About Rock School Scholarship Fund

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What is Rock School Scholarship Fund?


The Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF) is the first 501(c)3 non-profit which provides scholarship funds and instruments for children ages 7 to 17 years of age who want to attend ANY rock music school in the U.S.A. A rock music school teaches kids to play music by teaching them rock and roll, with a curriculum that includes Led Zeppelin, The Who, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, The Beatles, and Black Sabbath… the Classics!

The Rock School Scholarship Fund will provide 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, and not on “talent” per se. If a student wants to attend a rock school but his or her parents cannot afford full tuition, they may apply for a scholarship based on financial need. To be considered, the student will need to demonstrate to the RSSF that he or she is passionate about learning and playing rock music, and that they will practice and work hard, support their fellow musicians, and will be a contributing member of the student body. Beginners are welcome to apply!

One of the inspirations for the Rock School Scholarship Fund was El Sistema in Venezuela. Here is a brief 60 Minutes piece about the power of that amazing music education program.  We hope to one day be a “rock” version of that, in the US!   Why “rock”?  Because it’s cool, and fun – and it’s been proven that kids learn faster when it’s a combination of fun and work.

The Rock School Scholarship Fund will identify rock schools whose students may benefit from the scholarship money and instruments. Initially, the Fund will only include schools in the United States. Schools may apply to be added to the Fund’s approved school list.



The charity was founded by Wendy Winks and Carl Restivo, who formerly ran the School of Rock in Hollywood.   At $325 per month, that tuition was out of reach for many families, so the Rock School Scholarship Fund was created to help those kids rock!

Winks and Restivo left the School of Rock in November 2010, and are putting their passion for helping kids rock into building the charity into a nationwide program, eventually serving hundreds of schools and thousands of kids.



Some kids just need to rock!  Here’s a story from one parent:

“My son was enrolled in rock school as part of our strategy to help him overcome severe depression when he was 10 1/2 years old. We were looking for something that would make him feel special and allow him to regain confidence in himself, find a different social group, and in the process learn about music. He had shown aptitude and interest in guitar previously. Initially, his skill at playing rock had a very positive effect on him. Then it actually became a burden, when older kids spurned him and didn’t let him perform with them. The rock school changed all that with a great and positive atmosphere, wonderful teachers, and kids who all shared a common goal. (He) is a bit older now, he has overcome his earlier depression, and is just all around healthy.”

Your Donation Will Help Kids Rock!

“My son is 15 years old, and was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3 years old. The years that followed that devastating diagnosis have been spent on extensive Therapy Services, Nutrition, and Music. When he was 7, I realized that Music was just the outlet my son needed to help him maintain focus and learn responsibility.

He was so excited about learning music that he taught himself how to play the flute at age eight. He began composing his own music by the age of nine.  He became interested in the bass guitar at age twelve, but his new high school did not have a class or band that focused on that particular instrument. He was able to continue with paid outside lessons until I became unemployed and couldn’t afford them anymore. His grades soon began to reflect his lack of “Musical Therapy.”

The Burbank Music Academy rock program has been such a great experience for my son, and the scholarship came at just the right time. He has regained focus, and motivation to keep his grades up and now has a 3.6 GPA. He has also become more sociable and has met friends who play the guitar and share his same interests. My son’s dream of having a career in the Music Industry is achievable because of this wonderful program. Thank you RSSF for renewing my son’s zest for school, art and music….you ROCK!!!!”

–Parent of scholarship student at Burbank Music Academy


“The Rock School Scholarship Fund helped our 8 year-old son, Jesse, find a great creative and social outlet during a very difficult time.

About a year ago, our family fell upon hard economic times and we ended up living in a violent neighborhood. It was a  difficult adjustment for all of us, especially our son.

When we found out a rock music program was opening nearby we were overjoyed. Finally Jesse would be able to express his artistic abilities in a nurturing and creative atmosphere. The program offered group lessons and an in-house performance every week. Soon my son was playing full songs on guitar and his singing had improved. Seeing the children playing music together in that environment was truly a beautiful experience.

Unfortunately, the program came to an end because of a lack of funding and low enrollment. We desperately searched for an alternative and Jesse’s former teachers recommended the Rock School Scholarship Fund. Imagine how delighted we were to learn Jesse had been accepted!

Now my son is getting opportunities to play at major venues, attend meet and greets with rock stars, take private lessons, and even participate in studio recordings. Thank you RSSF, for this wonderful experience!”

– Parent of scholarship student at School of Rock, North Hollywood
“My beautiful daughter rips it up in the morning before school with “Crazy Train” (Ozzy).  I’ll be making my coffee and she is engaged in her guitar.  Quietly she plugs in, not to disturb anybody.  She feels calm and proud.  She loves it and it shows.  When company comes over, she can’t wait to share what she learned.  Her confidence has grown.  We recently received a drum set from a friend.  She just picked it up no problem.  My younger daughter is now starting piano.  My girls are not watching TV.  They may go on Youtube to find the lyrics to a song, or to figure out how a song goes, but that is it.  Grades have improved without a doubt.  We cannot thank this program enough.  The last few years have been hard on our family, and this has helped us all stay focused on what really matters.  “LOVE – MUSIC – ART.”
– Parent of a scholarship student at The Music Factory

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