Music has always been an important part of David Bodie’s life.
He began learning to play the drums at the age of 9 and would later have “jam sessions” with his father, a vocalist and guitarist, in the basement of their home.
Bodie joined a band in high school and eventually went on to tour internationally as a musician for several years. When he decided to settle down and have a family, a friend approached him with an interesting proposition. Would he like to teach music to young musicians at a School of Rock location in New Jersey?
“When I got the job, my friend was already looking into expanding. School of Rock is a franchise, so there’s room to grow,” Bodie said.
Even though Bodie was commuting from Saugerties to New Jersey several days a week, he fell in love with the job. Three years later, he opened his own location in Latham.
“From my own personal experience, I wasn’t able to join a band until I was much older, so for many kids, this type of learning is a great tool,” said Bodie.
School of Rock is a performance-based instruction program for young musicians. Each week, kids receive one 45-minute lesson on their instrument individually. They are then put into “Rock 101” for the younger kids or the performance program to learn how to play covers of some of rock music’s best, like AC/DC or Pink Floyd, in a weekly three-hour session.
Lessons are limited to instruments that would typically be found in a rock band like guitar, bass, keyboard and vocals.
The kids take three to four months to learn the music and rehearse in groups of about 20. Throughout the year, several “gigs” are then booked to show the students what it’s like to perform live in front of a crowd.
“Then they get to see the purpose of what and why they are learning, and they get that interaction with the audience,” said Bodie. “It builds confidence and gets kids up on stage after working on something for months.”
The school will have special guest performers, and the program offers camps during school breaks that last five to 10 days.
“There are a lot of music programs having to shut down, and this could help take the pressure off or strengthen music programs that already exist,” said Bodie.
The Albany business owner said he wishes he could have attended a similar program when he was a kid to help him be better prepared for performances later in life. Bodie said he’s seen the school help kids “come out of their shell” and the experiences last a lifetime.
School of Rock is located at 592 New Loudon Road. To learn more, visit albany.schoolofrock.com.
School of Rock is sponsoring the following upcoming events:
• Excerpts from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” at 1 p.m. March 1 and 2, at the Low Beat on Central Avenue
• Colonie Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Wolf’s 1-11, 5:30 p.m. March 3
• British Guitar Gods Workshop with Andrew Mirabile, 1-4 p.m. March 9
• New rehearsal season — The Beatles — begins March 10