Music has always been a cornerstone in John Kozicki’s life.
“When I was about seven or eight years old my parents put me in piano lessons,” he said. “I hated piano lessons. I hated practicing, even though I loved music … Later in my teens I got my first guitar and my experience was the complete opposite. I looked forward to my lessons, practiced all week and went back ready to learn more.”
It’s that love of music that prompted Kozicki to open Michigan Rock School in Milford’s Suzanne Haskew Art Center, A.K.A. The SHAC.
Michigan Rock School, who opened its doors earlier last month, is a performance-based music school offering weekly private lessons, weekly band and group rehearsals, and regular live performances for students. Instruments taught include guitar, bass, drums, keyboard/piano and voice, with a primary focus on contemporary music like rock and pop.
Programs run in three-month sessions. Students that sign up will have a weekly group rehearsal and weekly private lesson. The session will conclude with an end of session concert.
“What I’ve found with students is if you give them a reason to practice and a reason to play, they’re more excited about it. With weekly group rehearsals they’re held accountable to the others in their group. There is also built-in peer support,” Kozicki said. “Throw in a concert at the end of the session and they’ve got something to work towards and feel proud once they reach that goal.”
Students will be grouped based on age and experience level. Levels include beginner/ intermediate and intermediate/ advanced groups. All adult groups are operated at the experienced level.
Registration is currently open for the summer session, which runs from June to the end of August. The session will focus on acoustic programs and are only open to acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar and voice students. Rock programs, which launch in September, will include electric guitar, drums and keyboard/piano.
A Passion for Music
Kozicki has always had a passion for music. He began taking piano lessons when he was a young child and later transitioned to guitar. He started his first band within a week of getting his first guitar.
He played in bands throughout high school and college, wrote music, recorded and released CDs and even toured. His experience includes playing with major and independent label acts.
For five years, Kozicki ran a music school in a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina called Music & Rock School.
“There were a lot of reasons I chose this path and decided to make my living teaching people how to rock,” he said. “I knew I wanted to open a music school that focused on performance, and by 2009 the timing was right to open Music & Rock School.”
In November, Kozicki, his wife and their two children moved back to Michigan, where they’re both originally from.
“I planned on opening a school at some point and Milford was definitely on my radar for possible locations,” he said. “I was presented with the opportunity to open in The SHAC and it seemed like a great fit and the pieces started falling into place.”
Coincidentally, Kozicki took guitar lessons in downtown Milford when he was a teen. “In a weird sense, I almost feel like Milford also chose me. I kind of view opening Michigan Rock School as me coming full-circle.” Registration is currently open for the summer session, which runs June through August. For additional information call John Kozicki at 248- 766-4220, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at michiganrockschool.com.
-Editor, Ali Amrstrong
This article originally ran in the Wednesday, June 4, 2014 edition of The Spinal Column. Click here to view the original article.