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 • Entertainment  • Rockin’ it at School of Rock

Rockin’ it at School of Rock


We’ve all heard about the benefits of music for babies, toddlers and young children and how it can brighten their mood, benefit their brain, and boost early language and math skills. But did you know it can also help older children and teens foster important life skills, such as self-regulation, self-confidence, leadership, and social skills?

At School of Rock, they believe the best way to learn music is to play music. Their immersive method and performance-based approach to music instruction inspires students by having them perform as soon as possible. Taking students from the lesson room to the stage develops both confidence and musicianship. But it’s not just about playing an instrument — it’s about playing as a team. Learning to play by jamming together with fellow students takes the focus off the individual and creates a team dynamic, allowing students to enjoy a more supportive, motivative, learning environment.

Parker and Matt Alter own both the Short Pump and Midlothian schools. The couple was looking for an investment opportunity when Matt came across an online ad for School of Rock franchises. As a musician and former band member, Matt called Parker and said, “I think I just found the perfect opportunity for us!” Intrigued by the idea of helping kids learn more about the benefits of playing music, they opened the Short Pump location in January 2013 and the Midlothian location in June 2016.

When asked what makes School of Rock different, Parker explains, “School of Rock is a safe haven, where students grow together and work as a team, while developing important life skills such as social, listening and communicating skills.” Parker adds, “Students actually want to practice and improve because it’s a fun, inspiring, team environment.”

Thalia Tymowski, a talented vocalist and 16-year-old junior at James River High School joined the Midlothian School of Rock in the fall of 2015. “I always loved music,” says Thalia, “As a little kid I was always singing and making up songs about whatever was around me.” She says that School of Rock provides the full package by helping students learn about different types of music, vocal and performance techniques, as well as how sound works, and then tying it all together. Thalia says she likes that School of Rock is performance-based and gives her the opportunity to work with a group, perform frequently and make new friends, “It’s cool to work with others who love music as much as me!” With true front-(wo)man personality and enthusiasm, Thalia adds, “School of Rock is super-awesome, and everybody here rocks!”

Camden Harrahy, a gifted guitarist and 17-year-old senior at Goochland High School, first came to the Short Pump school when he was 12 years old. Says Camden, “I was struggling with the motivation to play and was only so-so on the guitar.” He liked the idea of performing with an ensemble at School of Rock and says, “I was immediately more motivated to practice because it was so much more fun to learn in that type of environment.” Camden says his experience at School of Rock has made him more outgoing and confident and he enjoys being around like-minded people. He is now one of the school’s best guitarists and has also learned to play bass, drums, and keys. School of Rock made him realize he wants a career in music; he plans to major in Audio Production in college. With the thought and depth of a true musician, Camden says, “School of Rock is a great place to develop yourself as a musician and as a person, honestly!”

Learn more about School of Rock at Or phone 804-419-4925.


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