ROCK U. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Does ROCK U. replace TMC’s Showcase program?
A. Yes. ROCK U is an evolution of both TMC’s Showcase and Modern Music/Ste-Anne School of Performing Arts/River Park South Music’s rock band programs. We felt the changes and upgrades to the programs required a new name and rebranding.
Q. We’re in! How do I register?
A. Please electronically fill out the ROCK U registration form PDF, save it as a PDF and email it back to us. That’s all we require. No payments are necessary until you’ve been confirmed into the program, passed the audition (if required) and provided with a date to start. Payments are due on or before your first ROCK U. session.
Q. What days will ROCK U. be on?
A. While days & times are yet TBD (to be determined), our previous rock band programs have operated successfully weeknights (after 6pm) and Saturdays (10 - 5pm). Sundays remain a possibility as well.
Q. Why can’t I enter my availability on the registration form?
A. We base our ROCK U. programs on many factors: coaches availability, studio space availability, number of people interested in the program etc.
Q. We really want to do ROCK U. but have many extra-curricular activities on the go. Is it okay if we miss a few classes here and there?
A. ROCK U. requires regular, weekly attendance from everyone. If you suspect extra-curricular schedules might cause interruptions in regular attendance we ask that you join ROCK U. at a point in time when your schedule is less busy.
Q. My child would like to try playing in a band but has anxiety around performing. Is there a way he could just try it and not perform live?
A. Yes! We hear you! That’s exactly why we created “House Band”. It’s a 3 month session for ages 9 to adults. They rehearse. Learn fun songs. It’s 30 minutes a week and no performances. Only the coaches see them because any adults in the room watching becomes an “audience” to those students who don’t know them.
Q. My daughter really wants to sing and play keyboards. Can she do that?
A. Absolutely! On our ROCK U. registration form there is a spot to select your Main Instrument and Secondary Instrument. So maybe you’re a singing drummer, or a guitar player who also plays keyboards. We’ll try to accommodate all talents within a group.
Q. My son is really into Heavy Metal and doesn’t want to play Pop music. Can he just play the music he wants to?
A. Our goal is to provide students with the experience THEY want in ROCK U. That’s why we ask on our ROCK U. registration form to select your favourite genres. If he selects “Heavy Metal” he will be placed into a Heavy Metal group (if there are enough students who select Heavy Metal). We can’t guarantee every genre will be available because that’s always subject to who signs up, but genre choice is something we take very seriously.
Q. I have a child who’s not really into practicing their instrument but would probably like playing in a band. Does it make sense for them to try this?
A. Our House Band might be exactly what they’re after. Quite honestly, most students at some point or another go through motivational issues with practicing their instruments. Usually that’s because they see no real reason to do so, besides “going to lessons”. Without a goal or endgame in sight, learning an instrument can be a lot of work for no reward for them. Participating in a group raises the “I better practice or I’m going to look bad at band rehearsal” alarm and gives them an actual, tangible reason to pick up their instrument at home. It’s definitely worth a shot! Over the years we’ve seen many students with motivational practice issues change their tune (pun intended) once they got into a rock band program. Many are STILL playing today.
Q. If we do the 3 month House Band session and like it, can we continue in the program and do another 3 months?
A. We think that would be very possible but it all depends on the amount of people signed up for the next session. That’s something we’ll have to wait to provide a definitive answer to at this time.
Q. The 9 month session already started for a ROCK U. program. Can I still join after it started?
A. If the instrumentation that you are bringing is required in the ROCK U. program you want, then yes, you can be placed into that group. If there are enough students to start a new session of ANY ROCK U program and we have the available coaches and studio space, we would start an entirely new group.
Q. Why do students have to audition for certain programs?
A. Some ROCK U. programs are designed to be a little more intensive and will benefit students who already have regular practice regimes to keep their skills sharp. Our ROCK U. House Band is a great place to start for students who want to test the waters and see if playing in a band is fun and if it motivates them to practice more.
Q. What will be required for auditions?
A. Once your audition date is set, the student will be provided with level appropriate music (according to the genre they selected) to perform in their rehearsal one week in advance of the audition. The audition will be short (most likely approximately 10 minutes allowing for some talking), and only consist of the student and 2 ROCK U. coaches.
Q. Why is ROCK U A+ (Adults) and JAZZ U only 6 month sessions?
A. We thought March would be a great ending date for adults as spring tends to get much busier in adult life. That being said, if the A+ and JAZZ U groups want to continue for another session, we don’t see any reason to stop!
Q. What is JAZZ U.?
A. Students who are looking at post-secondary jazz or music programs in university might be very interested in this program. Many of our teachers/coaches at TMC are university jazz graduates or current/former students of these programs or have extensive experience playing Jazz and Blues. While we can’t guarantee your acceptance into university music programs, our JAZZ U. coaches and their experience will provide a window into the expectations of these courses. Or maybe you just want to play Jazz and Blues! Either way, it’s win win!
Q. Why do some programs require private lessons at TMC?
A. Our TMC teachers and coaches work together to prepare the students for success in the ROCK U. programs. We have found this partnership to be beneficial over the years. At age 15 + lessons are recommended at TMC, but are no longer required as long as the student is self-sufficient on their instrument and can learn the parts required for each rehearsal.
Q. My child is taking lessons elsewhere and loves their teacher but wants to participate in ROCK U. but it states TMC Lessons Required for his age group. Can we do ROCK U?
A. We very much prefer if the student is working in conjunction with a TMC teacher as in-house preparation for ROCK U. songs is easier to facilitate between coaches and teachers. In special cases if the outside teacher is willing to help the student prepare for their weekly ROCK U. program then we could consider it on a case by case basis. Proof of enrolment with another teacher would be required. If preparation with an outside teacher becomes an issue, we would then have to look at alternate arrangements.
Q. What are Jam Nights?
A. For certain ROCK U programs we will host jam nights where multiple groups get together and, well, just jam. They’ll get to network with other musicians, watch other groups, play with other people and generally just have fun! These jams will take place at TMC and possibly at other age-appropriate venues around town with an audience. Dates TBD. Jam nights are currently scheduled to occur once every 3 months. Jam nights are included in the program tuition fees.
Q. What are Specialized Clinics?
A. For certain ROCK U programs there will be special events where we bring in a musician or band to provide new and interesting perspectives on music. It could be a clinic on how to tune your drums, how to setup your guitar, what it takes to be studio musician or it could be special band performance with a Q&A etc. We encourage those students who are eligible to attend to do so. Dates and venue TBD. Clinics are included in the program tuition fees.
Q. What is In-House Recording?
A. In the past we have taken our Showcase bands to various recording studios around Winnipeg to record “live off the floor” versions of the songs they learned. They generally had between 45 min to an hour to record 2-4 songs. While recording in a professional recording studio was a great experience for them, they weren’t given the opportunity to learn much about the actual process of how bands are really recorded (playing to a click track, getting the drum track first, then adding the other instruments & vocals one by one etc). We wanted to show them how the actual process, get their hands dirty in DAWs (digital audio workstations such as Logic, Garageband etc), setting up mics for drums, guitars etc, with a little bit of mixing and mastering too. If it’s an original song they record we can even help them get it on Spotify, iTunes etc. The sky is the limit!
Q. How do you prepare the kids for stage?
A. In ROCK U. students will be rehearsing in their actual stage formations: guitarists, bassists and keyboards will be standing up, vocalists front and center, drummers at the back, with a heavy black backdrop behind them - and to make it even more realistic, eventually the lights go off, the stage lights come on and now the musicians have to navigate their parts in a realistic stage environment, with lights in their face, not being able to see every little thing - just like it really is. That's HOW we do it.
Q. What is stage presence?
A. Stage Presence is the art of looking like you belong on stage, while losing the self-consciousness and embracing the fact that you are where you should be. It takes a lot of practice to be “in the moment” enough to allow yourself to enjoy the time spent on stage. Musicians who say “How did I do? I was so nervous I can’t remember anything about being up there!” are not present enough “in the moment”. We want our students to be over-rehearsed so everything is second nature and they can enjoy the moment and be free to express that on stage. We understand and recognize that not everyone is going to be running around the stage like David Lee Roth or Angus Young, but we’ll do our best to make them comfortable by showing them some tried and true techniques to shake off the nerves.
Q. My son wants to play drums in a ROCK U band and guitar in another ROCK U band. Do we have to pay for two tuitions?
A. Yes. Two separate tuitions would be required.
Q. What is ROCK U. Fest?
A. ROCK U. Fest replaces TMC’s year end rock festival in 2023. It is a spring session that consists of 4, 30 minute group rehearsals and 1 concert. TMC Lessons are required which means the students will remain in their regular lessons with their teachers WHILE group rehearsals are taking place for that 4 weeks. This way, if the student requires help with their concert song, they’re still in regular lessons and if they don’t require much help, they can continue learning other things. March/April is the sign up time for ROCK U. Fest. ROCK U. Fest is for ages 8 and up. Younger students will have the option to perform in a recital or remain in lessons during this time. More info TBA in winter/spring.
Q. How do we withdraw from ROCK U.?
A. If there are any underlying issues related to the program withdraw request, please let us know before it does get to that point so we can look at a possible solution. We do require a 2 week notice period via email. Any tuition pre-paid in advance will then be refunded.