I played my last gig with Los Rios Rock School at the Coach House on January 27th.  I spent 2 years there, played with some very talented musicians, and made great friends for life.  But, it’s time for new challenges, and some very exciting projects ahead! I just posted an “Iso-Drum Cam” video of one of our songs from the last show on this web site, and on YouTube.  I hope you check it out!

Somebody asked me recently about my time spent playing drum set in various performance groups at both the ‘School of Rock’ (age 10-12), and at ‘Los Rios Rock School’ (age 12-14).  They were curious if I felt it was worth the 4 years I spent playing drums there?  I can say from my experience, it was really great.  I began formal drum lessons at age 6.  So, by the time I was 10 years old, I was ready to play live with a band in front of an audience, and the ‘School of Rock’ was a great starting point to live performance for me.  Later at Los Rios Rock School, it was really much more fun for me because unlike the previously mentioned school, they placed me (and other musicians) with same-level, or close to same-level talent. So, the quality of our live shows at Los Rios were much better.  I mean, we were rocking people’s minds!

I wrote about the positive things in my experience at “rock schools.” Now let me tell you about the problem…  In my personal opinion, when you reach a certain skill level as a musician and live performer, and you have any band name with the word “School” attached to your live shows, people just won’t take you seriously, no matter how great you play.  There comes a time, when you literally outgrow that scene, and you no longer want to hear, “hey, you play great for a kid.” 

So, in my personal opinion, if you have the talent and performance skills and stay too long, and outgrow any “rock school,”  you will never really be taken seriously as a musician.  And, personally I wanted to get to the point where people recognized me as a drummer and a real, working musician. And not just a young, music student that rocks a live show, and then hears, “hey, you play great for a kid.”

I hope that my sharing this story will help some of the younger performers out there.  Have fun, and enjoy making music! – Thomas