McRockSkool, is a band bootcamp for teens, and I am so excited to see this thing finally taking off because I have been dreaming about something like this happening in Marpole, since 2007, when the area was plagued by a rash of mini garbage can fires which were started by bored teenagers.
The space is called Safe Base, and it belongs to the Spare Time Fun Centre, a 35 year, non-profit, out of school care organization which I have been a part of ever since its doors opened.
I was enrolled in STFC when I was 5, and now, 35 years later, my children go there today. I have been teaching dance classes, skits, and musical numbers to the children who attend the centre, on and off, ever since I turned 12 and was too old to be enrolled in the centre myself.
So here we are today, and we have Safe Base, which is something we are all very proud of. The 120 plus children in the daycare respect it, and they take care of it, it is simply gorgeous, and we are all extremely protective of it.
Which is why it took me nearly a year and a half to invite someone to use the space. Not only did I want to find an excellent program that would engage teens and distract them away from trouble, I wanted a self contained program (which the McRock Skool is), facilitated by an instructor whom I felt comfortable trusting with the space. Someone who would lead by example, and require the kids to respect the space and the opportunity to be there. Someone who would make the teens cognizant of the fact that using the facility and its equipment is a privilege, not a right.
Enter Mick Dalla Vee, who is the man behind the McRock Skool, Mick is an excellent multi- instrumentalist, performer and producer who is extremely well respected in this city. He is a long time member of Randy Bachman's band, and when Mick is not on the road rocking out to sold out shows with Randy, he is likely playing with one of his incredible corporate bands (Cease and Desist/Atlantic Crossing) which tour worldwide.
Anyhow, back to it, I see great value in a music program like the McRock Skool, where a professional artist draws from his life experiences on the road, and shares what he has learned from working in and putting together bands over a lifetime career. No questions in my mind this is win, win.
Mick and the McRock Skool, is just the first of a few professional working artists I will eventually be inviting to use the space. Once the Rock School is going, dance classes will be the next addition to the centre.
It is an incredible dance room and I already know an amazing professional dancer whom I hope will be able to teach some classes in between her regular schedule of live shows (wink, wink Alecia). She performs with and choreographs for Mooncoin Productions ( the company who produces the Abba show I sub for).
I still have to learn songs, perform, write, play guitar, shoot and edit videos, as well as work online and hang out in blogland in a basic workday, so everything does take time. But for now, I introduce and welcome you to the McRock Skool, its just starting to nudge itself off the ground and now is really the time to get in, because I know it will eventually get to waiting list status. If you would like to know more about it, please come down to the Seminar on Tuesday night (March 31st), its free, and parents are encouraged to come and see the space and meet Mick for themselves. If you are reading this after March 31st please do visit the website to find out more, and contact Mick for enrollment info.
I will leave you with this request folks, If any one of you reading, knows a family with a musical teen (singer/guitar player/bassist/drummer) who lives in/near the Vancouver/Richmond area. I would sure love for you to pass on the link and information.
Warmly, I thank you, Rach.
(PHOTO of Mick/Rachael courtesy- Dan Toulgoet Vancouver Courier)