Rock School, giving students a chance to play in a band

17 years ago, local musician and music teacher, Scott Miller, began his quest to give students an outlet to play their instruments with other students.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Inspired by the movie ‘School of Rock’, Miller decided to create a place for students to jam out with other students in the form of a band.

Founder and coach of Rock School, Scott Miller, says, “The kids that come in you know … they really wouldn’t have a chance to do this in any other way, so it gives them an opportunity to meet new people, meet friends and it’s great to see the friendships kind of blossom after they get going.”

Seventeen years later the program is going strong, teaching the students not only about music but also how to be a good band member and the importance of practicing.

Miller says, “You do see the confidence comes up in them a lot you know, that’s the thing I like the most is to kind of see the light go on. You know, they get excited about it – they take ownership over it themselves … they got to name the band, they got to pick the songs they played and now they’re playing in front of a bunch of people, so it’s pretty transformation for them.”

Students who sign up for a session will be placed in a band, practice for months and put on a show in front of a live audience. The students will tell you that Rock School has benefited them in different ways, but one common factor is the relationships they have made.

Micah Baker, bass player, says, “It’s just been a really great experience so far. It’s super fun, you made a lot of new people and it’s just a great after school activity that you can do.”

Marina Martin, lead singer, says, “I like the learning experience. I’ve learned a lot and not just music and stuff, just more about friendships and how to, like, to be just a better person.”

Weston Rathbun, drummer, says, “Well it’s definitely got me more social. It’s just been fun and I think that it’s taught me more with learning songs that other people choose and not just the kind of things that I like.”

Liam Hanson, guitar players, says, “I like meeting a lot of new people. I like playing instruments with those people. You get to learn a lot about those new people, so it’s very social.”

The next semester of Rock School starts in January.

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