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Achieve rock-star status at Redmond's new music academy
So you wanna be a rock star?
Dace’s Rock ‘N’ More Music Academy, a new music school in Redmond, may be the answer for you.
“We have a 100 percent guarantee on rock stardom,” Dace Anderson, founder and president of Rock ‘N’ More, said with a smile at his newest colorful location off of 152nd Avenue Northeast.
Rock ‘N’ More offers flexible, weekly private lessons in guitar, bass, drums, keyboard/piano, vocal and flute for anyone 8 years old and older. The music academy also provides instruction for aspiring bands who commit to a three-month program before playing their own gig at the highly attended Rock ‘N’ More Rockcitals.
Anderson schedules a live performance for all graduating bands and the music school’s next Rockcital is June 17 at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle.
“We do cater to every level, from beginner to people who really want to get out there and establish themselves,” said Anderson, a Redmond resident and owner of the same nonprofit music school in Maple Valley. “If you communicate what you want, we will do our best to help you reach your goal.”
Since its soft opening in February, the Redmond Rock ‘N’ More has about 30-40 students taking individual lessons and has yet to establish its first band program. Anderson said he hopes to have some bands from the Redmond location at the June 17 Rockcital.
The music school is currently seeking more teachers — and of course more potential rock stars.
A ribbon-cutting event will be held Friday, April 27 at 2 p.m. at the Redmond location at 8816 152nd Ave. N.E. An open house will follow during which residents can take a tour of the school and inquire about lessons.
A big focus of the Rock ‘N’ More is community outreach, Anderson said.
He said he is hoping to set up some gigs in Redmond and possibly have some bands perform at Redmond’s popular summer festival, Derby Days.
“It’s a win-win situation for everybody,” said Anderson, a Bellevue High School graduate who began playing the guitar at age 8. “The kids that come in here get to go out and play for people, friends and family and the community gets to see that kids are generally good.”
The music school is not just for the youthful rocker. Dace said his student ages range from 8 to 66 years old. Rock ‘N’ More creates customized lesson for students’ wants and needs from basic music language to writing and recording songs, Anderson said.
Peter Benjamin, a guitar teacher at the school, said besides notes and melodies, he teaches music vocabulary.
“I want to give students enough information so they can talk to other musicians about music in an educational and effective way,” said Benjamin.
That dialogue often leads to musical success for up-and-coming bands, according to Benjamin.
The music school encourages all of its students to be themselves and let their creative juices flow.
And Anderson leads by example.
“People are able to be themselves here and express themselves and not be judged for it,” Anderson said. “Part of my job is to exemplify that. It starts with me. The buck starts here.”
Anderson wore a kilt to his interview with the Reporter and recently he rocked an orange-colored hairdo. In addition, he and his girlfriend, Arielle Young, who is the nonprofit’s vice president, are mascots for the Rat City Roller Girls team, the Sockit Wenches.
“We basically are cheerleaders in wacky costumes,” said Anderson, who added that he and Young dress as “rockabilly mechanics” when they attend the competitions at Seattle Key Arena.
Both Anderson and Young are members of the rock band Sealth, which plans to record a new album this year, according to Anderson.
Young, a Bellevue College graduate, handles the scheduling and also does the design work for Rock ‘N’ More. She said the goal of the school is to promote local talent.
“If we weren’t around, our students might never get their music heard,” she said.
Anderson said one of the reasons he decided to expand his music school to Redmond was because he wanted to be closer to his son and daughter, who both attend Einstein Elementary School.
His son, 11-year-old Eric has played in bands for a couple years and has already played at Hard Rock Café. Anderson’s daughter, Olivia, 8, also dabbles in music.
Anderson also said the welcoming business culture and the family community feel attracted him to open up a new school in Redmond.
“The business owners here are really nice and we want to be involved in what families do around here,” he said.
For more information or to inquire about lessons, visit www.rocknmore.org or call (425) 413-2165.