The walls of School of Rock Mansfield vibrated with the sounds of a teen-age rock band pounding out “Come Together” by the Beatles.
They weren’t really a band, just students learning their instruments who are brought together occasionally by instructors to test and hone their musical chops. Every student, no matter how green, gets the opportunity to jam, to be part of a team.
“If I played in front of someone, it would have to be in front of friends or my family,” said Yauncee Yeager, 14, a guitar player who has been taking lessons at the school the past month. “I’m not that shy anymore.”
Case in point, says the staff of the School of Rock, which opened quietly in mid-June then had a grand-opening Aug. 16. The program, like other music schools, teaches students to play instruments. But the School of Rock distinguishes itself with its faithful focus on rock music, mostly classic rock, and with its belief that getting all students into band scenarios builds self-confidence, responsibility and commitment.
When the students improve, their groups will play at real venues in front of live audiences.
“We think the best way to learn is by doing,” said Dean Tarpley, owner of the Mansfield franchise, his seventh School of Rock in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and 17th overall. “We believe it impacts social skills, the ability to interact with other kids. We think it makes them smarter.”