School of Rock

Explore School of Rock


School of Rock Carmel
626 South Rangeline Road
Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 848-7625

Location Specifics

Located near 126th St. and Rangeline Rd.

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  • Monday: 1 PM - 9 PM
  • Tuesday: 1 PM - 9 PM
  • Wednesday: 2 PM - 9 PM
  • Thursday: 1 PM - 9 PM
  • Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: 10 AM - 2 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Music programs at School of Rock Carmel combine one-on-one lessons with group band practices

Programs we offer

Rookies music program for children
Ages 6-7

At School of Rock Carmel, our music program for children with no previous musical experience (typically ages 6 to 7-years-old) is called Rookies. Rookies students have one weekly group music lesson where they learn fundamentals like chords, rhythm and song structure. Kids get to learn and experiment with multiple instruments so they can later decide which one they ultimately want to continue pursuing in Rock 101.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

All of our music programs are designed to inspire students to learn and develop a strong musical proficiency. At School of Rock Carmel, younger students who are not ready for a more comprehensive program like Rock 101 can start in Rookies. No prior musical experience is needed for Rookies. Once your child is ready for private music lessons (typically older than first or second graders), they will graduate into our Rock 101 program.

Rock 101 music program for kids and beginners
Rock 101
Ages 8-12

Rock 101 is one of School of Rock Carmel's top programs for kids and beginners. Students have one weekly group rehearsal where they learn to play classic rock songs that have been simplified for beginner musicians. Additionally, Rock 101 students in Carmel have a weekly private music lesson with an instructor who helps them learn the concepts and skills behind their performance songs.  Students then take the stage and perform live several times each year.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

Our music programs for kids in Carmel are designed to get students on stage performing, with the goal of building strong musical proficiency. Younger students at School of Rock Carmel who have participated in the Rookies program can move to our Rock 101 music program once they’re ready. Additionally, students (typically ages 8 to 12-years-old) can begin Rock 101 without any prior experience. The goal of this rock program is to quickly develop a basic competence on students’ chosen instruments before moving on to our famous Performance Program.

Performance music program for teens
Ages 10-18

The Performance Program at School of Rock Carmel is our hallmark music program, where tens of thousands of students enroll each year. It consists of a weekly group rehearsal where kids and teens learn by playing rock music's most iconic songs with a band composed of their peers. Students are assigned songs and parts that are tailored to them based on their age, experience and ability to learn new skills and concepts. Students then work through their parts in weekly private music lessons, refining the skills and concepts that those songs introduce. The goal of this curriculum is to prepare kids and teens for live performances. Every few months, School of Rock Carmel Performance Program students take the stage and play at local Carmel music venues in front of a live audience.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

School of Rock Carmel's music programs for kids and teens are designed to inspire by getting students on stage and performing. All of our other music education programs focus on readying students for our famous Performance Program. This is where students develop incredible musical skills. Performance Program students have often gone through our Rock 101 program first or have some previous basic music experience. These young musicians will have custom development plans outlined by their instructors with key concepts reinforced during private lessons and group rehearsals, all with the goal of performing live at a Carmel music venue.

Adult music program for students over 18
Adult Program
Ages 21+

School of Rock Carmel's Adult Program is for students over 21 years old who are looking to either improve their musical proficiency or pick up an instrument with no prior musical experience. As with most School of Rock music programs, the Adult Program uses a performance-based music education approach. This means the curriculum focuses on learning music concepts and applying them in a live performance setting. Our Adult Music Program includes one weekly private music lesson and a weekly group rehearsal. Every student at School of Rock Carmel is placed in a band of fellow adults and then assigned specific songs as a way of learning key music concepts and skills. Adult students then take the stage to play at a live show in Carmel.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

All of our music programs are designed to inspire by getting students on stage and performing, with the goal of building strong musical proficiency along the way. The School of Rock Carmel Adult Program is open to all experience levels and each student will follow a customized learning plan developed by their instructor. Adult students will work together during rehearsal to prepare for a live performance at a real rock venue in Carmel.

House Band program for gigging at local venues around town
House Band
Ages 12-18

The School of Rock Carmel House Band music program gives students under 18 the opportunity to join a gigging band composed of fellow musicians from their school. These students perform additional live shows throughout the year. All students in the Performance Program have the opportunity to audition for a spot in School of Rock Carmel's House Band. Once selected, House Band members become leaders in their School of Rock community and perform live shows at IN rock venues throughout the year.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

Performance is the core of School of Rock's educational approach. Therefore, we create additional opportunities for students to perform on stages throughout Carmel and the rest of IN. The House Band music program allows each school's most talented students the opportunity to join a band and play routinely in front of live audiences. Once a member, students will gain real music experience associated with gigging musicians and will become leaders and mentors inside the School of Rock community.

The AllStars national tour features the best child and teen musicians
Age 17 and Under

The School of Rock AllStars Tour takes the very best students from around the world and sends them on a nationwide summer tour across the United States. Less than 1% of School of Rock students are selected each year to represent School of Rock as an AllStar. All Performance Program students are eligible to audition for this prestigious program. The intensive audition process starts off with video submissions followed by live auditions. Once selected, AllStar students will have an authentic touring experience including traveling on a tour bus, doing tour publicity and starring in nightly performances at famous venues and festivals during a two-week tour.

What To Expect

The Path to Take the Stage

Becoming an AllStar is the highest level of achievement for a School of Rock student. They play on legendary stages large and small, including The Knitting Factory, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Troubadour and Lollapalooza. AllStar students often go on to have accomplished careers in the music industry. Former AllStars have gone on to become touring artists, star in Broadway musicals, get signed to record deals, become finalists on talent competitions like "The Voice" and "American Idol" and have other notable roles in the music industry.

Center Stage Program Picture
Center Stage
Ages 13-19

The Center Stage Artist Search Program is an opportunity to be heard by a major record label. Singers from the ages of 13-19 can submit an audition video as part of the selection process. Selected artists will then have the chance to participate in a studio recording session, and perform at a live artist showcase with record label executives in Los Angeles. We'll also provide School of Rock songwriting camp scholarships for 100 applicants. Submit your video audition today.

What to expect
  • A live artist showcase in front of record executives
  • Record in a state-of-the-art major label studio

The Path to Take the Stage

The music of legendary recording artists can be the inspiration behind many School of Rock students’ drive to pick up an instrument for the first time. This music is the foundation of our curriculum because it helps maintain young musician’s drive to gain musical proficiency. Center Stage is a program to help usher in the next generation of great artists that will one day inspire others to begin their musical journey.

Music Lessons in Carmel

Kid learns to play guitar at School of Rock

Guitar Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Guitar Lessons for Kids

At School of Rock Carmel, we offer beginner guitar lessons for kids. Our expert guitar instructors guide your child from start to finish with private instruction and weekly group band rehearsals. Every instructor at School of Rock Carmel is an experienced musician, and they emphasize foundational music theory and technique when teaching guitar lessons to kids. Unlike other Carmel guitar lessons and programs, School of Rock is designed to get students performing in a band.

Beginner Guitar Lessons for Adults

It’s never too late to learn to play the guitar. Similar to our kids guitar lessons, School of Rock Carmel's beginner guitar lessons for adults utilizes a performance-based curriculum. Our experienced instructors teach adult students through popular rock songs, and teach students to play guitar in a way that’s challenging and fun. We believe the best way to learn is by doing, which is why we combine weekly private guitar lessons with group band rehearsals. At School of Rock Carmel, we teach beginner guitar lessons for adults in our Adult Program. This program gets students performing onstage at a local Carmel venue.

Key Concepts
  • Technique
  • Solos
  • Chords
  • Theory

Intermediate to Advanced Guitar Lessons

As students gain skills and experience, we move them along to more challenging programs at higher skill levels. Intermediate and advanced students take the skills they learned in beginner guitar lessons, and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. School of Rock Carmel offers advanced guitar lessons for kids and adults that teach by playing challenging classic rock songs and emphasize playing the guitar in a real music venue. Our Carmel guitar teachers will work with each student to develop a custom learning plan.

Kids learn to drum at School of Rock

Drum Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Drum Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Carmel is the best option for anyone looking to learn the drums. Our beginner drum lessons get kids behind the drum kit and on their way to taking the stage. That’s why at School of Rock Carmel we combine private drum lessons for beginners with weekly band rehearsals—it prepares students to perform live. With years of experience teaching drums in Carmel, our drum instructors teach beginner drum students core techniques, including how to groove, play rudiments and more.

Beginner Drum Lessons for Adults

Our drum lessons for adults are designed to accommodate all skill levels. At School of Rock Carmel, our beginner drum lessons for adults are built for musicians with little to no experience. We teach adults using the same core performance-based education philosophy as our drum lessons for kids—performing with a band accelerates the learning process. Adult students will perform live at a venue in Carmel. Unlike other Carmel drum lessons for beginners, School of Rock combines private drum lessons with weekly band rehearsals so students are ready to play in front of real, live audiences.

Key Concepts

Intermediate to Advanced Drum Lessons

More experienced to advanced drum students need a drum lesson curriculum that builds upon foundational skills and continues to grow musical proficiency. That’s why at School of Rock Carmel, our drum lessons are customized for each student and his or her goals. Our Carmel drum instructors integrate more complex techniques and concepts—intermediary grooves, shifts, meters and more—into a student's individual lessons and group band rehearsal, and will also select more difficult songs for his or her live performances.


Kid learns to sing at School of Rock

Singing Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Singing Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Carmel offers beginner singing lessons for kids. Our unique, performance-based approach develops students' musical proficiency by preparing them to perform live. At School of Rock Carmel, our vocal coaches are practicing musicians who integrate key music fundamentals—breathing, posture and more—into a curriculum based on performing with a band. Each week, beginner singing students participate in a private singing lesson and a band rehearsal.

Beginner Singing Lessons for Adults

School of Rock Carmel teaches adults how to sing in our innovative Adult Program. Students develop vocal skills at a challenging pace designed to help you see results with every singing lesson. Adult vocalists learn how to keep tempo, stay on-key and master advanced vocal techniques for a powerful and healthy voice. Our curriculum teaches students how to sing by using popular rock songs that emphasize key concepts. Each week, Adult Program students have a private singing lesson for beginners and group band rehearsal.

Key Concepts

Intermediate to Advanced Singing Lessons

At School of Rock Carmel, our singing lessons for kids and adults are designed to help our students reach a high degree of musical proficiency. Intermediate and advanced singers take skills learned from previous singing lessons and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. Our advanced singing lessons teach students to sing by performing popular rock songs that illustrate a specific vocal concept or technique. We pair weekly private singing lessons with weekly band rehearsals with the goal of getting musicians to perform live in Carmel.

Kid learns to play bass at School of Rock

Bass Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Bass Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Carmel offers beginner bass guitar lessons for kids that blend weekly private instruction with weekly band rehearsals. This performance-based approach results in a high level of musical proficiency because it engages and inspires students. Every School of Rock bass instructor is a practicing musician in Carmel and teaches bass lessons for kids that get great results. Beginners learn to play bass guitar by using popular rock songs that illustrate key concepts and techniques.

Beginner Bass Lessons for Adults

Adults looking to learn bass guitar can enroll in School of Rock’s Adult Program. No experience is necessary in our beginner bass guitar lessons for adults. At School of Rock Carmel, our experienced, local bass guitar instructors have the patience and skills to help adult students gain musical proficiency. As with all School of Rock music programs, our bass guitar lessons for adults ciriculum is performance-based, and include both weekly private instruction and weekly band rehearsals.

Key Concepts
  • TONE

Intermediate to Advanced Bass Lessons

Our intermediate to advanced bass guitar lessons teach Carmel students the skills they need to become the backbone of a band. Students take skills from previous bass lessons and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. At School of Rock Carmel, our bass instructors use popular rock songs as a way of teaching students advanced concepts and techniques. We pair weekly private bass lessons with weekly band rehearsals to inspire and engage students throughout the learning process.

Kid learns to play piano at School of Rock

Keyboard Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Keyboard Lessons for Kids

At School of Rock we teach differently than other music schools in Carmel. Our curriculum is performance-based, meaning that we prepare students to perform. Our piano lessons for beginners combine weekly private instruction with weekly band rehearsals. At School of Rock Carmel, our beginner keyboard lessons for kids take key concepts and music fundamentals—finger placement, scales, key differentiation and more—and teach them through popular rock songs. This approach inspires and engages students, which results in attaining a high level of musical proficiency. Our piano teachers have years of experience teaching music in the Carmel area, and know how to coach and motivate students of any skill level to play the keyboard.

Beginner Keyboard Lessons for Adults

The School of Rock Carmel Adult Program puts beginner keyboard students in a band. Adult Program students in the Carmel area learn to play piano through a combination of weekly private beginner piano lessons and weekly band rehearsals. At School of Rock, our piano lessons give adult students the chance to perform in a band at local Carmel music venues, taking them out of the classroom and onto the stage.

Key Concepts
  • TONE

Intermediate to Advanced Keyboard Lessons

At School of Rock Carmel, our keyboard lessons for kids and adults are designed to help students get results. Intermediate and advanced students take skills learned from beginner keyboard lessons and layer on more advanced piano techniques with concepts. Our local keyboard instructors are all practicing musicians in Carmel, and use popular rock songs as a way of teaching complex skills. We pair weekly private piano lessons with weekly band rehearsals to inspire and engage students throughout the learning process.

Our Experienced Music Teachers

All of School of Rock Carmel’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. Our instructors guide students one-on-one to personalize learning, inspire confidence and build social skills.

Steve McFarland Owner

Steve began his musical career at age 16 playing with bands such as Kiss, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Rush. Okay, it was air guitar, but he was a rocking pretender from an early age. Actually, if you fast forward 30 years... Steve saw the idea for School of Rock and wished it would have been around when he was young. After seeing his children take endless lessons with no motivation, the idea of getting kids on stage with School of Rock just made sense. With a sports background and having coached youth sports for many years, the idea of School of Rock was natural to him: individual lessons (practice), group rehearsals (team practice) and the show (the game). "I've always wondered why some people 'make' their kids take an instrument just because they think it's a good idea to learn an instrument. You don't hear of anyone making their kids take a sport and never playing on a team or in a game. Why make them take endless lessons with no chance to perform?" As the owner, Steve challenges his team to make sure we are enriching kids' lives in everything they do: lessons, shows, camps or just having cheese bread.

Dave Lawson Guitar Teacher

Dave started playing trumpet in fifth grade, along with piano lessons. His first performance in front of a large audience was with the Shortridge Jr. High rap club at Bush Stadium in 7th grade, and he quickly found peers in the 8th grade that wanted to start a punk band. That led to picking up the guitar at 13 and he has played in dozens of bands in the ensuing 25 years. He maintained brass instrument chops and played in top tier performance bands throughout high school, while also studying jazz guitar and playing in the competitive jazz band at Pike High School. Apart from recording in studios from the age of sixteen on and touring both nationally and internationally from the age of 18 as a guitarist, he has also played bass and drums in a variety of bands and toured filling these roles as well. He currently plays in multiple bands that span territory ranging from country, heavy metal, classic rock, modern rock and punk.

Tyler Downhour Assistant General Manager

Tyler Downhour, the Assistant General Manager for School of Rock Carmel, has been around music his entire life. His father played in a band, which would often rehearse at the house. In the early 2000s, he began falling in love with music and bands such as Green Day, Jet and Simple Plan among others. In high school, Tyler developed a passion for writing, participating in his school’s newspaper as well as an online sports blog. After considering going to school for journalism, Tyler ultimately chose to pursue a Business degree from Indiana University Kokomo, which he attained in May 2018.

To stay involved with writing, Tyler began his own musical career in hip-hop/R&B when he began college at the age of 18. He released his first album during January of his freshman year and has continually released singles and projects since. He has headlined shows, as well as opened, for big names in hip-hop, such as E40 and Currensy.

Joe Strakis Guitar Teacher

Joe Strakis grew up on a musical diet of KISS, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Elvis Presley, Alice Cooper and a plethora of jazz legends (Coltrane, Miles, Wes Montgomery). This led to his obsession with the electric guitar by age 12. He formally studied jazz, fusion/blues and classical guitar, receiving his B.A. in Music Performance in the winter of 2008 from Columbia College Chicago under the tutelage of Chris Forte (blues/fusion), Dr. Angelo Favis (classical) and Steve Grismore (jazz). A steady dose of touring with several heavy metal and hard rock acts (centered around Chicago, IL and Sacramento, CA) followed his study. His main influences as a guitarist are Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Billy Gibbons, Eric Johnson, Ace Frehley, Wes Montgomery and David Gilmour (among so many others).

Derek Hutchinson Guitar Teacher

Derek began playing guitar at the age of 10, learning classic metal and rock songs from Metallica, ACDC, Aerosmith and more. He started his first band a couple years later as the lead guitar/vocalist during high school and knew instantly that performing was his passion. He went on to receive his Bachelor's degree in Music Media Production from Ball State University with a focus in classical guitar. During his time in college, he founded an a cappella singing group that has placed three times at an international competition, and later joined a local rock/funk group called The Indigos as the lead guitarist. He has toured from New Jersey to Hollywood, CA with this group, released an EP and full-length album, and has played over 250 shows. He continues to teach music and perform all through the Midwest, and doesn't intend to stop anytime soon.

Kristen Bennett Singing Teacher

Kristen Bennett is a singer/songwriter fresh from the indie scene in Nashville, TN. With a background in tour management and booking, Bennett accredits her passion for the music industry to her roots in classical/contemporary voice and jazz guitar. In 2012 Bennett released a self-titled EP, “Kristen Bennett,” following several years of touring, writing and creating. A native of the Midwest, she became a familiar face among the Ohio River Valley, appearing at Camp Electric and The Underground, and working alongside independent filmmakers to cultivate a soundtrack for "Titans of PS-271." In 2013 she recorded in the infamous Gaither’s Studio, a space treasured by many gospel legends such as Sandi Patti, Bill Gaither and Michael English. Bennett graduated with a BA in Music Business from Anderson University in 2015, and since then has been working on several projects of her own, such as a compilation album with Jon McLaughlin.

Mimi Mapes-McCloy Singing Teacher

Mimi Mapes McCloy grew up in Old Town Chicago, surrounded by music. Her mother, folk singer Jo Mapes, was the “go-to” person for friends and musicians in town. It wasn’t unusual for Mimi to come home from school and find people like Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Harry Chapin or her “uncle” Shel Silverstein hanging out in her living room.

Naturally she started playing guitar at an early age, only to put it down for a while to explore other genres besides folk. She went on to work with jazz trios and several bands including Dr. Bop and The Headliners, where she was known as “Mimi Valendez,” one of the infamous Valendez sisters. From there she joined Indiana rocker Henry Lee Summer, who got a record deal, which took her on tour with bands like Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Eddie Money and Richard Marx. During that time she also was doing a lot of studio work, including jingles for Coca Cola and McDonalds. Her album credits include John Mellencamp’s "Scarecrow," James McMurtry’s "Too Long in The Wasteland" and the “Twins” soundtrack. Her TV credits include "The Arsenio Hall Show" and "Farm Aid ‘90."

She has a love of kids and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with them on their musical journey. Her main influences (besides her mom) include Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Janis Joplin, Heart, The Beatles and Billie Holiday.

Mark Cutsinger Drum Teacher

Mark Cutsinger comes to School of Rock with impressive performing and band experience. Mark is the founding member of the band The Zero Boys, which was established in 1982 and has recorded and put out multiple records and performed all over the country and world. He is currently the drummer for the band, which actively tours.

Nicole Roach General Manager

Nicole Roach is from Bloomington, Indiana and has worked with School of Rock Carmel since September of 2014. She began playing keyboard at an early age with her grandmother and fell in love with music and the way it brings people closer with their friends and family. She then went on to sing and perform in choir during her middle school years, which she loved. Although she did not stick with an instrument, she continued integrating music whenever possible into her life and eventually found her calling with a career at School of Rock Carmel as our General Manager. Nicole loves seeing the students bond and form friendships, with music and performing on stage being the glue that holds those bonds together.

Russell Simins Drum Teacher

Russell Simins is best known as the drummer and co-founding member of the internationally renowned Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which has been together touring all over the world and the US for 25-plus years now and has released over 15 records to date. He also has numerous production credits and has worked with and played for artists as diverse as The Beastie Boys, Tom Waits, Beck and Yoko Ono. A guitarist, singer and songwriter as well, he's also had success as a solo artist and with the band Butter 08, and is also presently active with his new Indianapolis-based band Service. In 2007 he produced, co-wrote and played on indie rock kid band sensation Tiny Masters of Today's debut LP. He's done numerous TV appearances, including on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and as a member of "Late Night With Seth Meyers" band. He has been named by "Spin Magazine" as one of the 100 best drummers in alternative rock. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Carmel.

School of Rock is where music and learning come together

For over twenty years, our amazing instructors have transformed hundreds of thousands of students across the world into skilled musicians. Become a musician at School of Rock.


We Love School of Rock!

They make kids really care about learning music, plus it's fun! The teachers are amazing and passionate about what they do. Worth every penny.

So Much Fun!

The teachers are committed and caring, and the experience compliments my daughter's academics beautifully. Great people, great experience, FUN!

Awesome Music and Concerts!

Our daughter is learning awesome music and we love going to her concerts instead of those long, dreaded recitals we had to sit through!

Great Staff!

The teachers are great and the administrators are very helpful. LOVE the concert aspect of it and the variety of genres the kids get to explore.

Now he voluntarily practices!

The band aspect is what sets it apart from traditional lessons. Our son took traditional drum lessons for over two years and it was always a struggle to get him to practice. With School of Rock he actually practices without us having to ask him, and he practices longer.