Richland Source: 2014

There are some new rock and roll bands in town. And they are all made up of children under the age of 10 years.

Richland Academy of the Arts is training young children, through a program called Kidzrock, to play instruments for a rock and roll band. The curriculum was developed by a man from Missouri, Dave Simon, who has his own “Rock School.”

“He wrote about 15 to 20 songs that are kid-friendly. It’s a good outlet for kids to be exposed to it if they want,” said instructor Kelly Knowlton. She said the songs are easy for the children to learn because the music is color coded. “The curriculum makes it really easy for young students to just jump right in. It’s really gratifying for them,” said Knowlton.

The five-week program during the summer has the children playing a different instrument each week. The program is designed so that each child has the opportunity to sample an instrument for a week, and then move on to the next. They sample drums, electric guitar, and the keyboard. They also learn to sing.

“I like that they play different instruments so I know whether to pay for lessons or not,” said Sarah Wilson, mother of 6-year-old Logan.

Kidzrock is a new class that Richland Academy of the Arts has recently implemented. Knowlton, who has experience in teaching elementary general music, said they are the first school in Ohio to offer the class. Knowlton, the main Kidzrock instructor, recently joined the team at Richland Academy as a part-time music instructor.

“My little boy is shy, he doesn’t like to meet new people. The teacher just made it so easy for him to jump right in,” said Ashley Bass, mother of 6-year-old Aidan.

Knowlton is classically trained and has a background in jazz. She also leads worship at her church in Ashland.

The children’s last session was July 8. At the end of their session, they invited their parents in for a concert. The children were able to perform two songs that they had learned to sing and play instruments for.

The summer session has now ended, but there will be another Kidzrock class starting up in the fall. This session will be eight weeks long instead of five. To register, contact Richland Academy of the Arts at 419-522-8224 or visit their website.

Click HERE to read online

Mansfield News Journal

Fifteen young rockers, participants in Richland Academy’s KidzRock program, will perform live at the Richland Academy, 75 N. Walnut St., at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Over the course of 8 weeks, band members, ages four to seven, rotated on drums, electric guitar and keyboard to prepare to sing and play in their end-of-session concert. The concert is free and open to the public.

KidzRock is a music program developed by musician Dave Simon that teaches children as young as four how to play an instrument in the setting of a rock band. Children learn how to read color-coded standard music notation while playing on modified instruments for smaller sized hands. The program creates a unique experience by combining instruments, theory, singing and ensemble.

MMR Magazine

Music class for children

Fb-post-kids-singing-on-stageRock band programs for teens and pre-teens have been popping up all over the country ever since the release of the movie School of Rock in 2002.  Music studio owners are having great success with these popular programs, but are turning away customers that are too young for rock band and too old for parent-child classes. In 2010 St. Louis Missouri Rock School owner, Dave Simon, filled this education gap by creating an innovative rock band program called Kidzrock that allows kids as young as four to perform and sing in a real rock band.

The program uses modified instruments and a kid friendly curriculum of easy to play original rock songs. Simon launched the program with great success and impressive sales numbers.  In 2013 Mozingo Music in Ellisville, MO reached out to Simon to license this new brand type of music education. Kidzrock is currently licensed to 15 different music schools in 9 different states.  “Feedback has been very positive from our parents! Kidzrock allows their 4 to 7 year olds to express themselves creatively at an early age” said Mark Landon; President of Halpin Music Company and Kidzrock licensee in Alton, Illinois. “This program has been a wonderful addition to our business. If you are looking to boost your “presence” in your market area- not to mention creating a whole new generation of musicians- this program may be just what you are looking for!”

Simon is actually a third generation music business entrepreneur. His grandfather Bernard Kornblum founded the music wholesaler St. Louis Music in 1922 which was later taken over by Simon’s uncle Gene Kornblum. Dave Simon is gearing up to follow in his families footsteps. He is currently discussing a partnership with a guitar manufacturer to design a Kidzrock guitar so aspiring young rockers can have the Kidzrock experience at home.

visit to read online

You’re Never Too Young to Rock ‘n’ Roll

Music Education Licensing Program for ChildrenKidzrock is a music program that teaches children as young as 4 how to play an instrument in the setting of a performing rock band. By using modified instruments, original easy-to-play songs and a kid friendly notation system, Kidzrock brings the rock band experience to a whole new age group.  Music educator and Rock School owner, Dave Simon, devoted a year to developing an ensemble program for an age group that has few music education opportunities.   In 2010 he launched Kidzrock out of his music school in St. Louis and the program was an instant success . In 2013 Mozingo Music bought the first Kidzrock license and within 12 months Kidzrock was licensed to 12 different music schools in 7 different states.


Kidzrock Success Stories

“We launched Kidzrock this summer with 25 students enrolled. We were thrilled to see such immediate results! The kids and parents love the band experience. The educational plan and original music created by Dave Simon sets the framework for each student to experience best practices in music education while having fun, singing, playing several instruments and being a rock star! Kudos to Dave Simon!”

~ Marianne Cooper, Founder & Executive Director Richland Academy of the Arts
(Mansfield, OH)

“Kidzrock is a complete and comprehensive program with a full curriculum and specifically detailed activities throughout the eight weekly classes. Our instructors do not have to create material as they go through the course, yet can add their own stylistic nuances to give the program a “local” flavor”

~Mark Landon: President of Halpin Music Company
(Alton, Illinois)

Click HERE to read more success stories


Blog: Kidzrock Rocks the US

kidzrock-fbpostIn 2005 a friend and I discussed if we thought it was possible to teach young kids how to play music as a rock band.  6 and 7 year olds maybe; 4 and 5 year olds were for sure too young. The concept was never really explored until four years later when I was looking for a new way to expand Rock School. Focus the school of rock music on teenagers was obvious, but there was this entire population of children I wasn’t reaching. Rock music is great for its raw emotion and sometimes simple but driving rhythms and chords.  Maybe little kids could play it if it could be simplified even more and slowed down? Drummers could just play a simple hands-together patter, the keyboards could play labeled notes on the keyboard, but the guitars were a show stopper. How do you get little hands to manipulate the guitar? I had given guitar lessons to 5 year olds before but they could only reach a few strings.  I could only teach them simple melodies leaving more than half the guitar unplayable. Over time and through a lot of experimentation, I developed Kidzrock – a rock band program designed for kids ages 4-7.