There are plenty of places to learn the fundamentals of music in Chattanooga, but only one place can instruct you on the powers of rock ‘n’ roll.

Rock Skool Chattanooga will host an open house showcase Aug. 29 at their 71 White St. facility in Fort Oglethorpe. Instructors will offer free lessons beginning at 6 p.m., followed by a concert showcase at 7 p.m.

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Chattanoogans have seen graduates of Rock Skool perform at the annual Riverbend Festival for the past two years and at both the Hamilton County Fair and Chickamauga Down Home Days.

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With a roster of 50 between the ages 7 and 17, Rock Skool teaches students basic to advanced techniques, music theory, notation and complete songs from bands like AC/DC, Kiss and Bon Jovi. As they progress with their skills, students can work together as an ensemble for live performances in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion.

“Gene Simmons” performs for Rock Skool Chattanooga at the annual Riverbend Festival. (Photo: Contributed)

“We call it a rock school, but rock has everything in it you could want for music education,” said principal/instructor Mark Ferguson. “The cool thing about rock is that we can put people together and play from different genres … After three months of instruction, you’re ready for the stage.”

Ferguson has offered music instruction at various locations in Chattanooga for 25 years. He started Rock Skool after being inspired by the 2003 movie “School of Rock,” which follows the story of an unemployed guitarist (Jack Black) finding inspiration from music students after posing as a substitute elementary school teacher. Black’s character eventually teaches the students to unleash their inner rock ‘n’ roll beasts by performing at a local battle of the bands competition.

And it’s that mentality that spurs Ferguson and his students at the Rock Skool.

In the future, he hopes to continue growing the school to more than 100 students; he also has plans to move the physical location closer to Chattanooga. But that will require more students to sign up.

“We could take 100 students per month,” Ferguson said. “With school starting again, students are getting more interested in classes … I think any kid can learn rock ‘n’ roll. We’re just looking for a commitment of 15 to 20 minutes a day.”

Watch students from the Rock Skool perform.

But while the kids are definitely learning how to “rock,” they’re also learning valuable interpersonal and social skills such as teamwork, self-expression and a strong work ethic.

“The idea is that at the end you’ll get to play with some other kids, so you really can’t coast,” he said. “You have to work on it.”

Rock Skool classes start between $80 and $100 per month. The beginner students will receive one private 30-minute lesson per week, with intermediate and advanced students working with group instruction and live performance opportunities.

Click here for more information.

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