. There are also eight lesson rooms, two student lounges. The school also has additional space that they hope to transform into a performance space with a stage and room for about 150 audience members, Mareing said.
School of Rock opens on Thursday, Aug. 1. It will be open for lessons and programs from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A grand opening is scheduled for saturday, Aug. 17. School of Rock is located at 14560 Manchester Road, Ballwin, Mo., 63011. Call 636-220-8930.