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Iowa School of Rock

New! Fall Iowa School of Rock classes at Ames and Ankeny

Iowa School of Rock

The house lights go down as the stage lights come up. The opening chords thunder from your guitar, and just then it hits you, the song was right – you do “got the music in you!” We’re not talking air guitar here.

Regardless of your current level of playing experience, you can experience playing in a band and in a real rock concert with people your age.  You baby boomers can do this too, even if you’ve never taken your drums out of the basement or your guitar out of the living room. This is learning by doing.  And when it comes to music, nothing can compare.

Students age 9 and up are placed in age- appropriate bands and participate in a series of professionally-coached practices that prepare them to perform in a series of real rock concerts. Students participate in 9 days of practices over two weeks.

Bands will also participate in a class that guides them through the process of establishing their band’s identity, selecting suitable music for their band, naming their band, designing a band logo, and promoting their band and final concert. The final concerts are full-blown rock productions!


  • Great first band experience! Boost your childs confidence, make friends, and have fun! Students are placed in age- appropriate bands and participate in a series of professionally-coached practices that prepare them to perform.
  • Bands participate in a class that guides them through the process of establishing their band’s identity, selecting suitable music for their band, naming their band, designing a band logo, and promoting their band and final concert.
  • Qualified, professional music teachers directing the bands.
  • Taking music lessons to the next level. Play or learn to play favorite songs. Regardless of current level of playing experience, students experience playing in a band and in a real rock concert.
  • The final concerts are full-blown rock productions. Students experience everything from event production to promotion – see how it all comes together for a fantastic show.

As featured on and in:

Ames School of Rock


  1. Who can participate?
    Anyone 9 years old or older may participate.
  2. How much experience do I need to have?
    We will work you into a band whatever your level of experience, and we will create a roll for you within a band that is appropriate for your experience level.
  3. What if I don’t play a ‘traditional’ rock instrument?
    No problem. If you look around our town or around the world, you will find cellists, saxophonists, trumpeters, violinists, etc. in combos of all sorts, including rock bands.
  4. What equipment will I need?
    In order to adequately practice on your own time you will need to have your basic instrument, guitar, bass, saxophone, cello, access to a piano or keyboard or drums if that is what you will be playing. We will provide guitar and bass amps, pro keyboard rig, drums, microphones, monitors, etc.
  5. How will we be divided up into bands?
    Bands will be formed primarily by age and then by musical preferences and then experience. Less experienced players will get the benefit of working with more experienced, advanced players will get to experience playing a key out-front role and leadership within the group.
  6. How will music be chosen?
    Taking into account the musical tastes and abilities, the coaches will determine the final song list from which each band will vote for songs.
  7. What about original music? Can my band play the song I wrote?
    We definitely encourage original material and will prioritize grouping people who express an interest in playing original music of their own or others within the group.

Click Here To See More – Iowa School of Rock Gallery

Parent and Student Reviews:

Ankeny School of Performing Arts has been fantastic for our daughters. They offer talented, passionate instruction grounded in good technique while encouraging our children to explore their musical creativity. Through regular lessons and the summer “Iowa School of Rock” program, our kids have expanded their knowledge and skill and had a lot of fun in the process.Mike & Mary St. Clair, Ankeny

My daughter, Ramsey, has enjoyed taking both guitar and piano lessons at Ames Music Studios for several years! She has been lucky enough to take lessons at the same time as her cousin, Lacoda, who plays the guitar and drums. They have been able to collaborate a few times also creating a “band” of their own with the help of their instructors, Jordan & Sean! The owners/instructors are very caring and understanding people! I love Ames Music Studios for the people who work there!   It’s hard to believe that we have been rocking out for four years at the Ames Music Studio, including two summers of School of Rock. Lacoda, with the exceptional help of Jordan, has developed his skills of playing guitar and drums. Lacoda always looks forward to his lessons with Jordan, who makes them entertaining, challenging, instructive and most of all fun! Beyond this, the School of Rock has been an extraordinary experience for Lacoda. Thanks to Al and Melita for all you do to make the Ames Music Studio a fantastic adventure!Kathi Robbins and Grandson Lacoda Collier

I couldn’t be happier with our experience with the lessons at Ankeny School of Music, my son Brandon has had the opportunity to work with three different teachers over the course of three years.  He has learned different things from each teacher but what they share is their enthusiasm and dedication to helping Brandon develop a passion for music that I think will be a lifelong pursuit.  Here are his own thoughts on his experience: When I look back at my lessons learning the bass guitar and now the guitar, I think that it was a very enlightening experience for me. Despite not knowing much about music, I was able to pick up the bass pretty quickly with the help of the great instructors at Ankeny School of Music. I found it helpful to learn from people who were like-minded. Another great experience I got from it was the Iowa School of Rock, which I’ve done for three years now. Getting to play with people that were my age and who relatively liked the same music as me was great, and after playing for three years in the School of Rock band I’m thinking about starting my own band with some of my friends.Pahl Family

…If it wasn’t for the encouragement and patience of my music mentor, Al Biela, I wouldn’t have the enthusiasm toward music that I have today. In second grade, Al prompted me to compose my own music… After that, Al inspired me to begin writing lyrics. Because of Al’s never ending passion for music and lyrics, I now am interested in journalism and poetry… Music has provided a way to express myself along with self confidence to perform on stage… I am simply amazed that Mr. Biela can bring together musicians to create eight different bands… moving musicians out of their comfort zone to reach their highest potentials and goals… I feel that Al has helped me through my roughest frustrations as well as helping me achieve my greatest goals and standards… Mr. Biela has been an inspiration for me to succeed.Z. Schlosser, guitar, rock band class, and Iowa School of Rock student

I must write to congratulate and thank you for having the determination to do a very good thing. WOW! I was proud to have a son who was given an opportunity to work cooperatively in a group, to be inspired by adults and older youth who are passionate, disciplined and committed to performing. I am still beaming!…You tune kids in and tune into their energy…Bravo!S. Norris, mom of a rocker

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