Teaching Kids To Rock With Confidence

By Janee Law

jlaw@longislandergroup.com

Owner and General Manager of School of Rock Monica Rubin, with mascot Wally, said that if she could play one instrument, it would be the drums.   

Owner and General Manager of School of Rock Monica Rubin, with mascot Wally, said that if she could play one instrument, it would be the drums.   

On the first floor of the Huntington establishment is a student lounge, a practice room and rehearsal room with a drum set, keyboards, speakers and microphones set on a stage. When making your way up to the second floor, which consists of six different multi-use classrooms that feature several artists, you are greeted with the words printed on a glass room divider: “For Those About To Rock We Salute You.”

Many believe that the School of Rock was named after the popular 2003-film “School of Rock,” starring Jack Black. In fact, The School of Rock, which is a for-profit educational company, has been up and running since 1994, long before the movie. Locations are being opened worldwide, including Huntington. 

Monica Rubin, owner and general manager of both Huntington and Rockville Centre locations, said that the founder, Paul Green, started the program in Philadelphia when he took a group of kids that he was giving private lessons to and put them on stage, booked them gigs, and realized that “people go crazy over this.”

The company, formerly known as The Paul Green School of Rock Music, operates and franchises after-school music lesson schools at an international level.

After opening in Rockville Centre two years ago, Rubin decided to open a second in Huntington, with music lessons officially starting on Dec. 1.

“Huntington is awesome,” Rubin, of Queens, said. “There’s so much music, art and culture here. It felt like the right place for this program.”

New to the Huntington area, School of Rock offers lessons from guitar, vocals, bass, drums and piano, teaching students from 5 years old and up.

New to the Huntington area, School of Rock offers lessons from guitar, vocals, bass, drums and piano, teaching students from 5 years old and up.

The school offers lessons in guitar, vocals, bass, drums and piano, for students ages 5-7 (called rookies); ages 7-18 for the performance program; and 18 and up for adult lessons. The school also offers programs for students with special needs.

Rubin said that her son’s love for music inspired her to open her own location. 

“My son, Michael, was playing guitar when he was 9 years old and he was going to a local music school but he wanted to play with other kids that were like-minded and just as passionate about music,” she said.

After some research, Rubin discovered a School of Rock location that, at the time, was in Port Washington and signed him up. “My son felt at home because it was all about the music, it was all about the vibe,” she said. “This creates the clubhouse setting for musicians.”

With her son now 17, Rubin said that she and her husband, Gene, enjoyed the atmosphere of the school so much they started to look into opening their own location.

“It changed our lives but more importantly it changed Michael’s life because it gave him confidence,” she said. “One of the things that I always tell parents is that in life we’re always on stage and having the confidence to perform gives you a powerful tool for life. I really think that’s the difference for School of Rock, we see the performance aspect as a life lesson.” 

Rubin said that Huntington is currently open Monday-Thursday from 1 p.m.-9 p.m. and plans to added lessons on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

Those who sign up for classes before Dec. 31 will receive 10 percent off. The school will be hosting a grand opening Jan. 21, 2017, at the 145 East Main Street location with performances held by students.

“This is a safe environment that inspires kids to become the best versions of themselves,” Rubin said. “It gives them an opportunity to do what they love and it helps put them on stages, tour and perform just like professional bands.”