School of Rock Opening Gowanus Location
GOWANUS — A school that teaches kids how to strum, hum, shred and jam is coming to Gowanus.
School of Rock, an international franchise with more than 100 locations in the U.S. and beyond, will open an outpost at 327 Douglass St. next month, the neighborhood blog Pardon Me For Asking first reported.
The grand opening is set for March 22, said franchise owner Mike Addesso, a professional drummer who trained at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Addesso has been a teacher for School of Rock since 2007.
"The program is so cool," Addesso said. "It teaches kids social skills, musicianship, how to perform on stage — there are just so many things that kids get out of it."
"It's awesome to be part of a network of music schools, and it’s really rewarding to put one in Park Slope and Gowanus for all the kids here."
School of Rock offers private lessons, workshops with titles such as Rock 101, and summer camps for kids ages 7 to 18. There are also programs for preschool age children and for adults. Students can learn guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards or drums.
The school emphasizes performance and students start the semester by picking a show organized around a theme such as The Beatles, Motown or Best of the '90s. Kids spend the semester rehearsing in groups and individually, then show off their skills during a live performance at real music venues.
Past School of Rock concerts have happened at CBGB and The Knitting Factory, and Addesso said his students could take the stage at venues such as The Bell House, BAM or the Barclays Center. The best School of Rock students nationwide can audition for an "all stars" program that sends kids touring to festivals such as Lollapalooza.
The new music academy is one of several family friendly venues headed to industrial Gowanus. The popular artisanal ice cream shop Ample Hills Creamery is opening a "2-story ice cream paradise" on Union and Nevins streets, and there are plans for a tennis center for kids and adults on Baltic Street off Third Avenue.
A craft brewery and restaurant is slated to open next door to the School of Rock at 333 Douglas St. later this year.