Rock School is
8 weeks of rehearsal and a gig in public.
I start by asking each interested student what music they like,
how long they've been playing/singing, which instrument(s),
and what they've done before musically.
Then I form bands by grouping them based on these things. Most
of my students' bands are 2 guitars, a singer, drummer, and bassist,
but we've had a wide variety of other ensembles and instruments.
I've also had whole or partial bands sign up, families, and groups of friends.
I highly encourage friends to sign up with each other, I've found
that works very well.
I also ask everyone their availability, and schedule them for a 1 hour
group rehearsal each week at the same day and time (usually Sundays).
I'll often suggest the simplest song I can think of that everyone
might like so everyone can prep it and we can jam it the first day.
During one of the rehearsals we'll record a multi-track studio demo, and
we'll stay about 20 minutes late after one rehearsal to shoot promo photos
with a professional photographer.
We'll also pick songs and plan the show. The vast majority of the songs we
play are top 40 covers, typically rock, but we've done country, jazz, blues, and hip-hop
The shows are in public on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, at a pub
(the last few have been at Mullen's in Lisle or Total Sports in Naperville).
To Sign Up come into
and fill out a sign up sheet. The sheet will ask you:
- Availability on Sundays
- Musical tastes (Bands, eras, genres. Include likes and dislikes)
- A list of a handful of songs you'd like to do at the show
- Your age
- Your musical background: What instrument(s) you play,
how long you've been studying them, and what you've
done before (previous bands, gigs, etc.)
I will take this info, then 4 times a year I will sit down, schedule everything, and get back to people
with specific dates and rehearsal times. Signing up does not guarantee placement. Priority will be given
to people with the most open availability. Sign up must be done on paper in person.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Can we pick our own songs?
Q: Can we do Bohemian Rhapsody? Stairway to Heaven? Dream Theater?
A: Something that complex would probably
take the bulk of all of the rehearsals.
Each band does 2-5 songs for the show, and typically each song takes between 1-4 weeks to prep.
I do everything like that on a band-by-band basis.
Q: Is this song too offensive?
A: If everyone in the band (including me) feels OK about doing it in front of their friends and family, no.
Questions? Contact me via email:
All photography on this page by Matthew Hughes.
Thanks for reading!
- Mike Bibby