Philly School of Rock students haven’t missed a beat during pandemic

School of Rock Philadelphia
Photo credit Lisa Riley
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The beat goes on for students at the Philadelphia School of Rock, who haven’t let the coronavirus pandemic impact their music education.

Instead, learning to play music has become a “virtual” part of their daily lives.

In mid-March when schools and businesses were shut down, more than 120 students at the North Philadelphia school were forced into Zoom rooms for one-on-one instruction in guitar, bass, piano or drums.

Lisa Riley, owner of the Philly school, said the hardship opened a new path for the aspiring musicians.

“People are just really relieved and so appreciative to be able to stay connected to other people,” she said, “and playing music is such an effective way to cope with the stress and anxiety of what we’re dealing with.”

Riley said the transition had a few bumps, but the students found ways to adapt and immersed themselves in an online world of music and performance.

Classmates hope to perform together live on stage soon, but Riley said there are still limitations while Philadelphia is in the “yellow” phase of recovery.

“We can livestream to the parents, but what’s interesting if we go when Philadelphia goes on ‘green,’ then the parents can actually attend the show,” she said.

Riley hopes they’ll be “green” by mid-July, when the show is scheduled.