Music school is changing the world, one Rockstar at a time – Cross Timbers Gazette | Denton County South | mound of flowers
By Brooke Wright, Contributing Author
It’s August in Flower Mound, the air is hot and heavy. My kids woke up at dawn again, so I’m sipping my second cup of London Fog. I can’t help but smile as I look up from the score to Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to be Mine” to see 15-year-old Addison crouched on the floor, one hand bracing herself not to fall, the another covering the huge smile on his face. I leaned back, “What thoughts are you thinking?” I ask, my hand unconsciously smoothing the top of my Mohawk half braid from the TikTok tutorial that has become a work staple.
“I can’t believe I just did that!” she exclaimed, “I didn’t know I could sing like that.” She buried her face in her hands, feeling the release of emotions building up as she got into the microphone.
“Are you kidding? Of course you can, you’re amazing!” I said rubbing my hand back and forth to calm the erect hairs on my forearm. goosebumps! That’s what it takes to be a true artist, taking an emotion and channeling it through music. Best of all, you evoked the exact same emotion in me by implementing more passion through your dynamic.
I rise, wearing my music director uniform – the eclectic collection of items bought to expose my inner rockstar status, flowy tops with criss-cross straps, distressed jeans, funky accessories, blingy tennis shoes and I leans into my embrace as she throws herself on top of me. “I’m so proud of you Addie, it’s huge…you finally found your voice.”
At our Bach to Rock, the recently reopened American music school, our goal is to teach children how to be a voice, not an echo. More than that, we want our students to embrace their own individual power. Most present themselves as thermometers, only capable of taking a reading and relaying the information. Using B2R principles, we teach them how to develop their thermostat ability, effectively changing the temperature of any room. Our program empowers students to find their voice, giving them choices and celebrating when they are brave enough to share their opinion.
Once the foundation is laid, our goal is to show them how to respect the ideas of others through our group classes: Rock Band, Glee Club and Guitar 101, where collaborative ideas lead to inspiring music. Groups are usually made up of four to six players and a singer and are placed according to their age and ability.
Belonging to a group at B2R supports the necessary growth of teamwork and positive social interaction that has been sorely needed as our community struggles with the aftermath of isolation in a post-pandemic world.
In my experience working with older children who are victims of environmental trauma, I have seen incredible healing through music. Achieving mutual goals during the band builds self-esteem, and frequent performance opportunities bring recognition from peers and encourage healthy competition, resulting in a strong sense of personal accomplishment.
We teach children to respect and learn from all types of music, even if it’s not our usual preference or taste. Top 40, classical, hip-hop, blues, country, gospel, jazz, a cappella, bluegrass, electronic and original music all have value, and they all belong at B2R.
As students learn to appreciate the musical tastes and preferences of others, we encourage them to become an expert at something, whether it’s choreography, lyrics, or even making sure the Everyone’s earplugs are in place before playing at full volume. This inclusive teaching method encourages people to look deeper to find value in their peers, which creates a safe place for friendships to form.
Bach to Rock Flower Mound just reopened in mid-June, but our staff are already making a lasting impact in the greater Flower Mound community. As we champion inclusivity, we have raised funds and reduced our services to provide scholarships to adoptive children and other families who would not normally have the funds or access to a spot at our Rock Band Camps. . B2R FloMo donated services to support local back-to-school events and PTA community fairs. Our Early Years courses are inclusive as we celebrate and embrace the abilities of neurotypical and neurodivergent students. Half of our staff are working towards their music therapy degree, giving them even more tools to pull from their musical tool belt as they lead EC classes: Rock City, Rock N Roll and Kids ‘N Keys.
As Addison and I leave the classroom, I’m warmly greeted by the energetic administrator seated at the front desk and as soon as my hands are empty, I turn to the tweens and their parents waiting in the lobby, greeting each by name with their own special handshake, punch or hug. It’s officially Rock Band time. My future rock stars line up, eager to enter the stage hall, the highlight of the whole school for their hour-long lesson. Inside, the spotlights are on and the stage is lit up as each student eagerly jumps onto the stage and grabs the instrument of their choice. The air is filled with a joyful cacophony of sound as bass and guitar are plugged into their amps to tune and the keyboard fills the air with the original song written the night before. The thresher adjusts her throne to the perfect height, stomps the kick and the hi-hat until all is well. I smile at the volume as I close the door behind me and make sure my custom earplugs are pushed in all the way. It’s a good day for making music. It’s a good day to heal.
Bach to Rock is located in the Highlands Ranch Shopping Center at FM 2499 and Dixon Lane in Flower Mound. If you would like more information on registration, a VIP tour of our amazing facility, or to help change the trajectory of a student’s life by providing collaborative scholarships to future Rock Band Camp students, please contact [email protected]214-396-8666, or visit our website at flowermound.bachtorock.com.