Twenty budding young guitarists joined us for Pasadena Public Library’s first ever SCHOOL OF ROCK!  Taking after the movie of the same name, we wanted to give a group of kids (ages 10-15) a rock and roll experience they’d never forget.  Professional jazz/rock/blues guitarist Kimberly (KC) Allison from Starliner Music performed a medley of famous rock riffs, demonstrated pedal effects including WAH WAH, ECHO and the FUZZ, and lead a mini jam session with talented library employees (and musicians) Derek Massengale and Larry Mudica.

Larry Mudica demonstrating “pedals” to a budding rocker!

It all began with a brief PowerPoint  overview of Rock and Roll including a history of rock going back to its roots in blues and jazz, a brief discussion of the instruments needed to form the basic “rock” band, a discussion of the 12-bar structure ALONG with an activity (see SLIDES below) and brief snippets of songs (played by Kimberly) covering music from the 1940s through the 2000s.

We also talked a bit about chords versus Tabs, discussed the differences between acoustic and electric guitars and had load of “loud” fun experimenting with “pedals”.  After the presentation, the kids split into groups of 3-4 and went to different “rock” stations.  Each station had a musician, an electric guitar, an amp and some basic chords and tabs tacked onto the wall.  Everyone got a chance to feel what it’s like to play an electric guitar.  Although most of our students had never even touched a guitar, there were a few who had been playing for a while and were able to manage the more complex chords and Tabs.

The COOLEST part of the program was the enthusiasm and interest shown by all.  So many newbies were inspired to learn to play.  This is the perfect time for them to start since the library will begin checking out guitars in little over a month!  The guitar check-outs are made possible by a STEAM grant the library received during Pasadena’s year of STEAM (science, technology, engineering & math).  Look out for some additional music programs in the near future!  We want to keep the momentum going!

  • Unrehearsed mini-jam session with Kimberly (KC) Allison, Derek Massengale and Larry Mudica.

Future ROCKERS at work…