The concepts of students learning the fundamentals to perform live rock music was made famous by the Jack Black film School of Rock. But there is a real School of Rock, many of them across the country, and now there is one coming to Arnold.
The School of Rock franchise offers a variety of instruction and performance opportunities for students who are interested in performing rock music. Services run from lessons only, to learning the basics with an instructor as well as a group of similar level players, to performing in live shows at performance venues.
The Arnold school is run by co-owner Brandon Bartlett, a professional musician who has been teaching at the Baltimore School of Rock for four years. Many of the Broadneck area high school musicians who travel to the Baltimore school know Bartlett and plan to help out at the Arnold school as well.
Bartlett is a drummer, and worked in New York City professionally, including as an assistant to Nile Rodgers, the songwriter/producer of hits for stars like Madonna and David Bowie.
“I learned a lot about both sides of the music business,” said Bartlett. “It enables me to share not only performance tips but also information on making it in the business.”
Bartlett grew up in Anne Arundel County and lives here with his wife and two young daughters. After working at the Baltimore School of Rock and seeing the many students travel such a distance for the “SOR” experience, he decided to open his own franchise in the Annapolis/Arnold/Severna Park area. Bartlett hopes to pull interested music students from all over the county with the easy accessibility from Routes 2 and 50.
The new business will be housed in Arnold Station on Ritchie Highway, next to Essex Bank and a nail salon. Despite the loud level of noise that can come with rock music, Bartlett is confident the current construction work will be sufficient.
“We went into this researching sound engineering,” explained Bartlett. “We have double-enforced and insulated walls and ceilings.”
The business will begin offering summer camps as early as June 27, offering music instruction, group rehearsals and live performances.
“We may even have something like songwriting day,” said Bartlett about the unique summer learning opportunities.
Bartlett is eager to begin sharing the love of music with younger players. “It is really passing on the knowledge of not only becoming a player but becoming a performer,” he said. “Whether students want to focus on guitar, drums, keyboards, or voice, we will teach all levels not only how to play but also the nuts and bolts of a successful live performance.”
Editor's Note-We regret misspelling Niles Rodgers' last name in the first version of the article. This is the corrected version.