q: When do bands meet, where and for how long?
a: Bands meet once a week here at HRA Studios from the first week of October until the last week of May. Bands that are 12 years and older meet for 2 hours, and bands 11 years and younger meet for an hour and a half. Bands meet usually between the hours of 4:00-8:00 after school, and Noon-4:00 on Saturdays. There is a week off for Christmas, and bands that have scheduled meetings on other holidays will have a makeup-session. We also have some satellite studios around Los Angeles that are used when HRA Studios is over booked. HRA is also looking to expand into the Pasadena area, so stay tuned.
q: How does HRA work, and what makes it different from other “Rock Schools”?
a: That’s easy: REAL BANDS that write, record, and perform their own music – forging their own creative identity while also learning how to deal with other people and the “world around you”. Hollywood Rock Academy is more a “School of Free Thought” than it is a “School of Rock”. What you have to say with your own music and art is more important than how well you play classic rock covers. In fact, we have also provided a class on Film Music Composition, as well as production and engineering at HRA Studios. Our bands stay together for an entire school year, and in a couple of cases, over three years. We are not a “camp” or a “school” so much as we are an original thought factory in the form of musical expression. Bands have two scheduled concerts – a February Mid Term Exam: and the June “Graduation Concert”, but always be prepared for surprises….
q: How do you put the bands together?
a: Very, very carefully. Each band is made up of kids that have a common thread of interest (but not too common…you want to keep in interesting) and are close in age. Then, everyone has to agree on a schedule (not always easy). Instruments are available at the studio, but we STRONGLY recommend on having your own, as practicing at home is very important. Also, the HRA infuse a sense of commitment, loyalty and personal responsibity, and it is expected of both students and their families to respect that oath.
q: What is the HRA Foundation?
a: By enrolling and putting your creativity to the test, you raise money at concerts and fundraisers for The HRA Foundation, a 501 ( c ) 3 Non-Profit that brings the HRA Studios After-School Program 100% free of charge into Title 1 Schools such as 59th Street and Walgrove. The kids at these schools are put into their own bands and given an instrument of their choice, again 100% free of charge. The Foundation also provides money for scholarships at the studio for students that cannot afford tuition. More info can be found at www.hrastudios.com/foundation
q: I am a mom/dad/supporter/fan and I want to be in a band too. Do you offer anything?
a: Yes! This summer, we started our “OLD SCHOOL” program, where musicians (or aspiring musicians) with Driver’s Licenses and day jobs were also put through the HRA machine. “OLD SCHOOL” jams meet once a week. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
q: What is the best way to support my child’s music education?
a: This is really a case-by-case matter, but really the answer is quiet support. Don’t “push” it too hard – these bands work only when the musicians want to do it for themselves, and not because of outside pressure. We HIGHLY recommend taking private lessons on your instrument, and absorbing different kinds of music. Also, check out some concerts every now and then.
q: What if we can’t start with Hollywood rock Academy until later?
a: No problem. HRA Studios is a lot like major League Baseball, meaning that we have trades, position changes, and rotations. Once a band has been around for a while, things stay the same – but to get to that point, you need to evolve with your environment. So, there is always room for new members in one of the bands, and we are always looking to start new bands from scratch.
q: Can i watch band practice?
a: Yes…but keep in mind that these kids are in that room expressing themselves and must be able to feel that they are in a “creative and safe” environment. Sometimes, kids tend to “clam up” around parents.. Melodious Coe’s does have the studio window, and when we are not using the engineering room, you can watch the magic happen.
q: if we miss a few weeks of class, do i still have to pay?
a: If you are going to be gone for MORE THAN TWO (2) consecutive weeks, please let us know ahead of time, and there shall be a pro-rating in that month’s tuition.
q: Where and when are the concerts?
a: We have held concerts at The Knitting Factory, Safari Sam’s, music festivals, school auditoriums, shopping centers, birthday parties, bar mitzvah’s, retirement parties, and well….everywhere. Hollywood Rock Academy concerts are held on weekend afternoons. Our older established bands will be playing some “stand alone” gigs this year, taking their independence and HRA’s musical integrity to that extra step.
q: What are all of those books and dVd’s on that shelf?
a: That is out little sociological experiment. Each of those items are now part of our “Rock Library” and are available for any student or parent to take home for one week, free of charge. HRA Founder and President Matt Wilczynski grew up in the middle of nowhere, and his only window to the world outside was through books and video, – plus the source of his trivia addiction. What’s that? You have some stuff you want to donate to the library? Great – let’s talk! If you have any more questions, then please let us know.
Thanks for checking us out!