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.

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