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Music-Loving Trio to Open Rock & Roll Prep School on Hall Road

The new music school is currently enrolling students for its semester starting Nov. 12. An open house will be held Nov. 10 to give prospective students and parents a chance to meet the teachers and learn about various programs.

Hall Road is about to get a little more rock and roll. With the soundproofing in place and the last coat of paint on its way, classes will soon be in session for the area’s newest music school.

The brainchild of Krista Droege, Meaghan DeGrave and Joe Leone, Rock & Roll Prep School is the magnum opus of three lifelong music lovers who are looking to put a rock and roll twist on traditional music education.

“I would love for this to be the place that 10 to 20 years from now, when kids are talking about where they (learned music), they all went here. It’s a reference point of their childhood,” said DeGrave, a Ferndale resident.

Located in Macomb Township at 17917 Hall Rd., in the plaza between McDonald’s and Brann’s, the school is the first of its kind in the area, combining one-on-one lessons with full band rehearsals to give students a complete musical education from technique to performance.

While the school will offer lessons for adults and eventually a Rock Tots program for children ages 2 to 5, its program primarily caters to elementary, middle and high school students. These students, who have the option to study guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, piano or vocals, are divided into rockers (middle to high school age) and rollers (elementary age) for their respective programs.

Each week, students will receive one 45-minute lesson and take part in a three-hour rehearsal with their "band", which includes up to 20 of their fellow students.

“We’re catering to both beginners and those with more experience,” said Droege, co-owner and Macomb Township resident. “(A band rehearsal) gives the more experienced students the opportunity to mentor the beginners. At the end of each semester, we’re looking at local venues and clubs where the bands can perform – Prep-a-Palooza.”

Drum teacher and music director Joe Leone said this opportunity for performance is one of the reasons he began teaching.

“It’s good for the kids because it builds their self-esteem, playing on stage with a band. It also helps them in their regular life by building their confidence,” said Leone, a St. Clair Shores resident. “I think that is more important than learning an instrument … learning to feel good about themselves.”

Every semester will offer different elements of rock and roll, with students choosing their bands based on personal music taste and schedule.

This semester, which starts Nov. 12, the Rockers will learn either Foo Fighters and Nirvana, or The Black Keys and Rolling Stones, while the Rollers will choose between The White Stripes and The Beatles.

“We’ll eventually have a varsity band that will play shows around town, too,” DeGrave said. “The ages will combine and they’ll be our promotional band. We’re planning lots of events here, too, and workshops that will teach anything from songwriting to how to make a music video. We want to teach everything. We’re cultivating little musicians.”

All of the school’s instructors are working musicians, many of whom currently play in Detroit-area rock bands, and will bring their own style and experience to the school.

“We’re creating a world of our own,” DeGrave added.

The school’s first semester starts Nov. 12 and will run 16 weeks. Lessons are offered Monday through Friday from 2 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Students interested in enrolling should call 586-846-3781 or visit the school’s open house on Nov. 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. 

Rocker Mom November 15, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Bad idea Robert! I left SOR St. Clair Shores months before this new school opened because of the ugly atmosphere there since the new owners took over. read my other post.... we were there for 4 years and it used to be good under previous ownership but sadly no more! Most of the best instructors have also left! I know the owners and some instructors of the Rock & Roll Prep School so please check it out!
T. Faucher November 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Rocker Mom, I am in agreement with Mike that the internet can be a very easy place for people to post whatever they want without any repercussion. Including you! I am the owner of the School of Rock you mention and would like to clarify a few of your comments. I agree there WAS an unhealthy atmosphere. What you don't mention is that it existed while the instructors that left were still working there and one was my Music Director. They did not leave shortly after I took over the school; they left almost 1 year later. Within a couple of weeks after leaving, R&R Prep School was announced (Hmm..). The ugly atmosphere is now gone and we have replaced them with great instructors. As for your other accusations, you mention that we have an adult night. This is to allow ADULTS to spend time after a long week of work to unwind, have fun and play some R&R. You do not mention that there are never kids there nor do you mention the age of your son. If he attended on Friday nights, he must be over 18. I am not looking for an internet war with you; I am only asking that you remove your negative comments. I wish R&R Prep School the best of luck with their new business but I will not accept my business being attacked when I have done nothing to provoke it. I have completely left them alone during all of this and I expect the same courtesy. If you remove your posting, I will do the same. Whatever issues R&R Prep School has with J. Aragone is between them, not you and me. Tim
Cindy November 20, 2012 at 02:52 AM
My son has been a student of the School of Rock for over a year now. He loves the place and we do to. I can’t be more grateful to the owners for letting my son attending the school free of charge for several months while I and my husband were unemployed. We have spent a lot of time in the school and I never notice anything inappropriate regarding the instructor’s behavior. They all are very polite and crazy about their music. I would recommend the School of Rock to every parent who is looking for a great musical education for their child. I sincerely believe that all negative postings against the school are being fabricated by their former employees who were let go and later started their own music school offering the identical services, prices and rules. However, I must add they will never be able to offer “The All Star Program” which is only offered by School of Rock Franchise. This is a program where one’s a year the best students are selected to tour America performing on the stages with the real rock stars…. I can’t wait when my son is old enough to experience such venture…. Tina
Jenny Whalen November 20, 2012 at 03:29 AM
I love that there are so many parents concerned about their children's musical education, but I think we've gotten a bit off track here. It's obvious there are fans of both Rock & Roll Prep School and School of Rock, as there are fans of Target and Walmart and Burger King and McDonald's – all similar businesses that find a way to coexist. So let's coexist - at least here on Patch. Please and thanks for taking the high road from here on out.
Rocker Mom November 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM
T. Faucher, I left you a message in your FB inbox

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