About Us

Looking for specifics about our lessons? Check out our lesson page.

Don’t Stop Rockin’ started as a group guitar program in early 2010. Longtime friends and bandmates, Rob Bentley and James King were trying to decide why people would want to spend hours with their friends playing video games based around learning instruments and virtually rockin’ instead of picking up real instruments and actually Rockin’. It didn’t take long to work it out!

Is the word visionary too strong a term to describe the curriculum Rob and James have created for Don’t Stop Rockin’?  It absolutely is however; they can be appeased, as the word has now been used in the same sentence as the two friends.   If visionary is analogous to taking a Les Paul that is plugged into a Marshall stack and turning it to eleven, Rob and James’s curriculum is more like Slash’s Les Paul plugged into that Friedman modded Marshall while using the neck pickup; it’s butter baby, butter!  Just what does that mean?  Read on and you will dig it.

Traditionally, a handful of students sit in front of a teacher who demonstrates how to play music by using their guitar and sometimes a chalkboard, or flip pad. To students used to Ipads, video games, and 3-D movies this method is simply not engaging and for many it is plain boring.

Don’t Stop Rockin’ set about to create a program that makes group-learning fun based upon a rounded student-centric multimedia experience built using current technology.  After a few months of testing and developing their approach, using Rob’s 14 plus years experience of teaching guitar, the two rented a room at Gorzycki Middle School and taught classes for a couple of afternoons a week.

With a few of sessions of the program completed the buzz started to circulate and within a couple of years they had outgrown the afternoon space and were ready to expand the program.

Having outgrown their initial space at Gorzycki Middle School Don’t Stop Rockin’ moved into their new home at 8213 Brodie Lane (same complex as Shipley’s Donuts and Bahama Freeze sno-cones) in August 2012 and have added private piano, voice and guitar lessons, (with more instruments coming soon.)

Don’t Stop Rockin’ has grown significantly since opening their doors and now offers lessons from 2:30pm – 8:30pm Monday through Thursday and Saturday. They’d love to hear from you and have you join us too!

Answers to common questions

Should my child take music lessons?

The simple and definitive answer is YES! Learning music has been proven to be essential to the growth and well being of a child. However, unlike eating vegetables, most children are willing participants. The skills discovered while learning an instrument, which last a lifetime, are those that we believe most parents would love for their child to have, perseverance, problem solving, dedication, improved reading comprehension, improved math skills and lots, lots more. The beauty of Don’t Stop Rockin’ is that our approach is to make it fun AND learn.

Should I take music lessons?

Yup. Remember standing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush or air guitar? Of course you do! An experienced music instructor will act as a guide and help you reach your personal musical goals. Next thing you know, you’ll be wowing your family when you sit down at the piano, pick up the guitar or belt out a show tune (or Stones classic.)

Why you guys?

There are a lot of things we don’t do very well. Fixing cars, playing video games, speaking French, and lifting heavy objects are just a few. However, teaching people music while providing the best experience found anywhere is what we rock at. Rob and James come from two very different backgrounds, which together have created a fantastic program, which is not just awesome, it’s awesomer. Rob’s musical knowledge, teaching experience and enthusiasm are unmatched. When Sting hands you your diploma and you sit next to Nora Jones in class, you’re off to a good start. James ran one of the most respected children’s gymnastics franchises in the country, The Little Gym of South Austin for several years. Here he honed his skills at providing mind-blowing customer service.

Jose Grammy

If all that wasn’t good enough for ya, you (or our child) will be in an environment that is about as creative as you can get. Our drum instructor, José and design team, Backstage Design Studio have both been nominated for two GRAMMY awards, and have both WON one!! Your right, that does Rock your face right off.

Grammy

Yeah, but they now offer guitar at school.

Fantastic! We understand that some of the school districts now offer classical guitar as an elective and we salute this. The more time that a child spends learning an instrument the better. However, learning classical guitar with a group of 25+ other students is in no way a substitute for small group (3-1 ratio) or private lessons. We have had many of our guitar students take guitar in school, for some they don’t like it too much, as it doesn’t rock anywhere near as hard as DSR. Others love it because they get show their peers what they can do, Rock…

How old should my child be?

These are good rules of thumb for minimum ages, but not set in stone. Private lessons: Piano 5+ | Voice 6+ | Guitar 7+ | Group Guitar 8+

How much?

Private Lessons: $108 per month, one 30-minute lesson each week. Drafted on the 3rd. $54 (2 class) deposit, applied to final months tuition or returned to you, as long as we receive at least two weeks notice before leaving. NO CONTRACTS. NO REGISTRATION FEE. (These things don’t Rock at all.)

Don’t Stop Rockin’ Group Guitar: $295 per 11-week session, plus the BIG show live band performance.

Do you rent equipment?

We do rent guitars (when available) Rentals are $12 per month for private lessons or $35 for group guitar. We don’t currently offer keyboard rentals, but will help you find one to suit your price range, if you do not have a piano at home.

For an in-depth description of both our Group Guitar Program and Private instrument lessons, please follow these links. Let us know if you have any further questions. james@dontstoprockin.com

We sincerely appreciate that we could not be doing what we love without the trust you put in our program to help develop your Rocker as a musician and hopefully as a person. We take a genuine interest in every student that is a part of Don’t Stop Rockin’.  We also recognize that not everyone is as fortunate as we have been.  This is why we make a monthly donation to OXfam.  If you are interested in finding out more about these organizations please visit:

oxfam.org 

Our Team

Shauna and Sarah Dodds are owners of Austin’s hit design company, Backstage Design Studio which has been creating artwork for local, national and internationally touring acts for the past seven years, as well as for some of the City’s best known businesses. By HIT we mean they were nominated for Best Recording Package in the 54th & 56th Annual Grammy Awards, winning in January 2014.  They have helped to create a world class look for our program including the website, t-shirts,  custom handouts and additional materials that our rockers use and receive.

Lana Anderson (singing) recently received a Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Texas.  She advises on our business development and keeps our books squeaky clean, as only a former IRS agent could!  Prior to her academic studies, Lana fronted a national touring band playing over 200 shows a year.

Marco Quesada (drums) has been a professional drummer for 16+ years and helps create the phenomenon known as the BIG show.  With three children of his own he is an invaluable advisor on what 8 – 16 year olds are listening too and wanting to learn.

For information about our totally awesome instructors, check out the Instructor Bios page