For many teens, music is healing as they work through the hardships of adolescence, something that Fort Washington resident Adam Fiore has experienced firsthand with his son, Luca.
“We’re thrilled with the whole journey. Before Covid, Luca was a high-performing kid and put a lot of pressure on himself as a straight-A student at Upper Dublin High School,” Adam said.
Luca, now a 17-year-old high school junior, battled anxiety and deep depression throughout the pandemic. After taking notice of many quiet nights and closed doors, Adam and his wife asked if Luca would be interested in enrolling in School of Rock’s Fort Washington campus.
“We knew a couple of kids who went to School of Rock and seemed to love it. Music was something that made Luca feel better even in dark times. He was initially a hard no, and then told us he wanted to check it out,” Adam said. “Almost immediately, there was a difference. He enjoyed the one-on-one instruction, he’s now playing guitar, writing songs, and he’s being recognized and put in shows. He’s been able to distinguish himself as a vocalist.”
Luca has not only been developing a love for music, he has also been making friends who’ve been crucial in helping one another through life’s rough patches.
“I think the most important thing out of all of this is that Luca has found his tribe. He found a group of kids where he could be himself,” Adam said.
The connection between mental health and music hasn’t been lost on School of Rock.
“Music has been shown to have numerous positive effects on adolescent mental health, and School of Rock is committed to enhancing lives through performance-based music education,” Rob Price, CEO of School of Rock, said. “Our teaching philosophy is to prioritize performance and place students in band settings, which ultimately inspires their passion and creativity, allows them to make friends, makes them feel a part of something bigger than themselves, and boosts their confidence both on stage and in life. We will continue to use music as a powerful tool to promote mental health and well-being in the many communities in which we operate.”
“By teaching essential life skills like communication and collaboration, we’ve seen our students become more resilient. Our schools encourage self-expression through music and forming connections with others, which can improve self-esteem and overall well-being,” Price said.
In 2019, School of Rock joined forces with Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the stigma of suicide and increasing awareness through specialized training and resources.