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Macomb Township home to Rock and Roll Prep School

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Forget what you know about learning to play instrument. While students in one Macomb Township school do have their own lockers, they also trade in their textbooks and pencils for guitars and drum sticks.

Welcome to the Rock and Roll Prep School.

"You have to work together," said 17-year-old bass player Marissa Nichols. "It's not like regular school where if you fail, just you fail. If you don't put in the time and effort, your entire group will fail to perform their song."

Students like Nichols are bonding over songs from The Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles -- but they aren't just listening, their also learning every guitar card, piano key and drum beat.

"I love the beats," said 12-year-old Eva. "It can be a challenge, but I love a challenge."

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This school is made for kids, teens, even toddlers -- anyone with the music bug -- who want to learn to play and be in a band. 

"There's no better way to learn what it takes to be a musician and be in a band then get with other kids and jam," said school founder Joe Leone.

The lessons are broken up by age group:

  • Ages 2 to 5: "Rock Tots"
  • First to fifth grade: "Rollers"
  • Middle school and high school: "Rockers"

Students can sign up for individual private lessons that are 45 minutes long, once a week. Or, they can register for a four-month semester where they learn to perform with a band. That includes their 45-minute private lesson along with a three-hour jam session with the band.

"They come in and they're shy and scared," said Meaghan DeGrave, director of operations. "Watching a kid get down to a guitar solo, own the stage or make new friends, is amazing and this is why we do what we do."

At the end of the semester, the students don't take a written test. The older students show off what they've learned on real stages at bars across metro Detroit.

"We've played at St. Andrews Hall, Stars and Stripes Festival,the Diesel Lounge and even charity events," Nichols said.

Rock and Roll Prep School

17917 Hall Road, Macomb Twp, MI.

586-846-3781

Rockandrollprepschool.com/

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