“It’s never too early. It’s never too late.” says Steve Pagano, founder of Rockstar Music Academy in Lincoln. “All you have to do is get started.”
Steve, a bass player and former touring musician, started the academy out of frustration in finding music instructions for his son. After trying several area music-schools, his son gave up learning the drums after three months. “It didn’t matter where we went, it was all the same thing, you walked into an empty room, it was like an escape room, and a door would open.” Steve explains. “They never built on any curriculum.”
You feel like a rockstar the moment you step through the door. A full stage setup, complete with lighting and a video wall, dominates the front lobby. A wall of guitars leads to a hallway covered in photographs and memorabilia. A studio with dual drums sets invites you to try your hand at nailing that drum-line from In The Air Tonight, while down the hall you hear a vocalist belting out some David Bowie.
One thing that sets Rockstar Music Academy apart is that they hired professional, working musicians as instructors. “Every single one of my instructors has a huge background” says Steve, “and that really makes a difference because they’re super passionate about what they do.”
While they do teach every instrument you’d see up on the stage, they also offer classes in musical theater, acting and even stand-up comedy. For those who prefer to avoid the limelight, they also teach video and audio production.
Rockstar has several ways to beat the Summertime Blues. They offer 22 different summer day camps for children, including four musical theater productions. They just wrapped up their adaptation of Mama Mia, with versions of Frozen, School of Rock and Moana in the works.
Working with the local school systems has led to one of their most ambitious projects yet: The Rockstar Youth Symphony Orchestra. “The schools have programs. But once school ends, that’s over. Once Summer rolls around, that’s over.” “So Youth Symphony Orchestra is one of the things that we’re working closely with all of the schools. It’s a great way for them to say ‘You should go and audition for this.’” Their first performance will be this December, with a Trans-Siberian Orchestra style Christmas show.
You don’t have to be a kid to take lessons. Rockstar Music Academy is open to students of all ages. “Our youngest student is 5 and our oldest is 86.” Indeed, some of their drop-in classes feature wine and beer tastings from area producers.
One fun aspect of the academy is their Rockstar Rides events, on the third Saturday of every month, from 8 to 10am. This ‘cars and coffee’ event features some classic and exotic vehicles, as well as some high-octane java to start your weekend right.
Rockstar Music Academy is located at 801 Sterling Parkway in Lincoln. Their phone number is (916) 409-2166, and their website is http://therockstarmusicacademy.com
CLICK HERE to watch a special video with a few cameos of our CENTURY 21 Lincoln Office!
By Jeremy Dunn, Select Group Videographer