Jack’s Journal: The Rock Stop

Yes, this is a rock band. Yes, they are young, but everyone has to start somewhere!

In Traverse City there is The Rock Stop, a school of rock so to speak and the dean of rock and roll says learning as a band makes it more fun.

“It’s a fun way to learn. A lot of times we don’t have ensembles playing as part of the music experience. At least that was like me as a kid. I wanted to be in a rock band,” says Ben Davila, rock and roll teacher.

Yes there are individual lessons, but there is the performance side and he helps put it all together. Kids are a big part of what he does.

“I do do adults as well, some of the bands are family bands. Both of these, the West Side Horns and G3 and E, both have their fathers in the band, which is cool,” explains Ben.

The graduation is unique. The band books a venue and they put on a show, because that’s what rock bands do. One young rock star is the lead singer for her band, the West Side Horns. Ten-year-old Katy Haag says she’s learned a lot.

“Well, you have to be able to play with people. If one goes off and does an extra-long solo, you just have to go with it. You can’t just stop and say no, no, no that’s not how long it goes. But you have to keep going,” says Katy.

They practice, they play, and dad has to know in the band his lead singer daughter is in charge. Both these bands are booking shows around town, including events with the TC Film Festival.

It’s not unusual for kids to pretend, but these kids aren’t pretending, they are rocking!

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