OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) — With so many businesses struggling to stay afloat, a music school in Oak Park is completely changing its game plan to virtual lessons.
As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported Tuesday morning, it is all to keep their instructors employed and their students learning.
Rock and roll music is just fine any old way you choose it and any old time you use it, as the late Chuck Berry put it – but it might be better in person. However, that’s not an option at times like these.
So Oak Park’s School of Rock, 219 Lake St., is changing the tempo.
“The first thing I thought about is how can we keep this going for our students,” said Adam Instefjord, the operations director and a guitar teacher with the music school. “I play in a couple bands as do all our teachers, and that income has come to a halt. So relying on this teaching income has been huge.”
School of Rock’s corporate office helped the Oak Park team quickly pivot from giving lessons at the Lake Street spot to beaming from their own music rooms at home.
That means all 35 Oak Park employees are still working, and the students are still learning via Zoom – whether it’s one-on-one or larger group sessions.
“it makes me feel really, happy because I get to at least see my friends and other people instead of just not seeing them at all,” said one young music student.
School of Rock usually gets students ready for live concerts where they show off their progress together – something 17-year-old Vinny Micucci was looking forward to.
But now, the students will be recording a quarantine album of sorts – in which they will all record their parts separately and then combine them.
“That’s a physical thing to kind of remember these super strange times, which will stick with us either way,” Micucci said.
They plan to put out the album on an old-fashioned vinyl record so they can spin it for years to come. And that’s an idea that just about any musician would love – even McNicholas himself, who ditched the sticks to become a news reporter.
The owner of the Oak Park School of Rock said they might even teach via Zoom when this is all over. It could be a useful tool if a student can’t make it.