School of Rock NYC teaches kids to rock at music, life

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Right here in New York City, there's a real-life School of Rock dedicated to teaching the ins and outs of rock and roll music to children.

It's on the Upper East Side, and it takes its name from the movie starring Jack Black that inspired Tony-nominated Broadway musical of the same name.

To be in the band on Broadway, a young musician must be among the very best. But your child doesn't have to be a young virtuoso to attend the School of Rock NYC.

Thirteen-year-old Zoe Mincheff and 15-year-old Kiara Carrion are students who are preparing for a live show featuring the music of Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses.

"You just really learn how to play guitar really awesome, and they give you the opportunity to play with a band," Carrion said. "And you just learn valuable lessons from it. That's really cool."

The curriculum is a mix of private lessons and group rehearsals that also serve to enhance self-esteem.

"When you're with other people and everyone's like, 'good job, good job,' you kind of compliment each other," Mincheff said. "And you see how other people are playing, and I think over time, you give yourself more credit."

Older kids mentor younger ones.

"When I began, I was playing very slowly," student Christopher Schellbach said. "But in the last eight months, I'm playing a little bit faster."

Schellbach's mom Jackie is one of the school's owners.

"There are different age students with different levels of ability," she said.

For example, a drummer who is just beginning might be working with an advanced guitarist. And the teachers are all working musicians, like Bob Jones.

"School of Rock is a place that teaches kids to rock onstage and in life," he said.

The young people range in age from 7 to 17, and the school is located at 439 East 75th Street. Students are in the final stages of preparation for concerts to be held downtown on June 11 and 12.

The school will also host summer sessions for young people interested in performing, song writing and recording.

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