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I will admit it, I was skeptical. We have been to music classes around town, what could be so different about Bach to Rock? We spent an evening at Bach to Rock Gaithersburg to find out. What sets Bach to Rock apart is the longevity of the program. Musicians can begin their musical journey with Bach to Rock in preschool and continue on through high school. To be honest the early childhood music classes are not the most fun we have ever been to. They are less dance party and more music theory with fun. At the end of the day I can drag out a bin of instruments for my little ones to make noise with, or play an array of music for dancing and singing along, but I don’t know how to teach preschool music theory. Bach to Rock isn’t teaching children to enjoy music, they are teaching children to enjoy playing music!
We enjoyed the Rock City and Kids N Keys classes with our little ones. The Rock City class started off a little slow. It was right before dinner and my kids were tired. The teacher, Alexandra, was not as energetic as other teachers we met at Bach to Rock, but once she got out the instruments my kids perked up and by the end of the class we couldn’t pry them away from the drum kit.
My almost 5 year old was ecstatic to be learning the basics of piano in Kids N Keys. It was a hectic class with one teacher for 5 kids. To be fair, it was the first day in a new room with a new set-up so there were some kinks to figure out. Mr. James was patient, knowledgeable and kind which kept the piano students happily working on their skills. My daughter learned some basics about reading music and hand position in 45 minutes.
The private lessons at Bach to Rock were impressive. It is a well oiled machine. The musicians come in ready to work and the instructors were energetic, knowledgeable and passionate. While we were around, each lesson ended with a full progress report to the parents. The students in private lessons work towards playing music, but also writing music and performing at the Music Showcase. We met a 10 year old in private lessons who was writing and performing his own songs. Once students progress through private lessons they have opportunities to join Rock Band.
We also had the pleasure of sitting in on a Rock Band practice. My daughter was enthralled! Here is where going through the Bach to Rock program has really paid off. The whole concept of the Bach to Rock Rock Band is garage band meets school band. There were three musicians and a Rock Band coach, Tim. Tim acted as a lead guitarist, conductor and teacher throughout their jam session. These young musicians had only been playing together for about 3 months, but they played and worked together as if they had been together for years. They each clearly had a good solid musical training which allowed them to take direction easily. Rock Bands can perform at gigs they set up with help from Bach to Rock and also the Bachapalooza and Battle of the Bands.
Bach to Rock Gaithersburg offers classes weekdays from 10am-8pm and weekends from 10am-5pm. Early childhood classes range from $15-30 per week. Private lessons start at $42 per half hour. Rock Band starts at $35 per hour.
PROS: Kids learn music theory beginning as toddlers. Take music lessons at the same place from preschool through high school. Program offers natural progression of music instruction from individual to band. Instructors and coaches are talented musicians who are passionate about teaching. Access to instruments on site. Offers musicians access to a recording studio, help finding gigs and advice about musical goals/band direction. Facility is large and well maintained.
CONS: Early childhood classes vary with teachers. Group classes for young children may be busy depending on enrollment.
In exchange for my time and efforts in attending and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest events, I received complimentary classes at Bach to Rock. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.