A Special Son


“My son was misdiagnosed as autistic at 2 1/2 years old. Instead, he had a rarely seen language disorder that looks like autism early on but is not. It was a looooong road trying to get to the bottom of it, but I did. My son is 17 soon, and School of Rock has everything to do with why he is a happy young man, flourishing in music, school and in life.” Continue reading

Charlottesville Teen Sits Center Stage at South African Festival

Courtesy of Carmen Day1It’s December 7, the height of the South African summer, and the excitement is palpable as the gates open at a warehouse-turned-music-venue in the popular tourist getaway of White River, Mpumalanga. Concertgoers gravitate to the largest of three stages at the Route 40 Music Festival, as the drummer of the newly formed band Cosmic River counts off into a multi-tempo, cello-driven rock song with unique Middle Eastern influences. At the center of the stage sits the song’s original composer, 14-year-old Charlottesville, VA native Carmen Day. Read more

Rock School Scholarship Fund Co-hosts Youth Songwriter Program

Rock School Scholarship Fund Partners With Carnegie Hall and Casterbridge Music Development Academy to Co-host Youth Songwriter Program

A Panel of VIP Judges Select Six young U.S. Musicians to Participate in South African Festival

The idea for the Youth Songwriter Program came to Rock School Scholarship (RSSF) Co-Founder and Executive Director Wendy Winks in 2012 after she was approached for advice by Paul Bruce-Brand, a founder of the Casterbridge Music Development Academy (CMDA) in White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Continue reading

Jackson Browne Helps Kids Rock at Troubadour Fundraiser for RSSF!

The Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF) hosted a fall 2013 fundraiser featuring special guest Jackson Browne. Playing to a capacity crowd on November 24 at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- and Songwriters Hall of Fame-inducted artist opened the evening with a short set accompanied by guitarist Val McCallum. Continue reading

ABC Talks About RSSF

November 23, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — You could help generate much-needed cash for your favorite charity, just by going to a concert or a sporting event. You could even help by seeing a Broadway play, but it depends on where you make your purchase.

These students get a kick out of “Rocking Out” at the real life “School of Rock” on the city’s Northwest Side. They get vocal training and learn to perform rock ‘n roll classics. Many of the students say the experience is unmatched. Read the full story

LA Daily News on Jackson Browne RSSF Concert

LA Daily News on Jackson Browne RSSF Concert Singer songwriter, Jackson Browne sings at Occupy Washington, DC at Freedom Plaza on December 5, 2011. Browne has been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. (Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

By Rob Lowman, Los Angeles Daily News

While some may think of him more as a folkie, don’t forget that Jackson Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. And on Sunday, the acclaimed singer-songwriter will be performing at West Hollywood’s Troubadour with School of Rock Students for the Rock School Scholarship Fund.

The students are from the West L.A. and Burbank branches of the school, which for 15 years has offered music education programs throughout the country. The scholarship fund, a public charity, provides tuition for children to attend any rock music school in the U.S.

Sunday’s concert will showcase current students, and Browne will be on hand to perform several songs.

The Nov. 24 show starts at 7 p.m. at The Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.

Limited VIP ticket, which includee early admission, balcony seating and reception, are $120. General admission is $60. Reception upgrades are an additional $80. Tickets are available at www.troubadour.com.

For details, contact Info@RockSchoolFund.org.

Newton North Student Wins National Songwriting Contest

A Newton North student musician will soon be taking his talents to an international stage.

As one of the winners of the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange Program Songwriter Search, North senior Sam Mayer will be performing in the first ever Route 40 Music Festival in South Africa, according to a recent article in Newton North’s student paper, The Newtonite.

sammayer-videoMayer submitted his original song, “Hey There Hurricane,” The Newtonite reported. In addition to his vocals, the song features Mayer on guitar and harmonica, and senior Alex Fabry on the keyboard.

View a video of Mayer’s performance on the Songwriter Search website.

While in South Africa, Mayer will have the opportunity to attend music workshops and collaborate with other young songwriters from the United States and South Africa. He will also perform as an opening act during the music festival.

According to The Newtonite, contest applicants were asked to submit a video of their original song along with a personal statement video. The first round of the competition was judged by a panel at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the second and final round was judged by a panel of celebrity judges.

Mayer was interested in entering the contest because Dave Matthews was one of the celebrity judges, The Newtonite reported.

Mayer was one of six winners chosen for the Songwriter Search competition, which was open to teens across the United States. The Route 40 Music Festival, which will be held at the Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre, will be held December 6-8.

RSSF Benefit Concert With Jackson Browne!


Rock School Scholarship Fund Hosts Benefit Concert With Special Guest Jackson Browne At The Troubadour On November 24th

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Rock School Scholarship Fund announces a benefit concert with special guest, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. The event will take place at legendary club, The Troubadour at 7:00 PM on Sunday, November 24th in West Hollywood and will benefit The Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF), a 501c3 public charity. Students from the School of Rock West LA and Burbank will perform, and for several songs will be joined by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. Limited VIP tickets, which include early admission, balcony seating and reception, will be available for $120 and general admission tickets are $60. All proceeds go to RSSF. Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 2 at 10 AM Pacific Time, and are available at: http://www.troubadour.com/event/407961

Jackson Browne

RSSF co-founders Wendy Winks and Carl Restivo created the Scholarship Fund in 2010. Years of working in private music education helped them realize how out of reach music lessons were for most families. The Rock School Scholarship Fund is the first non-profit that provides funds for kids to attend any rock music school in the U.S. The Fund provides instruments and scholarship funding to cover tuition expenses based on a student’s financial need combined with their desire to actively and passionately participate in a rock school program. Wendy Winks, Executive Director and Co-Founder of RSSF, envisions the day when they can “serve thousands of kids and hundreds of schools.” And in order to do that, RSSF continues to work with musicians, music companies and people who love music to raise funds for deserving kids in need.

“Jackson Browne is an inspiration to the students,” said co-founder Wendy Winks. “We are honored to have his support for this benefit concert.” Co-founder Carl Restivo adds, “The students from the School Of Rock are excited beyond belief! The show will include some of Jackson Browne’s greatest hits and a few surprise numbers as well. ”

Sponsors of the November 24 benefit concert at The Troubadour, include: Center Staging, Daisy Rock Guitars, Pivotal PR, 5DSpectrum, Schecter Guitars, and Utopia Entertainment.

Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Beyond his music, he is known for his advocacy on behalf of the environment, human rights, and arts education. He’s a co-founder of the groups Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), Nukefree.org, and the Success Through the Arts Foundation, which provides education opportunities for students in South Los Angeles.