No More Whispering: Albany Public Library Rocks Out

Matt Durfee
Matt Durfee

Nobody’s gonna be shhhhhhing you at the Albany Public Library on Monday nights. In fact, a librarian might very well lean over and tell you to crank it up…

Rock School is the library’s new, free, six-week series of workshops offering teens and adults the opportunity to explore various aspects of playing in a band.

“A number of employees at Albany Public Library are also musicians who perform in bands and as solo acts. With Rock School, we are partnering with other professional musicians to share our knowledge with the next generation of rockers,” said Sarah Clark, the library’s head of readers’ services and bassist with Charmboy. “Being in a band is a great outlet for musical talent and creativity. We hope that Rock School will encourage people to pick up a guitar, write a song or perform live.”

Taking place from 7-8:30pm on Mondays in the large auditorium of the Main Library, the Rock School sessions are scheduled for November 5, 12 & 19, as well as December 3, 10 & 17. Each session includes instruction and playing time. No experience is necessary; the only requirement is a desire to rock.

As a special bonus, Local 518 singer-songwriter Matt Durfee will perform a set of acoustic tunes prior to each session beginning at 6pm. The performances are free and open to the public.

Here’s the schedule of Rock School sessions:

Guitar 101: Turn On, Tune Up and Rock Out: Try out a variety of acoustic and electric instruments, get tips on what to consider when buying, and learn basic playing. Bring a guitar (or other stringed instrument) if you have one; some will be provided. Your teachers for this session are Ben Himmelfarb and Tor Loney (of Tor & the Fjords).

Voice 101: Find Your Voice: Work with a professional voice teacher to learn training, exercises and theory. Whether you’re already a singer or want to be one, this workshop helps you find your voice. Kelly Bird, a professional singer who also teaches at the College of St. Rose, is leading this session.

Songwriting 101: Make a Song: Work with an experienced songwriter who discusses his process and offers suggestions and techniques to help you with yours. If you have never written a song before, or are looking to improve your writing, this workshop is for you. Singer-songwriter Mitch Elrod (of Mitch Elrod’s Swim Team, Spellhounds and CountrySoulHouse) teaches this class.

Improvisation 101: Go with Your Gut: Learn the art of improvisation from a professional jazz musician. We explore theory, phrasing, technique, active listening and more. All skill and experience levels are welcome. Saxophonist, composer, and educator Keith Pray shares his knowledge in this session.

Rhythm 101: We’ve Got the Beat: Work with a professional drummer to learn the nuts and bolts of percussion, from the elements of a kit to constructing and holding a beat. This is a workshop for all levels of skill and experience, from pencil tappers to experts. Drummer Scott Smith (of Charmboy, the Philo Beddoe Band and the Fjords) leads this session.

Band 101: All Together Now: Come apply what you’ve learned in the previous weeks. Enjoy this opportunity to perform solo or back up, be supported by other musicians or simply jam together. This is an open session where everyone gets a chance to play.

For more information about Albany Public Library’s Rock School, call 427-4349.

1 Comment
  1. Dan Johnson says

    That is so cool! Go Albany Public Library! Cast off the shackles binding you to books! Become a media center!!

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