For Those About to Rock

A new school in Royal Oak inspires kids (and adults) not to play hooky, but to play in a rock band


Published:

Where can a lawyer, a nightclub manager, an IT director, and the co-owner of a dental office go to lose their inhibitions and rock out with reckless abandon?

Jason Gittinger, executive producer and owner of the Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music, has created a place where “random people, with random backgrounds, at various ages” can create their own rock ’n’ roll experience. “I don’t profess to know anything except how to play the drums,” says Gittinger, 30, who has a degree in jazz studies from Wayne State University. “It makes you feel like you can wake up and make anything happen.”

He says the impetus for starting the school came from promoting bands through his company, Tangerine Moon Productions, in Clawson. “It made me believe we could do this for everybody,” he says. “When you make it about everyone else, you win.”

Gittinger, who still finds time to play drums for local cover band the Mega 80’s, says that while the 2003 comedy film School of Rock might resonate with his students, it wasn’t his motivation for choosing the name of the business. “I was inspired by Motown,” he says. “The movie was just a catalyst.”

Gittinger’s school, located south of downtown Royal Oak, houses rehearsal and performance space for bands and solo musicians who want to perform professionally or are content just to play in their garages. The school also offers a summer day camp and hosts a girls-only group called Girlz Rock. Prices range from $149 a month for a solo artist to $1,299 to attend the three-week camp. And while he doesn’t object to teaching the basics, Gittinger encourages his students to “stop practicing [and] start performing.”

Anna Shih, an attorney for Eaton Corp. in Southfield, saw a flier advertising the school and joined the mailing list. Shih, who has taken drum lessons for nearly two years, was excited to finally hook up with a full band. “The drums aren’t exactly a solo instrument,” Shih says. “Having Jason coach us and learning to play with a group of people is just really valuable,” she says. “And there’s no pressure because we’re all learning.”

Down the road, Gittinger plans to open a 400-seat venue, complete with a studio, rehearsal space, a music store, and restaurants “for all those late-night jam sessions.”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Green Wave

OHM Advisors in Livonia helps limit environmental challenges like harmful algae.

Books and Mortar

Local comic book stores suffer as online retailers and auction sites become more prominent.

Data Highway

KLA Laboratories is moving into the digital world of autonomous and connected vehicles.

Vested Interest

How a local real estate agent built a $60 million client base from scratch.

Expansion Draft

Ferndale's Urbanrest Brewing temporarily shut its doors for a week for an unusual reason.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Revered Cadieux Café on Detroit’s East Side Sold to Restauranteur Paul Howard and Musician John Rutherford
    The owners of the Cadieux Café on Detroit’s east side today announced that they have sold the...
  2. Jackson’s Henry Ford Allegiance Health First in U.S. to use Neuromonitoring System for Spine Surgery
    Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson is the first hospital in the country to use Generation 2...
  3. Ottawa Towers Wins $7.4M Settlement from Pontiac Over Property and Parking Rights
    After more than six years of litigation, the City of Pontiac and the owners of the Ottawa Towers...
  4. Detroit Metro Airport Restrooms Get Smart with New Maintenance Technology
    If you notice that the restrooms at Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport in Romulus are more-tidy...
  5. Dykema’s Bloomfield Hills Office Adds Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Attorney
    Dykema, a Detroit-based national law firm, has announced the addition of Kenneth J. Sachs to its...
  6. Pontiac’s Haven Names President and CEO
    Haven, an organization in Pontiac that provides comprehensive programs and services for survivors...