Al Wooldridge is the owner of Rock Academy. He has been teaching rock band classes since 2014. He has more than 30 years' experience in the music industry. At the age of 10, Al discovered his talent for drums and love of music while performing for his school concert band. He pursued drumming and playing with bands throughout his formal education. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Al formed Flytrap and Swinger, both Chicago bands that performed regularly at The Metro, Schubas, Double Door, The Vic, Elbo Room, Lounge AX, & Beat Kitchen. He has recorded and published music with both bands. He has played the IPO festival for 24 straight years performing in Chicago, LA, and The Cavern Club in Liverpool (famous for a little band called The Beatles). Al has been the drummer with Dad's Magazine and This Magazine is Haunted. After moving to the suburbs, Al took the lead in putting together Hinsdale's favorite suburban band Paparockzi, playing popular festivals, charities, and parties.
Johnny has taught private, rock band, and classroom music for more than a decade. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from Elmhurst College with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He enjoys tailoring lessons for each student’s unique abilities, interests, and learning styles. By making lessons fun and creative, he inspires his students to practice and progress.
His performance experience with Chicago groups, including venerable indie-rock band "The Slugs," has influenced his approach to musical pedagogy. His teaching imparts a love of musical expression to his students and prepares them to perform with confidence and joy.
In addition to performing live on radio, television, and music venues throughout the USA and Canada, Johnny has recorded multiple albums. He also enjoys songwriting, and has released two independent solo albums.
At Rock Academy, we are dedicated to every student. Our proven method means we get to know your musical aspirations and current skill while developing customized lessons. What sets RA apart is the invaluable experience you get performing in a band setting. Rock Academy bands are formed of beginner, intermediate and advanced musicians. We will place you in a Rock Academy band that fits your skill level, age, and style. We are fully committed to you, whether you seek to play for pure enjoyment or would like to pursue a career in music.
We create a pleasurable environment where you will experience the joy of music and expand your talent. You will be encouraged each step of the way to grow as a musician, including playing every 6 to 8 weeks in live performance showcases in real venues. At RA, we find the continuity of musicians staying in the same band increases skill and develops commitment to bandmates. As your musical skill grows, RA will continue to inspire and provide you with multiple outlets to showcase your talent.
Our teachers have music degrees from esteemed universities and at least 10 years experience in the music industry. RA teachers provide professional guidance while focusing on teamwork, communication, rehearsal structure, performance, and musical expression.
We offer a free consultation for new students and never charge a registration fee. We provide a discount for students who participate in both private lessons and RA band classes. We offer a $25 gift card for student referrals to Rock Academy band classes. Our live showcase performances are free for all attendees.