guitar 1st September 2011

The Rhythm Studio

We’ve heard rave testimonials about The Rhythm Studio in West London, and know kids that go there four times a week and wish for nothing more than to be there all day, everyday. It’s an after school, weekend and holiday contemporary music school for children of all levels and all ages, from 5 – 18 (there are evening workshops and classes for adults too). The core of the school’s curriculum is one-to-one tuition in guitar, bass guitar, drums, singing, and piano, but in fact lessons are the starting point for a whole rostra of music activities including songwriting and production workshops, ‘School of Rock’ jam sessions, band practice, Rock & Roll Boot Camps (in half terms and holidays), VOX sessions (learning pop songs, dance moves and singing both harmonies and solos), and Little Rhythm classes for under 5′s. Most of the kids who take lessons at The Rhythm Studio want to spend as much time there as possible practising, jamming, rehearsing and then performing, and in line with that the school provides plenty of platforms for kids to play or sing live. Queens Park Day on Sept 11, when many of the school’s bands and musicians will be on stage, is the next opportunity to see some of the kids in action.

But finally, what marks this school out from any other is its teachers. The school was founded and is run by a musician called Chris Hodges, who is clearly an extraordinary force and inspiration (ask his students about him and you hear words like ‘inspirational’, ‘talented’, ‘patient’, ‘heart and soul’). And Hodges has been able to attract like minded souls too. At the moment, 120 kids attend the school each week and are taught by 12 teachers, all of whom are successful musicians in their own right. Basically, if you aren’t a ‘gigging’ musician, you can’t teach at The Rhythm Studio, thus ensuring there isn’t a whiff of cynicism in the building.

Autumn terms starts 5 September, and while it’s a good idea to look at their website, if you want to book classes or a workshop, The Rhythm Studio advises that you give them a ring so that they can talk you through what they offer and make sure you get the right teacher for your child (or yourself), and book in for the best group sessions or workshops. It’s a good idea to call as soon as possible though, as spaces fill up very quickly.