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School gets kids ready to rock

Latham franchise puts a focus on performance-based instruction

School of Rock recently opened in Latham, providing music instruction with an edge.

School of Rock recently opened in Latham, providing music instruction with an edge.

Music has always been an important part of David Bodie’s life.

He began learning to play the drums at the age of 9 and would later have “jam sessions” with his father, a vocalist and guitarist, in the basement of their home.

Bodie joined a band in high school and eventually went on to tour internationally as a musician for several years. When he decided to settle down and have a family, a friend approached him with an interesting proposition. Would he like to teach music to young musicians at a School of Rock location in New Jersey?

“When I got the job, my friend was already looking into expanding. School of Rock is a franchise, so there’s room to grow,” Bodie said.

Even though Bodie was commuting from Saugerties to New Jersey several days a week, he fell in love with the job. Three years later, he opened his own location in Latham.

“From my own personal experience, I wasn’t able to join a band until I was much older, so for many kids, this type of learning is a great tool,” said Bodie.

School of Rock is a performance-based instruction program for young musicians. Each week, kids receive one 45-minute lesson on their instrument individually. They are then put into “Rock 101” for the younger kids or the performance program to learn how to play covers of some of rock music’s best, like AC/DC or Pink Floyd, in a weekly three-hour session.

Lessons are limited to instruments that would typically be found in a rock band like guitar, bass, keyboard and vocals.

The kids take three to four months to learn the music and rehearse in groups of about 20. Throughout the year, several “gigs” are then booked to show the students what it’s like to perform live in front of a crowd.

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