School of Rock to open first R.I. location in NP

School of Rock to open first R.I. location in NP

NORTH PROVIDENCE – School of Rock will open its first location in the Ocean State early this year, welcoming music enthusiasts to the plaza at 1270 Mineral Spring Ave.

Woonsocket native Dave LaSalle, who also owns and operates the music education company’s Attleboro, Mass., location, said he sees this new site as a great business opportunity, as well as a service to the community. As an entrepreneur with experience as an educator and professional musician, LaSalle describes his job as a perfect blend of his passions.

“Building a business, playing music, and working with kids, it’s really a perfect set of ingredients,” he told The Breeze.

School of Rock was originally established as the The Paul Green School of Rock Music in 2002, and serves as a for-profit educational company using a performance-based approach to music instruction. According to LaSalle, the company has more than 200 franchise locations in seven countries, offering services to more than 25,000 students.

LaSalle opened his Attleboro location about two years ago, and sees North Providence as a logical location for Rhode Island’s first School of Rock.

“North Providence is a great area with a lot of families, he said. “I feel that North Providence will be very well-served by what we do.”

The North Providence location is currently under construction and will sit in the rear of the plaza at 1270 Mineral Spring Avenue. The new facility will feature more than 3,600 square feet of practice and performance space and will be staffed by professional musicians providing instruction on several instruments, including guitar, bass drums, piano, and vocals. Similar to his Attleboro location, LaSalle expect the North Providence location will have the capacity for about 200 students.

In contrast to traditional music education, School of Rock offers a collaborative learning experience for both new and experienced musicians involving all elements of music performance.

“School of Rock is very different from traditional music lessons; we teach kids how to put on a show,” said LaSalle. “We are teaching kids not only how to play their instrument, but how to put on a show.”

“When kids are learning how to perform in a show, they are learning more than just guitar or drums,” he added. “They are going to learn stage presence, listening skills, band dynamics, and confidence building.”

While it is a for-profit venture, School of Rock occasionally offers music workshops to schools and community organizations. LaSalle also intends to develop a scholarship program for lower income families.

“We currently have a scholarship program with Attleboro schools, through the Rockability Foundation,” said LaSalle. “We expect to develop a similar program in North Providence.”

LaSalle encourages anyone in the area who may be interested in enrolling to stop by the Attleboro location and tour the facilities.

“The North Providence school, other than being a larger space, is going to be very similar in design to the Attleboro store,” said LaSalle.

“There are so many benefits to exposing kids to music, the arts, and sports at an early age,” he said. “It teaches life skills, such as team building, improvisation, and confidence building that our students can utilize for the rest of their lives.”

He added, “The stage is the ultimate teacher.” 
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