Tumbleweed Smith.com

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Read Tumbleweed's Newspaper Articles


List all Articles

Another Great Read

Under the Chinaberry Tree

This Week On
The Sound of Texas

Monday, April 8
Fran Houser Adrian Midway Cafe
Tuesday, April 9
Peter Avila San Benito Conjunto Museum
Wednesday, April 10
Suzanne Theis Houston Car Parade
Thursday, April 11
Dorinda Millan Pecos Museum
Friday, April 12
Troy Grusendorf Brownwood Harmonica
Complete Schedule for April

In Print: On News Stands Now


by Tumbleweed Smith

"Right now there are around sixty-five or seventy locations: east coast, west coast, they’re all over the country."

Dean Tarpley of Dallas owns the franchise to THE SCHOOL OF ROCK in the metroplex. He currently has four schools operating and is opening a fifth soon, ultimately looking to have twelve to fifteen schools. He also owns the franchise for Detroit. The schools teach kids to become rock musicians.

"We teach guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboards," says Dean. "Students can either take a thirty minute lesson or a forty-five minute lesson in their instrument once a week. All of our teachers are working, touring musicians. Our thought process is if you’re going to teach a kid how to be a rock star it would be helpful if you had been

one yourself."

After the kids take a lesson they are assigned to a show.

"We do rock-themed shows. So it could be punk rock or a Led Zeppelin show. Once a week, in addition to the lesson, they go to a three-hour rehearsal. Every four months it culminates into a live rock concert, usually attended by hundreds of people. The best kids in the school can try out for our house band, which becomes a touring group for the school. They play during halftime at Dallas Mavericks basketball games, Dallas Stars games; some of our kids have played in front of eighty thousand people at festivals and parades. The really cream of the crop can make what we call the National All-Stars. They actually get on a tour bus and tour the United States just like rock stars. Our whole philosophy is cradle to grave. We have a pre-school program for kids two or three years old who want to get exposed to the fundamentals of music, then progress through our program. For the truly talented and committed students, we hand them off to a professional manager or they may sign with a label. We’ve had several of those where kids sign on and have careers as rock musicians."

The school caters to kids seven to eighteen, but some people in the school are in their fifties or sixties and played an instrument in high school or college and want to get back to experiencing the fun of playing with a band. Some students study sound and lighting. The movie, SCHOOL OF ROCK, is based on the story of Paul Green, who started the School of Rock.

"VH1 went to Paul Green’s school in Philadelphia with the intention of doing a reality show. They filmed for about two weeks and left. Paul never heard back from them. About a year later, the movie called THE SCHOOL OF ROCK came out and was coincidentally very much like Paul’s concept of young kids performing rock music together. At first he was upset, but he owns the name SCHOOL OF ROCK and the website by the same name, so his popularity grew and the traffic coming into his website was unbelievable. In a weird sort of way it actually launched his company in a major way."

more articles by Tumbleweed Smith

Newspapers Featuring
Tumbleweed's Weekly Column

  • Andrews County News
  • Big Spring Herald
  • Borden County Star
  • Colorado City Record
  • Comanche Chief
  • Commerce Journal
  • Davis Mountain Dispatch
  • Devil's River News
  • Eldorado Success
  • Gatesville Messenger
  • Goldthwaite Eagle
  • Grapeland Messenger
  • Hamilton Herald-News
  • Hometown Press
  • Hopkins County Echo
  • Hudspeth County Herald
  • Martin County Messenger
  • Midland Reporter-Telegram
  • Monahans Enterprise
  • Pecos Enterprise
  • Post Dispatch
  • Ranch & Rural Living
  • Roby Star Record
  • Rotan Advance
  • Salado Village
  • Seminole Sentinel
  • Sweetwater Reporter

What They're Saying
About Tumbleweed

"It was a side splitting, laugh a minute performance."

Fred McKenzie, Jefferson