Musician, teacher and entrepreneur Felix Glenn founded London's premiere rock school, Felix's School of Rock, in 2004 for kids 8-16 using some of London's finest professional musicians to tutor young musicians how to rock in a real band. The 4-day session includes rehearsals, photo session, filming and a live gig in front of 1-200 people with lights, smoke machines, and a stage crew. The experience is intense but confidence building. It's about the music, the teamwork, the camaraderie, and the show on the fourth day.
Felix has brought in player/tutors who have a long list of credits from Joan Baez and Manfred Mann to The Who. Some play in West End Shows, tribute bands like the great Boot Led Zeppelin, and most have their own projects performing and recording in and around London. They have great experience, tips, tricks, and enthusiasm for new bands.
Whilst the experience is mostly about new bands and 4 days, many students return again and again, and some of the bands formed at Felix's School of Rock have stayed together and prospered. One band of mid-teens, Shiva, has been a finalist in the national Xfm Rock School competition, won The Dirty South Battle of The Bands in southeast London (open to adult bands, too) and have made the finals in other band battles, too.
In it's first 5 years, Felix's School of Rock has tutored over 1000 children and teenagers in almost 200 bands performing at over 40 gigs.
After the successes of the first year, Felix launched an adult rock school: Felix's University of Rock. The formula - 3 rehearsal days and a gig on day 4 - seems to work well for grown-ups as well as kids. The University of Rock motto is: Set Your Mojo Free. And again, some of the bands have stayed together and flourished. The GreyCats perform regularly at pubs and clubs. The T-25s have appeared at local fairs and other events, too. And there are others.
In year 3, Felix launched a new project for adults: Rock Choir. Rock Choir began out of a need to cater to adults who wanted to sing without having to compete with electric guitars and drums. The Rock Choir performs songs by the Beatles, Beach Boys, Mamas & Papas, Bruce Springsteen, ABBA, Queen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and many more.
The choir perform with one acoustic guitar, occasional tambourine, and a lot of voices. In addition to performing at all the University of Rock gigs to date, they have appeared at many festivals and fairs, and have recorded an EP: Felix's Rock Choir/The Creekside Sessions.
Sessions tend to run at nights and weekends for adults, and during school holidays for children and teens. Many of the stay-together acts perform at pubs, clubs and events throughout the year.
Details, history, and links to over 10,000 photos (Flickr) and over 200 videos (YouTube) can be found on Felix's School of Rock website: www.fsor.org.uk.
Felix's School of Rock became a registered charity in 2009 to help get funding and sponsorship so that anyone with the desire to rock, regardless of income or means, would be able to enjoy this opportunity.