Should You Be Concerned That Your 4 Year-Old Isn’t in a Band Yet?

Are you a pushy parent who wants your child to overachieve quickly and often? Want to make the other yoga pants-wearing moms jealous? Then read on. This is from Pricenomics:

On 17th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District, sandwiched between an artisanal leather shop and a cavernous old police station, sits a building with this banner on the front:

Are you concerned that your child has yet to be in a cool band? We can help.

Welcome to Rock Band Land — Brian Gorman and Marcus Stoesz’s school for young rockers. “Young,” in this context means really young. When Gorman started the program, seven years ago, he was just working with preschoolers. Now he and Stoesz coach kids ages 4 to 12.

At many other rock ‘n’ roll schools for kids, the students are usually slightly older, and the focus is on learning to play classic rock covers like professional classic rock cover bands. At Rock Band Land students are lead through the process of original songwriting and musical collaboration. In the summer session Gorman, Stoesz and their band of students collaboratively write, record, and perform a new, original song every week.

That’s a rate of production that would make many adult rock bands balk. When Rock Band Land released its first full-length album last year, they had a lot of songs to choose from: 150 to be exact. Now there are 207. Many of those songs, written with children, are tremendously weird. The song the group wrote last week, “The Cockroach’s Revenge”, is about a vengeful cockroach (Jojohn Cockroachian) who turns people into sausages and sells them. It’s surprisingly catchy.

Keep going.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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