This week, Heather and Joelle are joined by Lisa Beacom, General Manager of School of Rock Andersonville, which opens soon in the neighborhood. All of their music programs for kids, teens, and adults are designed to help students gain amazing musical proficiency, and to get students performing in a band. Students can take virtual, one-on-one music instruction from the comfort of their homes with a Remote Program containing weekly one-on-one instruction conducted by expert School of Rock instructors in a safe virtual lesson room.
“School of Rock is song first…the kids might not know how to read music yet, they might not know theory, but they’ll start with a song.”
– Lisa Beacom
Listen to Episode 109 with Lisa Beacom!
Here are some references from Episode 109 that you may want to check out:
- Lisa’s background is actually in theatre and musical theatre, but she met her husband Jim Sellers through a music class. He’s a musician, specifically a pianist, and they are embarking on their own franchise of School of Rock together.
- Jim was the one who saw an email or Facebook ad about School of Rock franchise opportunities last August 2019. They started considering the option, began meeting with the School or Rock team, and signed the franchise agreement at the end of January 2020, and then COVID hit!
- The School of Rock model is not virtual, but the corporate office created an entire online class model in a matter of weeks.
- Lisa and Jim are considering a hybrid model once the Andersonville location does open, but right now, the Andersonville school is open for any students to sign up virtually. Their goal is to have enough students signed up soon to offer virtual performance classes, but currently most students are in one-on-one lessons. View virtual options here. Lisa’s goal is eventually to have the group classes happen in the building, but will still offer the one-on-one lessons virtually.
- School or Rock’s curriculum starts as young as age 3. Beginners ages 3-5 start in School or Rock’s “Little Wing” program, and start playing music such as the Beatles and other rock classics. The program is designed to get them feeling the music in their body. The next level up is “Rookies” for ages 6-8 to allow kids to start experimenting with different instruments. Around age 8, kids are moved to “Rock 101” once they understand which instrument they want to pursue.
- In normal times, the goal is to get kids performing on a stage at least once a quarter. Shows are cast in a manner so that students can work with multiple students in rotation. The shows are real concerts at real venues with a paying audience.
- What came first – School or Rock the school or the movie? Lisa fills us in. It all started in 1996 with a musician named Paul Green in Philadelphia. He brought his private students to play with his band one night, but they didn’t do well with the adult musicians. He started bringing his various students together to play together and found they learned much faster. His school was called the Paul Green School of Rock Music. He had a documentary filmed about the school which finally released in 2005 called Rock School, but when the Jack Black The School of Rock movie came out in 2003, Paul noticed quite a few similarities between himself and the Jack Black character. This was only to his advantage, so he bought the schoolofrock.com domain and eventually sold it to the current ownership in the 2010s or so.
- When COVID hit, School of Rock corporate hired a doctor to advise them on best practices for continuing lessons virtually. As some states have opened a bit more, some of the School of Rock locations have even performed at drive-in theatres! Lisa is hopeful by the time Andersonville’s school has a performance class that they’ll be able to do a safe socially distant performance.
- Although she cannot limit it to a Top 5, some of Lisa’s favorite artists include Ella Fitzgerald and Alanis Morissette, Susan Tedeschi and Nina Simone. “That’s just the women!”
- In advice to Joelle for spicing up music variety with an infant, Lisa recommends Sandra Boynton for a silly, fun, refreshed “kid music” alternative.
- Lisa’s side hustle is as a narrator of audio books!
- If given the chance to trade places with an Andersonville business, Lisa would choose to trade with First Slice Pie Cafe (5357 N Ashland).
- When anyone buys into the School or Rock franchise, they are given a territory. Their territory goes from the Eden’s to the Lake and from Toughy to Foster. They are very familiar with our area, so they started exploring the options for real estate, but when they drove down Clark Street, they fell in love, and “there was no other option.”
- Lisa and Jim have just signed a lease for School of Rock Andersonville, but the location is still not quite public yet. Stay tuned!
“There has never been a time that this didn’t make sense for us…and the more we find out, the more we love about the School of Rock community.”
– Lisa Beacom