A Different Kind of Music School

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Birth of Project Rock Salem

The beginnings of RiverCity Rock Star Academy

It began with numerous discussions about the tremendous musical talent in the Salem and surrounding areas, but there not being a place where teens could come together on a regular basis, learn from music professionals as a group, and play some great music together as a band.  Over time those conversations evolved into planning, developing, promoting and starting up a music training program that was educational, rewarding and fun. As a result, the first-ever RiverCity Rock Star Academy rehearsal commenced on February 3rd, 2015. 

On that date in early February 2015, we walked in to our temporary one-room ‘studio’ at the Reed Opera House not knowing if any students would actually show up for a brand new music program, with no established reputation. Who actually showed up was a group of 14 reserved, but curious and enthusiastic teenagers who didn’t know each other, and our three teachers eager to work with them. By the end of the first rehearsal, the students were playing the sounds of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Cream.  

Team

  Ronan Baker

Ronan Baker

  Jarred Venti

Jarred Venti

  David Aizuss

David Aizuss

  Doug Hoffman

Doug Hoffman

  Monica Pomares

Monica Pomares

  Juliene Soltwisch

Juliene Soltwisch

  Rebecca McDade

Rebecca McDade

 T odd Pease

Todd Pease

  Kaylee Bonatakis

Kaylee Bonatakis

  Topher Rodriguez

Topher Rodriguez

  Danielle Green

Danielle Green

  Hunter Winnen

Hunter Winnen

  Mark Green

Mark Green

  V - Rock Dog

V - Rock Dog

  Karen Green

Karen Green

  Abby King

Abby King

  Brian Hart

Brian Hart

Difference Makers

To make any dream happen it takes friends, partners, supporters, and experts of many talents. We would like to acknowledge those that have helped RiverCity become a vibrant part of our community. Support the efforts, contributions, ideas, businesses, that make Salem a special place.

Brian Hart (RiverCity Social Media Coordinator) Abby King (RiverCity Art Coordinator) The Space Concert Club  Salem Cinema  Loretta Miles  Aural Pleasure Audio  Stan Keightley CCTV Roth’s Statesman Journal  Carlee Wright  The Kitchen on Court Street Reed Opera House  Rebecca Courtney  Roger Yost  Nathan Levin Co.  Enlightened Theatrics & Historic Grand Theatre Benma Photography Steady State Studios Venti’s Cafe + Basement Bar ABC Music  Salem Weekly  Salem Blue  Fox Blue  Court Street Dairy  Best Little Roadhouse Cooke Stationery  Book Bin  Ranch Records  IKE Box  Boys & Girls Club of Salem Tim Knight Paul Gehler Creative Imprints  KMUZ Radio  TEDxSalem Fitts Seafoods  Gov Cup  Guitar Center - Keizer Station  Shotski’s Pizza  SK Teens  Sprague HS Oly Pageant West Salem HS Titan Spectator  South Salem HS Clypian Jim & Mandy Harrison Ovation Music Fund  &  the RiverCity Rock Star Academy Families!

 

RiverCity Music 

To date in all of our programs since February 2015 we have learned, practiced, and performed over 390 songs! 

Check us out on Spotify (rivercityrock), so you can listen to all of the songs we are working on, our teacher's bands, and what we are all listening to RiverCity. Follow us, and we will follow you back. Students will find all current set-lists for the season so they can listen and practice their songs. 

 

 

F.A.Q.s - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is this just a music lesson? What makes it different?

No, it is much more! Yes, you do get a weekly lesson with regard to your instrument of choice, but the rehearsal involves music theory, learning songs, music exercises, correct band equipment set-up/break-down, having fun playing music with others, plus so much more! Then you get to play a full set of songs with your band at a local venue for your family and friends.

Do you offer private lessons?

We do offer private lessons for guitar, drums, bass, vocals, ukulele, and piano/keys. Lessons are typically 30 minutes each week and are available Monday through Saturday.  Lessons are for kids, teens, and adults from beginners to advanced musicians.  Group lessons and longer lessons are available also. Sign up for a Free Trial Lesson!

How well do I need to know how to play an instrument and/or sing to be part of RiverCity Rock Star Academy (RRSA)?

Zero experience is needed! We have different programs suitable for first time beginners to advanced musicians. We get everyone playing a real song right away. 

Do I need to know how to read sheet music?

No, it's not required, but always helpful. We will teach you what you will need to know based on your skill level and experience. 

Do I need to have my own instrument for RRSA? 

No, it's not required to have your own instrument (we will have instruments available at the weekly rehearsals). 

I have an instrument, can I bring it to the rehearsal?

Absolutely!  Although we will have instruments available at the weekly rehearsals, it's always helpful to get comfortable with your own instrument(s) and have it available to practice at home in between rehearsal times.

What if I would like to play more than one instrument or also sing?

That's great! You'll have the opportunity to play multiple instruments and/or sing if you're interested. We encourage all of our students to play multiple instruments and sing. Our coveted Five Star Award goes to a student who plays 5 or more different instruments or sings in one show!

RRSA sounds great, but am I too young or too old for the program?

We have programs for Kids, Teens and Adults! For Kids and Teens ages 5 to 20 we have five different  programs to choose from Pop Rocks, Young Rockers, Legends of Rock, Rockers, & Royals. For adults  age 21+ we have our Renegade-Adult Rock Program.  

What is the cost of your programs?

Please contact us for the latest prices  on classes, private lessons and summer camp. We would be happy to provide this information and also offer you the best pricing. Please also visit our News and/or also social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest promotions.  

What do you get for the cost of tuition in your programs?

You get the most music instruction for your money in Salem!  Tuition for all of our programs (except for Pop Rocks) include weekly band rehearsal (ranging from 1.5 hours to 3 hours), a weekly private 30 minute lesson, and  two shows (a preview and season ending show). For Pop Rocks the program price includes class time and we offer weekly private 30 minute lessons for a substantial discount.  We also offer students that are involved in multiple programs special pricing at a significant discount. RiverCity Rock Star Academy offer special pricing on a regular basis and we always offer additional savings of 5% for our Family Plan (savings for each siblings or other family members), and for qualified referrals through our Join the Band program. In addition to weekly instruction from music professionals, students receive a RiverCity Rock Star Academy t-shirt and other benefits. We also offer easy payment plan or if you choose to pay in full for the season we will give you an additional 5% discount. To learn about program pricing and special offers it is best to contact us and we will give you the best deal possible on Salem's Rock School!

What is the Family Plan?

We offer a 5% discount to each family member enrolled in our programs.

What is the Join the Band referral program?

Save an additional 5% for each qualified friend you refer to the program and the student also receives a $25 gift card to their choice of Ranch Records, Gov Cup or ABC Music with the 'Join the Band’ referral program. Referrals for Private Music Lessons require 3 months of enrollment to receive 

How does billing work?

Our program is based on a 12 week season rehearsal schedule and you will be invoiced on the first of the month when the program begins minus any required deposit. Enrollees can now choose which pricing and payment option works best for them. Choose from one payment in full (for an additional 5% savings) or four monthly payments over the course of the season.  All discounts apply including 5% off each for sibling/family members enrolling during the same season and qualified referrals.  We bill electronically and you can pay with a credit card, Paypal, check and/or cash. To manage your account please visit our customer portal 

Do you offer scholarships and/or tuition reductions?

RiverCity participates in a number of programs that are able to provide scholarships and tuition assistance to qualified students. To find out more please schedule a visit or contact us.

Do I need to attend all 12 weeks of rehearsals or can I just drop in during a few of the sessions?

The program is set up for the full 12 weeks and it's important to attend each week - otherwise you're not learning and progressing at the same pace as your RRSA bandmates and the songs obviously won't sound right if for example, the drummer only shows up a few times.

How do we go about booking one of your bands for a show or a community event? 

Our program is all about performance and being a part of the Salem community. If you would like to arrange a performance please contact us and let us know details about your event. We ask for either a contribution to our scholarship fund or a reasonable fee to cover staff time. We are happy to talk and see if we can organize and accommodate as best we can. 

Why Salem? 

The Salem-Keizer area has an amazing music tradition, as well as excellent music programs . But Salem needs a place where kids, teens and adults  interested in music can come together, learn together and play together (in a live performance) and have some fun all at the same time!