Directed by Don Argott, starring Paul Green, Will O'Connor, Asa and Tucker Collins, CJ Tywoniak, Madi Diaz-Svalgard and Napoleon Murphy-Brock.
If you ask 100 children what they want to be when they grow up, you can be sure that the term 'rock star' will be high on the wish list. 'Rock School' looks at how one man is helping to make that dream come true for dozens of kids.
Paul Green is a Philadelphia resident, whose days as a guitarist in a band didn't lead him to stardom, but did give him the inspiration to help others make it in the cruel world of the music industry. He set up the Paul Green School of Rock Music in 1999, with the aim of teaching children from the ages of nine to 17 about rock music. He, and a few staff, teach the kids instruments, like guitar, drums and keyboards, but they also teach about passion and enthusiasm for the music, introducing them to the work of artists like Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
Paul's dream is to have his students featured in Rolling Stone magazine in a few years time, with the acknowledgement that he had a hand in developing their career. Judging from the amazing talent of a few of his students, that dream is on its way to becoming a reality. Young CJ Tywoniak is already a superb guitar player. Your mouth almost hangs open watching him play.
Other students prove, though, that the school isn't just about nurturing talent. Will O'Connor is a social misfit by his own admission. He's not a fantastic bass player, but the school gives him a much-needed social outlet. The fact that Paul Green realises this and invests his time in kids like Will speaks volumes about his ability to relate to the kids and share his love of music with them.
Paul's energetic character really drives the documentary forward. We watch him praise and berate the students in equal measure, but beneath his manic, contradictory personality, is a person who is really tuned into youth culture. You'll love him, hate him, or feel a little of both, but he really does have a heart of gold.
Don Argott's film is a brief glimpse into the work that the likes of Paul do and the enthusiasm with which his students apply themselves. Rock aficionados will feel an affinity with the people of 'Rock School'. The rest of us will wonder why there aren't more courses like this.