I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how beneficial it is to learn how to play a REAL instrument. With so many synthetic sounds in music today, it seems that real instruments, like the guitar, piano, and drums, can get lost in the fray of computerized sounds and sampled music.
Much of the music made with computers does not have a unique sound, and takes away from the individual way a human plays an instrument. Musical video games such as guitar hero also take away from the delicacy and artistry it takes to play a finely tuned instrument by making kids simply tap on buttons, never really teaching them how to play outside of the TV screen.
I wanted to write a quick article on this topic because I know recently school has started back up for everyone, and that can be an overwhelming and hectic time for a lot of kids and parents.
Here at University of Rock we are on a mission, not only to teach kids how to be rockstars when it comes to music, but how to have that rockstar confidence in their everyday lives! I know that when I was a kid I benefited immensely from learning how to play an instrument at a young age. It helped me be disciplined and focused, taught me important teamwork skills, developed my social skills, and most importantly in my opinion, gave me a new sense of confidence. I want to go over a few different points in this email and explain to you how giving your child the opportunity to learn a musical instrument can benefit them in these different areas of life.
I was invited again to give another lecture at La Sierra University this past week. I spoke here last year and had an absolute blast. This time around I got to speak in their new business building (building looks insanely cool- supposedly this guy donated like 15 MILLION dollars to getting the building developed- mad props to you sir!)
I’ve been teaching guitar and working with kids for quite some time now, and through all these years teaching them how to rock, I’ve noticed a lot of different types of kids. There are those who struggle to those who are instant rock stars, and everything in between. Some are very outgoing and willing to learn, while others are shy and hard to teach. But no matter the type of kid, I’ve come to realize that there are 3 traits that I think are essential for kids to learn at a young age – sharing, willingness to learn, and self-esteem.
Fellow Rockstar humans and aliens.. we made UROCK history yet again this past week with the launch of our first ever RockCamp here in Los Angeles. The idea for our RockCamp came about in May of this year after we asked ourselves, “What is THE ONE program that could add the most amount value for our students in the shortest period of time?”. The idea was to bridge the gap between our in-home lessons and two concert programs (RockShow and In-Home Mini Concerts) with a total immersion camp that revolved around the idea of our students performing in a live band setting with other fellow students.
The 60’s are undeniably one of the most important eras in rock n’ roll history. Had it not been for that decade, some of the world’s most iconic groups such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and The Beach Boys may not be the household names they are today.
A couple weeks ago, I got the chance to mentor a group of high school students as a part of Junior Achievement Business Week. This turned out to be one of the most fun/fulfilling things I’ve ever done. Here’s a little background on Junior Achievement:
On June 2nd, UROCK hosted it’s 2nd annual RockShow here in Los Angeles. This marked our biggest event to date with over a hundred people in attendance. Before I write any further… I realize it’s already the 25th of June and the RockShow was over 3 weeks ago… Apologies on the delay as I realize I should have wrote this blog at least a few days after the show but I literally left to Denver within hours of the show ending that day and have had a pretty crazy schedule since (I will be blogging about my Denver experience within the next few days.). But that’s still no excuse :p
Dear students, parents, siblings, friends, family, and pets,
In case you haven’t heard, UNIVERSITY of ROCK is throwing our FIRST EVER Summer RockCamp this summer. This is going to be a full week immersion in real life Guitar Hero and Rock Band! Parents have been asking us for YEARS about this… well first they asked about a concert program which we answered with our in-home mini concerts and full production RockShow- speaking about RockShow, we are currently prepping for our 2nd annual RockShow here in Los Angeles on June 2nd- you can get tickets HERE. And second, they wanted a summer music camp, but not just any summer music camp- a UNIVERSITY of ROCK ROCKSTAR Boot Camp!
We recently sponsored (along with Coldstone Creamery, California Pizza Kitchen, Toyota to name a few) a jogathon at McKinley Elementary School in b-e-a-utiful Santa Monica, CA. For those of you that don't know what a jogathon is- it's basically a bunch of kids running around a field with their parents raising money for their school.
I was invited recently to give an hour lecture to the business class at La Sierra University. Despite being rushed on time due to traffic (I learned that to get to Riverside from Los Angeles, I should leave at least 4 hours early next time- LA traffic can be crazy unpredictable!) the lecture overall went smooth and I had a ton of fun.
"How much should I practice every day?" "When will I be able to play a few songs?" "What kind of practice schedule/routine do you recommend?" "How do I get my kid to practice more?" "I just wanna get good already! What do I need to do??"
The key I've found to developing and really maximizing your learning process is to set aside and dedicate a certain amount of time each day to PRACTICING and then to keep at it on a daily basis.
Growing up as a teenager, I always wanted to be "cool".. to fit in, to impress girls.. impress my friends. I mean what teenager doesn't want those things? When I was 13, I asked myself, "What is the one thing I can start doing that will help me in all of these areas?", then it hit me, learn how to play the GUITAR and start a band.