How do I sign up?
Can I sign up with a friend to be in the same band?
Yes. We encourage musicians to register with one or more of their friends. Be sure to indicate on the registration form all the names of the people you want to be in your band. Also be sure to check with them about scheduling to make sure you are available on the same days and times to rehearse.
Can my whole band sign up?
Over the years, we have had a number of groups sign for BandWorks who were already playing as bands outside of BandWorks. For bands playing original music, we offer coaching on their material. Some bands like to do a combination of original tunes and covers. We do have a minimum of 5 musicians per group, so if your band has fewer than 5 players, we may add one or more to the band. With their approval, the band can play any number of original songs.
I sent in my registration form well before the deadline. How come I didn’t get into a band?
It is our mission at BandWorks to make our program available to as many musicians as possible. However, in our effort to offer a very high quality experience, we need to balance many different factors in placing students in bands. In forming bands, we consider scheduling availability, signups and class offerings, musical experience, band instrumentation, age, stylistic preferences and other factors. Occasionally we will not have an appropriate fit for a musician, even if he or she registered early. The more days and times you list on your registration form as available, the more likely we will be able to find the right band for you. In the event that we are unable to place you in a band, we will refund your entire registration fee. We do our best to offer the best musical experience possible for all musicians in BandWorks, and work very hard to ensure that your experience is a positive one. If we were unable to place you in a session, please try again next time!
Do you offer scholarships or financial aid?
Students Rock Foundation offers scholarships/financial aid to music students who would like to enroll in music classes and programs like the ones BandWorks offers. You can apply with them at: http://www.studentsrockfoundation.org/
Can I play my original songs in BandWorks?
Yes. If you’ve written a song and are interested in playing it in BandWorks, be sure to contact us when you register and let us know. We encourage musicians to bring in their own songs, and we’ve found that other band members are almost always eager to play original music written by one of their bandmates. We’ll talk with you about putting together a chart for the band, and possibly making a recording for reference.
How are the songs chosen?
In BandWorks we give bands the music they want to play. In order to do that, we ask each member to fill out a song suggestion list (attached to the BandWorks Registration Form), including choices from our library of over 450 songs. Please be sure to take a few minutes to pick songs you like from our list, and feel free to suggest additional songs in the space provided. We try to balance out the song suggestions we receive to ensure that they are appropriate for each band, considering instrumentation, level of difficulty, variety of the set, likely popularity, appropriateness for BandWorks and other factors. We do try to get at least one suggestion in the set from each band member whenever possible. The more songs you suggest, the greater the likelihood that your band will play one of your choices. If you didn’t get any of your choices in the set, be sure to let us know and we’ll try to get one for you in the next session.
How old do I have to be to play in BandWorks?
We have classes for kids as young as 7 years old. We place kids in bands with other kids who are typically within 2 years of age of one another.
What if I have no musical experience?
In addition to our classes for experienced musicians, BandWorks now offers classes for people with no previous musical experience. Beginning classes rehearse and perform fewer songs in a session but offer more individual attention and help learning basic parts on the instruments. BandWorks is not a substitute for private instrument lessons, and we encourage BandWorks students to pursue additional instruction in conjunction with the songs they are learning.
What if I'm a beginner?
Many beginners with limited experience take BandWorks. They join bands with other beginners, and learn songs chosen to match the ability of the band.
I’m a teenager. Can I play in an adult band?
Yes, provided we can place you in a band with musicians at a similar experience level.
How do you place me in an appropriate band without an audition?
We gauge each musician’s experience level by information given on the registration form, and sometimes by phone interview or teacher referral. After 10 years of doing it this way, we have gotten very good at determining the appropriate band for everyone.
What if I don’t read music?
No problem. You don’t need to be able to read music to participate in BandWorks. Many players pick songs up by ear, and with a little help from our instructors, you will be able to learn the basics of following chord charts without having to learn music notation. Of course, reading music helps, and we encourage everyone to learn if possible.
If I signed up to play an instrument, can I sing too?
Absolutely! If there is no one signed up as a dedicated singer, we encourage anyone who is interested to sing the lead vocal part. If there is a dedicated singer, or if more than one person wants to sing, you will at least have an opportunity to sing backup (harmony).
What if I play a different instrument like flute or violin?
We welcome all instruments in BandWorks, and enjoy coming up with creative parts to suit instruments not usually found in a rock band.
Why are there sometimes 2 drummers in the kids’ classes?
We offer 2 drummer slots in all of the kids’ classes. We feel that kids have a valuable opportunity to learn from one another, and we like to be able to offer playing opportunities to as many kids as possible. Many songs also benefit from added percussion.
What equipment do I need to bring?
You should bring your guitar + amp, bass, horn or drumsticks. Also be sure to bring extra strings and cables. We have drums, a bass amp, keyboards, music stands, microphones, and a couple of guitar amps at our Oakland studios. You should bring your own amp to be safe.
How much does it cost?
A typical 8-week session costs $395, with a $20 discount for registering before the registration deadline. Fees include a $100 non-refundable deposit. We will refund your fees in full if we are unable to place you in a band. Fees include charts, lyrics, a reference CD, a concert CD recording and earplugs.
What is the refund policy?
There are no refunds after the second class meeting. There are no refunds for missed classes. In the event that we are unable to place you in a band due to scheduling constraints, you will receive a full refund of your registration fees.
Do I get the CD recording of the concert?
Yes! We record the concerts at Ashkenaz and provide copies of the CD to each student within 15 minutes of the completion of their performance. Additional copies are available for a small charge.
Where and when do classes meet?
Can I carpool with other band members?
Many parents have asked us about carpooling with other kids. At the first class, we give out a contact list with the info of every musician enrolled in the current BandWorks session, including their phone numbers and emails. You are encouraged to contact each person in the group to see about sharing a ride if you need to.
Can you offer BandWorks near where I live?
At this time when there is declining support for the arts in our schools and communities, we believe that BandWorks fills an important role in providing music education and recreation for children and adults. We appreciate your help spreading the word about BandWorks and are committed to helping people have more, and better, experiences playing music Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 843-BAND (2263) so we can work together to bring BandWorks to your community.
How are the summer camps different from the “regular” BandWorks sessions?
Our series of one-week summer camps are currently for kids and teens only, while the “regular” BandWorks program is available to adults as well. For summer 2007, we are offering four different camps for kids ages 8-18: Intro to Rock Band Instruments, CD Recording, Rock Jam and the Music of a handful of great Rock bands. Three of the summer camps offer in-studio performances, while the CD Recording camp culminates in a professionally recorded CD. Each of the camp programs meets for three hours each day – in morning or afternoon sessions – for five consecutive days. Our year-round BandWorks classes meet weekly for two-hour rehearsals for eight consecutive weeks. Though we emphasize fun in all of our BandWorks classes, the summer camps offer a little more relaxed pace than the regular BandWorks sessions, without the pressure and expectations that go along with a live performance.
What’s the difference between the various summer camp programs?Currently we are offering four different one-week summer camp programs, for nine consecutive weeks during the summer (see the summer camp page for more details). Our Intro to Rock Band Instruments class is for kids who would like to try out one or more of the traditional rock band instruments: guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and voice. Time is devoted every day to each of the instruments, with lots emphasis on jamming and playing and having fun trying out all the instruments. The CD Recording class more closely resembles our typical BandWorks class. Everyone gets to bring in his or her favorite songs and CDs on the first day, when we pick the set list for the CD. The rest of the week is spent working on the songs with the guidance of a professional musician and teacher to make a professionally recorded CD. Each musician gets to take home the CD from the studio on Friday. Our Rock Jam is for musicians of all backgrounds who would like to have fun playing with other band members, picking their favorite songs and riffs to jam on. The Music of... class devotes an entire week to learning the songs of some of today's most popular bands. All of our classes feature an in-studio concert at the end of each week (with the exception of CD recording).
Directions to the Oakland studio at 623 3rd St.:
For detailed directions, visit www.maps.google.com
From San Francisco/Bay Bridge:
Take 880 South (San Jose) to the Broadway/Alameda Exit. Turn right at first stoplight (5th Street). Follow signs for Broadway/Alameda and Jack London Square and go about 5 blocks to MLK. Turn right onto MLK and left onto 3rd Street. Orange doorway under the awning, next to Ace Hardware.
Take 80 West to 880 South (San Jose) through the Maze. Take the Broadway/Alameda Exit. Turn right at first stoplight (5th Street). Follow signs for Broadway/Alameda and Jack London Square and go about 5 blocks to MLK. Turn right onto MLK and left onto 3rd Street. Orange doorway under the awning, next to Ace Hardware.
From Contra Costa:
Take 24 to 980 Downtown Oakland. Take 11th-12th Street exit. Go to 3rd Street and Turn Left, and go about 2 blocks. Orange doorway under the awning, next to Ace Hardware.
From The South Bay:
Take 880 North to the Broadway exit in Oakland. Turn left at the first signal onto Broadway and go to 2nd St. Turn right onto 3rd St. and go 3-4 blocks.Orange doorway under the awning, next to Ace Hardware.
**Parking is available on the street. Please do not leave valuables in your car!**
Get off at Oakland 12th Street station. From here you can take a cab or Bus #72, 58, 58X, or 301. Last train for San Francisco leaves 12th Street at 12:51AM. Bart # (510)464-6000 or visit www.bart.gov.
Directions to the San Rafael studio.
150 Mitchell Blvd. Suite 260
San Rafael, CA 94903
For a map, click here
How do I get to your SAN JOSE STUDIOS?
Directions to the San Jose studio at 1177 West San Carlos Avenue: