Sure, it’s great to learn about Beethoven and Mozart in school — but how about some Led Zeppelin? Jimi Hendrix? The Beatles?
Kids and adults of all ages will be able to channel their inner rock star at a new spot in Patchogue: The Rock Underground. Owner Kyle Fitzpatrick of Patchogue and partner Pete Conner, a cofounder of Blue Point Brewing Co., are getting ready to open a music school where people can learn to play or enhance their skills, using some of music’s legends as a guide.
Fitzpatrick is a Sayville native who has played in Patchogue for over 10 years. His band, Funkin’ A, has played all over the Island, including at Patchogue’s own Great South Bay Music Festival. He got a music degree from Five Towns College and after years of working at School of Rock, decided to open his own space. He’s always wanted to open his own school, and friends and family agreed that he should.
The Rock Underground will provide lessons in rock, jazz, blues and classical music to kids and adults and allow them to perform the skills they learn. To start, there will be two shows: one honoring the classic rock legends and one as a tribute to modern rockers. In addition to classic rock instruments like guitar, drums and bass, Fitzpatrick will have classes and programs for blues and jazz musicians who play horns, and a glee club for singers. He also plans to bring these genres together to allow for unique performances.
“Everyone will be able to play with each other,” he said.
In addition to instrumental lessons, students can come in to take songwriting lessons or coaching, host recording sessions and get guidance from professionals. Artists who are starting out or want help can use the services as well. Students enrolled in the various programs will also be able to use the spot as a hangout; there will be a lounge with couches and a couple of arcade games, and spaces to work on music independently. Fitzpatrick said it gives kids a spot to “become something” they want to be.
The Rock Underground will start with a roster of six teachers, each with experience as musicians. Teachers will be matched with students based on their goals. Students will be able to learn by listening and mimicking rock musicians, and Fitzpatrick said ear training (the ability to hear a piece of music and play based on sound) would be an important aspect.
The space will open within the next few weeks. You can schedule a free 30-minute trial lesson before committing to a program. Full information on programs offered is available on the website: www.rockundergroundmusic.com/patchogue. Continue to check the site for the most up-to-date schedule.