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  • Megann Horstead

School of Rock Mokena in session for Kids Music Day

The sun goes down and music surrounds him as he guides two aspiring young rockers on how to play keyboard along with a group of students to perform The Beatles’ 1969 song, “Come together.”

It’s just the start of another Kids Music Day for Joe Gentile. He is the music director for School of Rock Mokena, which describes itself as a place where students rock their world, and is all about curating the next generation of aspiring young rockers who get to balance education with the fun of a jam session.

A lock-in with performances entertained students on Friday, Oct. 6, during School of Rock Mokena’s second annual Kids Music Day. The event was meant to bring together young rockers for one night focused on music and fun.

“It’s a music educational movement,” Gentile said. “With many schools cutting programs, one of the ways to get music education is to come to a music school.”

Though School of Rock Mokena—like most music schools—trains people, they focus on teaching students how to play the popular songs they already know.

“They learn a lot quicker that way,” Gentile said.

The music school strives not only to teach students to play their favorite pop and rock songs, but also to provide some instruction on music theory.

Students are trained to perform with guitar, bass, drums, piano or vocals.

“Some of them play different instruments, [and] some of them just play one,” Gentile said.

Every three months, School of Rock Mokena holds a performance show for local kids to perform. There are 20 students in each band, and they make up four bands in total.

School of Rock Mokena plays host to four main programs: Little Wing, Rookies, Rock 101 and Performance. Each one of them is tailored to suit students according to their age and skill levels.

For more information about School of Rock Mokena, visit 9613 W. 194th St., call (708) 479 – 7625 or visit

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