The Best Damm Music Center in the World

School of Rock provides a musical experience for musicians who take interest in performing live at venues around WIchita.

Sophia Sanders, Bullseye staff reporter

From the beat of the drums, the bounce of the bass, to the simple tunes of the ukulele, Damm Music Center on west Central Avenue offers a variety of music lessons and sale offerings to any person interested in picking up an instrument for the first time or a seasoned veteran.

Whether you don’t know a thing about music, or you know a whole book ton, Damm Music Center is a marvelous place to come and experience. One of their many programs includes School of Rock; an opportunity for kids ages 11-18 to learn several pieces of music on their instrument. This season, the options were to do covers from the Foo Fighters or AC/DC. 

Mona Bagai, guitar player in the Foo Fighters show, has been participating in School of Rock in total of five years.

“I got my first lessons at School of Rock so it was like the first step into what I want for my career,” Bagai said. 

Even though School of Rock has moved locations from Rock Road to Damm Music, the bond that was created between music and the kids hasn’t changed a bit.

“Even though this place is a little more cramped and is connected to a music store,” said Bagai. “I still like it better and School of Rock has made many friends for me.” 

Derby High student Brooke Parker, drummer and singer, has created many unique friendships at School of Rock that can easily last a life-time. The program has guided her passion for music, specifically drumming and singing vocals.

“I feel like School of Rock benefits me because I think it really helped me decide what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve just been playing drums for fun and then I went there and met so many cool people and had so many opportunities,” said Parker. “I got to play on stage and then I realized that this is really what I want to do. This is kind of what I want to take up as a career. Coming here is just basically furthering that for my life,” said Parker. 

While some have only been part of School of Rock for as short as a few weeks, some have been in it for more than seven years. 

Either way, it offers teaching for all learning levels in music and is an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle at school and work; at least that’s how one of the instructors there, Philip Bollig, would describe it.

“I think it gives kids a pretty creative outlet where they can express themselves and learn music and hang out with their friends away from sports and other extracurricular activities from their school,” said Bollig. “Most kids only have the option for athletics in and out of school or some kind of academic program.”

School of Rock is an additional musical outlet for non-traditional music students to step away from your typical band and orchestra classes and into a 21st-century sort of rhythm and beat.

“There’s band and there’s orchestra for kids but School of Rock gives kids a really cool, creative outlet with music that they can relate to, play instruments to, and hang out with their friends and have music bring all of them together,” said Bollig.