School of Rock Opens North Providence Location

School of Rock (SOR) has opened its doors at 1270 Mineral Spring Ave in North Providence. The Attleboro-based music school franchise is all about helping students develop their musical abilities and learn how to thrive as a member of a band.

SOR North Providence offers a collaborative learning experience complete with private lessons and rock performance classes for students of all ages. After a successful two-year run at the location in Attleboro, that SOR’s owner and general manager, Dave LaSalle, decided to branch out and open a new location in NP. “North Providence is a great town with a lot of schools and businesses focused on kids,” he said. “We found that North Providence needed a place for kids to rock.”

The school offers an alternative to traditional music lessons by embracing contemporary rock and pop music of all genres (including funk, soul, metal, country, reggae, hip-hop and r&b) with a focus on performance and guitar, drums, keyboards, bass and voice. The school also provides specialized lessons for other instruments, like the ukulele and saxophone. According to SOR’s website, it is of the belief that, “the stage is the ultimate teacher.”

Rock 101 and Rock 201 are the names of the most popular performance-class programs that SOR provides. They opened in NP earlier this week, so anyone who’s interested in other program and events should stay tuned to SOR’s social streams and newsletter. “In the future, we’ll have workshops, camps, open mics and other special events — all family-friendly, all ages and all focused on music performance education,” explained LaSalle. The Attleboro location has held several week-long summer day camps so far, each centering on one artist, including the Beatles.

SOR music director (for both locations), Chris Brunelle, is ready to rock at the NP location. “As a Rhode Island native, I am thrilled to be the music director of the first SOR in the state,” he said. “Providence is where I started playing in rock bands 20 years ago, so I can’t wait to get our performance program in full swing and bring our student ensembles to the stage.”

One person who is “very excited” about their new role of studio coordinator for NP is Jax Adele. “It gives me an opportunity to connect with the kids and families … It’s amazing that I will be there for the beginning of these little rock stars’ musical journeys,” Jax said. “I can’t wait until I see their progress unfold in front of me.”

“There is a wonderful feeling of belonging that occurs when children make music with other children,” said Kim Washington, SOR Attleboros’s studio coordinator and music instructor.  “Kids who might struggle to engage in activities with others because they are shy, have limited English ability or special needs, can, without restriction, participate when it comes to music activities.”

In terms of long-term goals, LaSalle explained, he hopes that SOR NP will work with 200 students during its first 18 months. This ambition stems from SOR management’s love of learning and helping young students grow. “I am an entrepreneur and love to start businesses,” he said. “I am also a musician. I spent many years mentoring high school students and really enjoyed helping kids find their way. Starting a SOR essentially puts all of these ingredients into one really cool project!”

In addition to checking them out online, the public is welcome to get to know the SOR at its grand opening on Saturday, April 7, from 1 to 4pm. The event will feature live music, facility tours, refreshments and the opportunity to meet the instructors and get a special enrollment rate. Guests are encouraged to RSVP on Facebook.

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