Michigan Rock School opened this month, wanting to break the mold of traditional music lessons. The founder is John Kozicki, a private guitar instructor and professional musician. Kozicki had recognized that many people in traditional one-on-one music lessons have experienced frustration with the learning process at some point. His goal with Michigan Rock School’s innovative programs is to provide students with a goal-oriented lesson experience that continues to encourage and inspire them.
His slogan at the school is, “Rehearse, rock out, repeat!”
The school offers performance-based lesson programs for children and adults, centered on band and group rehearsals as the cornerstone. Operating out of the new Suzanne Haskew Arts Center (The SHAC), Michigan Rock School is using the creative arts space to bring its equally creative music programs to the surrounding community.
Programs incorporate three elements into music lessons: live performance, group rehearsals, and private lessons. While each element is designed to support the others, Kozicki said that live performances motivate students and help set goals. Group rehearsals instill accountability and private lessons provide the knowledge and skills to set everything in motion.
“It’s unlikely that you would join a soccer team, practice every week, but never play a game. Why should music be any different?” said Kozicki. “Obviously, traditional lessons and practice are tremendously valuable to students, but the real enjoyment comes from applying what you’ve learned. Additionally, settings like band rehearsals and live performance provide new learning experiences that students otherwise wouldn’t have in traditional one-on-one lessons only.
While Michigan Rock School is new to Milford, it is not a new concept for Kozicki. Prior to moving his family back to Michigan in late 2013, he ran a similar music school in North Carolina for nearly five years. He grew up and took guitar lessons himself in downtown Milford as a teenager. He cut his teeth in the Detroit music scene during the 90s and early 2000s, and graduated with a business degree from Oakland University. In Michigan Rock School he sees himself coming full-circle, applying all of his experiences to help others in the community find enjoyment in music like he has.
Michigan Rock School programs run in three-month sessions in which groups rehearse weekly and perform a concert at the end of the session. The Summer Session begins in June and runs through the end of August. Summer Session is open to acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, and voice students, and groups are established by age and experience level. Lesson programs to also include drum set and keyboard/piano will launch in September.
— Staff writer Kathy Blake
This article originally ran the in Sunday, May 25, 2014 edition of The Oakland Press. Click here to view the original article.