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School of Rock student uses music as a tool to recover from a major injury

School of Rock is so much more than a music school. Though we do in fact teach music, we take pride in the fact that our students don’t just pass through our doors for the sole purpose of a music lesson. Our students, their families, and our school owners and operators become part of something bigger than themselves when they join School of Rock. They form rich connections under the power of music, and support each other through life’s challenges and victories. 

One particularly heartwarming story comes from the School of Rock location in Littleton, Colorado. Lex Kolody, a talented guitar student who started at School of Rock when he was 12 years old, went to Mexico with his family for the holidays just after the start of his freshman year and was in an accident that claimed two of his fingers. According to Lex, the main thing that was on his mind following the accident was, “can I play guitar?”, which ultimately set him on a dedicated path towards recovery. 

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Shayne MacLaughlin, the Music Director at School of Rock Littleton and Lex’s guitar teacher, recalls waking up to an email from Lex’s family on January 1, 2019, alerting him of the accident. Shayne promised the Kolody family that even if Lex couldn’t play guitar, School of Rock would still be in his life, even if it meant just coming to the school to listen to music with his bandmates. 

Just three short weeks after the accident, Shayne lived up to his promise. After seeing a video Lex took on his phone of him playing guitar with a pick taped between his fingers, Shayne asked if Lex wanted to jam—and they got to work practicing the chord progression in “Bold As Love” by Jimi Hendrix over and over again in an attempt to strengthen Lex's hand.

The following weekend, Lex arrived at the Littleton House Band’s Rush-themed show, and Shayne taped a pick between Lex’s pointer finger and thumb, and Lex took the stage to perform with his fellow bandmates. “There was not a single dry eye in the audience,” according to Shayne.

Lex recalls the experience as “one of the greatest School of Rock moments ever—getting back on stage with my—that was huge for me, just knowing that I had the support from them and knowing they wanted me to come on stage with them.”

“One of the greatest School of Rock moments ever was getting back on stage with my friends. Just knowing that I had the support from them and that they wanted me to come on stage with them.” - Lex Kolody

Lex continued to push through the constraints of his injury, and the hard work paid off. In 2022, Lex Kolody was selected to participate in the School of Rock AllStars program, an intensive audition-based program that takes the very best students from around the world and sends them on a country-wide summer tour across the United States. As luck would have it, Lex was randomly assigned to the AllStars team that was being mentored by Shayne MacLaughlin, and Shayne knew he could continue to support Lex on his journey to further enhance his talent as a guitar player. 

Lex Kolody with his fellow bandmates.
Lex Kolody with his fellow bandmates.

Lex starred as one of the guitarists in a cover of “Toxicity” by System of a Down, and the student original song, “Here We Go Again”, by AllStar songwriter Kailey M. for the professional studio recordings that were produced while on tour with the AllStars at Side 3 Studios in Denver, Colorado. 

The tour coordinator who worked directly with Lex during the AllStars program said, “It's hard to not be inspired by his dedication and persistence. Lex was undeterred by what happened to him and remained motivated to continue playing the guitar. He's a great example of perseverance in the face of adversity.”

Currently, Lex is studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, the world’s preeminent college for the study of music, where students experience all aspects of the music industry through an interdisciplinary curriculum. Lex says, “Without School of Rock, my recovery would not be the same—so, thank you.”

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