Who can participate in Rock U.?
Rock U. is intended for English-speaking Paris-area students in grades 3-12 (CE2-terminale) who already play an instrument, although beginners are welcome. And we offer adult bands, too!
My child speaks some English but is not a native speaker. Will he/she be able to keep up in Rock U.?
Absolutely. Many of our students speak English as a second or even third language. Rock U. is a great way to practice English for non-Anglophone students, and all of our instructors speak French.
When and where will the sessions be held?
Rock U. practices take place at our studio space at 22 ave de Suffren in the 15th arrondisement of Paris, just 300 meters from the Eiffel Tower! Rock U. concert performances are free and open to the general public, and occur at music venues in Paris. Rock U. bands practice once per week for 90 minutes during each three-month session. Click the “Schedule and Fees” tab above for details.
How many participants are in Rock U. bands?
Rock 101 and Rock 202 bands for our youngest students have up to a maximum of 8-9 participants, depending on what instruments the students play. Teen (Advanced Rock 1 and 2, Junior Varsity, and Varsity) and adult bands have a maximum of 7 participants. Most youth bands are taught by one instructor and one studio assistant, while adult bands are taught by one instructor. These small group sizes ensure personal attention from the instructor and chances for each member to play the instruments and parts they want to try, while offering enough support from other musicians and instruments to make the music we want to make!
Which instruments are eligible?
The primary instruments in the Rock U. program are guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, ukulele, melodica, harmonica and percussion, but any instrument that can be played onstage in front of an audience has the potential to become part of the Rock U. ensemble. Past Rock U. bands have featured flute, trumpet, saxophone, violin, mandolin, kazoo, glockenspiel, and cello in addition to the instruments above.
My child sings but doesn’t play an instrument. Can he/she still participate?
Yes, we are happy to have some singers in the band! However, kids who ONLY sing may have fewer opportunities to participate than those who also play instruments. Interested beginners will have a chance to try out other instruments, at all age levels.
Will the Rockers learn how to play their instruments?
Rock U. is NOT meant as a substitute for music lessons, but works best as a supplement to other musical instruction. While the kids will certainly pick up some tips and tricks, the focus of the Rock U. experience will be in learning to play together as a band and putting on a live performance, not on individual technique.
What does it take to join the Rock U. audition-only groups?
Rock U. Junior Varsity and Varsity bands are reserved for experienced musicians who want to attempt more challenging material, and participation is by audition or approval of the Rock U. staff only. If your rocker isn’t yet advanced enough to join one of these groups, but progresses to that point during the year, we can usually find them an appropriate spot for the start of the next session.
Will participating in Rock U. interfere with my schoolwork?
We hear a lot from both students and parents that kids have a lot of work at school, and they’re worried that playing music at Rock U. will get in the way of that. Playing music is actually one of the best things you can do for your academic performance, especially when it’s done the Rock U. way! Studies show that kids who do musical extracurricular activities do better in school during those semesters, and feel happier and less stressed. Music is also a great aid for concentration and memory, and teaches kids to listen and communicate well. Rock U. students have gone on to universities such as Yale, Columbia, Brown, Williams, McGill, St. Andrews, the University of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Oxford, the London School of Economics, and Sciences-Po.