Cleveland-area School of Rock locations do more than teach you to play an instrument

Guest musicians instruct students

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - With close to 100 franchises spread across North America, the School of Rock must be doing something right. And it looks like their numbers will continue to grow.

"Paul Green was the founder. He realized the school needed to be performance based in order to succeed," said Tommy Rich, music director of three Cleveland-area School of Rock locations.

Rich is more than familiar with the music business. He played with Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, American Noise and many other Cleveland bands.

Rich pointed out that students can learn so much more by playing together. While there is one-on-one instruction, the goal is to eventually get students to perform together as a band.

The teachers are very important too.

"We don't have teachers that occasionally do a gig. We have guys and gals that are out there in bands, creating and recording music. Those are the best teachers," Rich said.

Every now and then, a guest instructor makes the rounds at the School of Rock. Recently, guitarist Earl Slick stopped by the Strongsville school.

Slick recorded with John Lennon on his Double Fantasy recording. He also recorded with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Slick even toured with David Bowie.

"I like playing with the kids and I love seeing the look on their face when they actually do a good performance. They're all proud of themselves," Slick said.

"It's really cool and special to have people like Earl Slick and have them talk to you," said School of Rock student Quinn Hyland.

In northeast Ohio, the School Of Rock is located in Strongsville, Rocky River and Highland Heights.

Official Earl Slick guitar straps can be found at

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