Rock School Rolls into APL

Rock rock till you drop at Albany Public Library’s new Rock School. This free program for teens and adults is a six-week exploration of the different parts of playing in a band, taught by professional musicians from the Capital Region.

The Rock School sessions are scheduled for Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19, Dec. 3, Dec. 10, and Dec. 17. These free classes take place on Monday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the large auditorium of the Main Library at 161 Washington Avenue. Each session includes instruction and playing time. The classes are designed for teens and adults. No experience is necessary; the only requirement is a desire to rock.

“A number of employees at Albany Public Library are also musicians who perform in bands and as solo acts. With Rock School, we are partnering with other professional musicians to share our knowledge with the next generation of rockers,” said Sarah Clark, the library’s head of readers’ services and a bassist who performs with several bands, including Charmboy. “Being in a band is a great outlet for musical talent and creativity. We hope that Rock School will encourage people to pick up a guitar, write a song, or perform live.”

For more information about Albany Public Library’s Rock School, call 427-4349.

As a special bonus, local singer-songwriter Matt Durfee performs acoustic sets prior to each Rock School session. “Blues Mondays with Matt Durfee” are scheduled for Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19, Dec. 3, Dec. 10, and Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Main Library. These performances are free and open to everyone.

The ROCK SCHOOL sessions scheduled at the Main Library are:

Guitar 101: Turn On, Tune Up, and Rock Out – Nov. 5

Try out a variety of acoustic and electric instruments, get tips on what to consider when buying, and learn basic playing. Bring a guitar (or other stringed instrument) if you have one; some will be provided. Your teachers for this session are Ben Himmelfarb and Tor Loney (of Tor & the Fjords).

Voice 101: Find Your Voice – Nov. 12

Work with a professional voice teacher to learn training, exercises, and theory. Whether you’re already a singer or want to be one, this workshop helps you find your voice. Kelly Bird, a professional singer who also teaches at the College of St. Rose, is leading this session.

Songwriting 101: Make a Song – Nov. 19

Work with an experienced songwriter who discusses his process and offers suggestions and techniques to help you with yours. If you have never written a song before, or are looking to improve your writing, this workshop is for you. Singer-songwriter Mitch Elrod (of Mitch Elrod’s Swim Team, Spellhounds, and CountrySoulHouse) teaches this class.

Improvisation 101: Go with Your Gut – Dec. 3

Learn the art of improvisation from a professional jazz musician. We explore theory, phrasing, technique, active listening, and more. All skill and experience levels are welcome. Saxophonist, composer, and educator Keith Pray shares his knowledge in this session.

Rhythm 101: We’ve Got the Beat – Dec. 10

Work with a professional drummer to learn the nuts and bolts of percussion, from the elements of a kit to constructing and holding a beat. This is a workshop for all levels of skill and experience, from pencil tappers to experts. Drummer Scott Smith (of Charmboy, the Philo Beddoe Band, and The Fjords) leads this session.

Band 101: All Together Now – Dec. 17

Come apply what you’ve learned in the previous weeks. Enjoy this opportunity to perform solo or back up, be supported by other musicians, or simply jam together. This is an open session where everyone gets a chance to play.


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