The new School of Rock opened its doors in Chapel Hill on May 1, and is throwing a grand opening party on the 20.
The school, located in the newly revamped building of the old 501 Diner, is the fourth location to open in North Carolina, and now serves areas spanning across Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Blackwood, Eubanks, and more.
The school offers a unique way for children and adults alike to learn how to play instruments, boasting lessons and programs for children ranging from first to twelfth grade, and for adults of any age.
A general manager and six instructors make up the new staff, consisting of many multi-instrumentalists with skills in guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals, and more.
The new location is owned by Chapel Hill resident David Joseph, who’s nearly life-long interest in music motivated him to invest in the school.
Joseph has been playing music since his childhood, where he first started out on piano, before switching to drums when he found himself tired of lessons.
He quickly made a small garage band with his friends, and they played in his basement until it was too loud for his parents. Joseph and his friends moved into a church parish hall, where they soon attracted daily crowds of neighborhood children.
Joseph there saw the effects of music on youth, where children from the streets would come in and watch them, entertained by the young band.
“We created what you might call a safe haven,” Joseph described. “Like a youth center, not necessarily churchy, but a place for the kids to be and stay off the streets.”
From then on, Joseph understood the importance of music, and hopes to create a similar environment with this new addition to the School of Rock legacy.
In this spirit, the School of Rock offers many programs that create bands for both youth and adults. Each program gets together students of the school, with skills ranging from first time to expert, into small bands.
The bands will then work on different music, mostly focused on rock and roll, over the course of a few months. At the end of their learning period, the students will perform at a small show, open to the public.
The first scheduled performance of the youth bands is in the end of August. The location of the show has yet to be revealed, as Joseph and the rest of the crew at the school are planning on unveiling it at the grand opening party, along with the theme of the show.
However, Joseph did disclaim that “the theme is a name you’ll recognize, and we’re holding it on a street you’ll know, so here at the School we’re all very excited for our first show.”
Adults that take part in the band programs also get to show off the music they’ve learned, with performances at small bars or other gigs in the area.