Matt Black is a science teacher, as well as a guitarist and vocalist with The Doodads, The Change, and other Paris bands.  Matt will work with the Rock U. students on the techniques of crafting a live band performance and working together.

Meet Matt Black,

Dean of Rock U.

About Rock U.


Q) Who can participate in Rock U.?

A) Rock U. is offered to English-speaking Paris-area students in grades 3-12 who already play an instrument.


Q) My child speaks some English but is not a native speaker.  Will he/she be able to keep up in Rock U.?
A) Absolutely.  Many of our students speak English as a second or even third language. Rock U. is a great way to practice English for non-Anglophone students in international schools. 


Q) When and where will the sessions be held?

A) Rock U. practice sessions take place at the American Church in Paris. Performances are always free and open to the general public, and occur at music venues in Paris or in concert spaces. Rock U. offers groups that rehearse most weekday afternoons and evenings.  Click the "Sessions 2015-2016" tab above for details.


Q) Which instruments are eligible?

A) The primary instruments in the Rock U. program are guitar, bass, ukulele, harmonica, drums, keyboards and percussion, but any instrument that can be played onstage in front of an audience has the potential to become part of the Rock U. ensemble.  Past Rock U. bands have featured flute, trumpet, saxophone, violin, melodica, kazoo, cello and clarinet in addition to the instruments above.


Q) My child sings but doesn’t play an instrument.  Can he/she still participate?

A) Yes, we are happy to have some singers in the band!  However, kids who ONLY sing may have fewer opportunities to participate than those who also play instruments. Interested beginners will have a chance to try out most other instruments.


Q) Will the Rockers learn how to play their instruments?

A) Rock U. is NOT meant as a substitute for music lessons, but works best as a supplement to other musical instruction.  While the kids will certainly pick up some tips and tricks, the focus of the Rock U. experience will be in learning to play together as a band and putting on a live performance, not on individual technique. 


Q) What does it take to join the Rock U. Varsity or the Rock U. All-Stars? 

A) Rock U. Varsity and Rock U. All-Stars are reserved for intermediate to advanced musicians in grades 9-12 who want to attempt more challenging material, and participation is by approval of the Rock U. staff only.  If your rocker isn't yet advanced enough to join Rock U. Varsity or All-Stars, but progresses to that point during the year, he or she can always switch at the start of the next session. Besides, the Advanced Rock groups are going to rock out too, don't worry!

Photo credits: Annette Foland, Natalie Smith, Jenna Lennen, Becky Black, Karen Lewis, Timo Elliott, Bill Metzger, Sabrina Black, Kristen Ketron, Alice Scales, Johnny Stein, Brahm Rhodes, Edward Ricketts