‘Rock out’ this summer with School of Rock in Northborough

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‘Rock out’ this summer with School of Rock in Northborough
Northborough School of Rock owner Michael Fraclose stands in a practice room. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

NORTHBOROUGH – Are you ready to rock?

Michael Fraclose has been involved with music since he was 10 years old, playing in an array of bands – including original touring rock bands, jazz ensembles and local cover bands – and also recording with various artists up and down the East Coast. Fraclose received a bachelor’s degree in music and an MBA in strategic leadership, and now he’s excited to spread his love of music to the broader community.

Fraclose is the proud owner of Northborough’s newest business, School of Rock, which aims to give everyone, regardless of age, the opportunity to “rock out.”

“There’s just a sense of joy and fun playing music. I’ve always tried to find a way to make music a part of my life. Then this opportunity came. I thought, ‘What better way to share music than teaching kids and adults how to play?’” Fraclose told the Community Advocate.

The location, which opened on May 6, features several practice spaces filled with modern equipment and instruments. Each room is named after a music festival, and the building has fresh decor, a spacious lobby, and funky murals that encapsulate the “rock vibe.” However, the centerpiece of the facility is the lounge, which recreates the iconic garage-band atmosphere, pull-down door included.

School of Rock is a performance-based music program where students receive individualized lessons focused on music technique and theory. Students are also placed into a band, allowing them to immediately become part of the action. Students “jam out” in the garage-like practice room, developing chemistry and rapport with their bandmates while building their own self-esteem, confidence and musicianship.

“I believe that students learn faster when they play with other students. They learn how to listen. In the band setting, we work on dynamics, performance, and stagecraft, such as how to hold a microphone. All those little things that you might not get if you’re just doing individual lessons. But they also get that musicianship in the individual lesson with the teacher. We use fun to teach music,” Fraclose said.

“We get loud. We make it feel like a live venue. We want them to have that experience of a real place – speakers, microphones, monitors to prepare them for the stage. That’s ultimately where you learn the best. You learn alongside others,” he added.

School of Rock focuses its teaching on the major elements of a rock-and-roll band: guitar, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards. The school’s philosophy is, “We don’t teach music to put on shows. We put on shows to teach music.” Eventually, Fraclose aims to bring the bands out into the community. Right now, he has plans to hold concerts in the fall and late winter for local residents.

School of Rock offers lessons for all ages. Younger students have an opportunity to participate in the specially-designed Little Wing Program and Rookies Program. Older students can rock out in the Performance Program or Rock 101, and there is also a vibrant Adult Program. The company’s passionate, trained staff are ready to help people reach their potential. Regardless of age, it’s never too late to get involved with music.

“The greatest thing about music is you can play it your entire life. I think sometimes we get overwhelmed with the idea of starting something, but here we try to make it inclusive for everybody, regardless of experience,” Fraclose said.

As a parent himself, Fraclose also emphasized School of Rock’s safety procedures. The facility is video-monitored and all the instructors are thoroughly background checked. In addition, the facility strictly protects students’ hearing, strongly encouraging ear-protection measures.

All in all, Fraclose hopes to foster an inclusive, positive environment for students of all ages and abilities. School of Rock hasn’t been open long, but he’s liking what he’s seeing so far.

“[The first day] was great. The parents were welcoming, the kids were awesome, and everything was positive. Everybody was excited. What I saw that day was exactly why I wanted to open this place: the community. It was awesome,” he said.

School of Rock is located at 10008 Shops Way (Northborough Crossing) in Northborough, but welcomes students from throughout Central Massachusetts. For more information, please visit https://www.schoolofrock.com/locations/northborough or call (508) 692-6003.

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