The door may be sealed shut, but the screams of AD/DC still catapult across the adjoining room. MARC SOLOMON, owner of Zounds Sounds School of Rock on Haskell, laughs at the noise while pushing a few misdirected curls out of his eyes. This particular Saturday, kids file into the school to prepare for their upcoming concert. Solomon, along with his fellow Dallas musicians, teaches local kids the basics of how to play, perform and be true rock and roll.

YOU STARTED OUT AS A MUSICIAN. HOW DID YOU END UP AS A TEACHER?

I was living in New York. On some level, I think I’ve been a teacher my whole life, really. I had a friend who lived here in Dallas who had started the Mars Learning Center. He was trying to put a good staff together, and he knew I was maybe coming back to Dallas because of my band and family. I thought it would be a cool way to make money. But Mars was kind of like Office Depot, and I didn’t really like the vibe. So I went out on my own, started in my living room.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I love to teach. It’s one thing that I didn’t know going into it. To me, there’s nothing like seeing somebody learn and knowing you had a part of that. On the flip side, music is what I love. It’s all I ever wanted to do. Young people are way more excited about music than adults, and it keeps that fire, which is really cool because I still am a musician, in a band, and a songwriter. It is this wonderful cyclical thing; we feed off each other. All that’s going on is music, music, music. And, I’m the man — I don’t have a boss.

WHAT DO PARENTS THINK ABOUT THE SCHOOL?

During this time, [the movie] School of Rock came out, and kids were like, ‘Ooh, is there anywhere I can do that?’ The moms started talking: ‘There is this place, oh, the kids just love it! They can go rock out and learn their favorite songs.’ The generation of parents that are out there now, they grew up with rock and roll, so it’s a completely viable way to learn and embrace music. They get really excited about it. The parents just freak, they have such a good time. The dads are there with beers in the air yelling ‘Yeah, that’s my boy!’

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KIDS’ FAVORITE SONGS TO LEARN?

There is not a song off of Greenday’s ‘American Idiot’ that I don’t know. Fortunately, we get a lot of kids that like cool music. I get to work on a lot of songs that are not radio stuff. Kids have their iPods now, so I can see what they are listening to, and we’ll teach them anything they want to know.

For information, contact Zounds Sounds at 214-826-7735 or check out upcoming shows at zounds-sounds.com.


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.