Its a new year and a great time to join the band with group programs for kids at Sunburst!

Sunburst News

–January 2017–

In this Issue:

  • Spring Group Program Spectacular:

  • Sunburst Rocks: Classic Album Bonanza

  • Emerging Artists Take On 2016

  • The Suntones Season 2

  • EXPLORE Gets a New Home

  • Ernie’s Pick of the Month

  • We Are Under Construction

  • Spring Break and Summer Camp Dates


Important Dates:

  • Sunburst Rocks Main Stage, Emerging Artists and The Suntones @ Hard Rock Cafe - Sun, Jan. 29th, 5:30pm

  • Group Programs Spring Season Start Date - Week of January 30th 


Spring season for group programs begins January 30th.

Fall 2016 Sunburst Rocks Groups will perform at Hard Rock Cafe January 29th!Get ready to join the band this spring with group programs for young musicians at Sunburst. Our programs are for kids 6-17 who play any of the instruments we offer. All programs include weekly rehearsals and seasonal live performances (catch the conclusion of the fall season Jan. 29th at Hard Rock Cafe!). Here’s what we have in store:

Sunburst Rocks Main Stage Classic Album Bonanza

This spring our Sunburst Rocks Main Stage bands will be taking on classic albums in their entirety! Each group will choose from a handful of masterpieces to cover, cover to cover, and put their own spin on. The LP’s will come from a variety of artists, genres and time periods with the common theme being that they are all recognized as not just collections of great songs, but great albums. In the age of the single, the EP, and the mixtape, we hope to encourage our Sunburst Rocks musicians to remember the powerful artistic vessel that is the full length album, and its ability to present music in context and tell a story. 

As usual, we will be working with students on writing original songs that fit the style and sequence of their album, as well as choosing some adjacent and appropriate material to round out the show. Towards the end of the season as we become more prepared for our performances, we will switch over to recording studio mode and record our originals and key songs from our album to share. Our spring season of Sunburst Rocks is the longest of the year and has the most performance opportunities through the months of May and June, making this a great time for students to get on board and take part in our ambitious Classic Album Bonanza!

Can you name any of these iconic wonders?Sunburst Rocks Main Stage is our band performance program for kids 10-17. Students come together each week for a 2 hour coached band rehearsal in addition to their weekly private lesson. The program is open to intermediate and advanced guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists, ukulelists and singers. We have a few basic, instrument specific prerequisites. Ask your teacher if you are unsure whether you’re ready to sign up. Also space is limited, as we have only a certain number of spots for each instrument. Sign ups will begin on Tuesday, January 17th and are first come first serve with continuing students holding their spots.

Sunburst Rocks Main Stage options are:

-Mondays: 5-7pm

-Fridays: 4:30-6:30pm

-Saturdays: 1-3pm

Emerging Artists Takes on 2016

Our Sunburst Rocks Emerging Artists will be taking on songs from the very recent past with a little theme we’re calling 2016: Worst Year, Best Music. Together we will work on a set of last year’s pop, rock, punk and electronic favorites to perform on stage. In addition to rehearsing songs, students will get to try their hand at writing a few originals to add to the set list. 

Sunburst Rocks Emerging Artists is for kids 8-10 who are ready to play together as a band. The program consists of a 90 minute coached band rehearsal each week in addition to each student’s private lessons. Its best for kids who have at least a few months of experience on their instruments and meet a few basic ability prerequisites, ask your teacher if you’re ready! The program is open to intermediate and advanced guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists, ukulelists and singers. Space is limited as we have only a certain number of spots for each instrument. Sign ups will begin on Tuesday January 17th and are first come first serve with continuing students holding their spots.

Emerging Artists runs Thursdays: 5-6:30pm

The Suntones Season 2

Our a’cappella program, The Suntones, will continue with its second season. In the program, vocalists ages 10-17 work together weekly on a set of songs in 2 hour coached rehearsals. Together we will learn the fundamentals of harmonizing and accompaniment using only our voices, recreating some old and new favorites for performance. See the Suntones perform at the Hard Rock Cafe on Sunday January 29th!

The Suntones practice every Sunday from 3-5pm.

EXPLORE Gets a New Home

Explore is a great way for kids 6-8 to get started playing music!Our EXPLORE program is for kids 6-7 who are just starting out and looking to try a variety of instruments. The program covers the basics of guitar, bass, drums, piano and singing via games and activities designed to improve rhythmic skills, musicianship and teamwork. Using modified instruments and a color coding system, we’ve simplified the act of playing together as a band so that anyone can do it on their first day. The program is about exciting and encouraging young musicians, teaching the basics, and having a blast! 

As part of our current construction project (see below), we are building a new room just for EXPLORE! The room is being designed for low volume playing, minimal cable clutter and with individual speakers to allow each musician to hear themselves clearly. It’s also being set up with a mini concert stage for kids karaoke! We can’t wait for you to see it.

Options for EXPLORE are: 

-Tuesdays: 4-5pm      -Wednesdays: 5-6pm

-Thursdays: 4-5pm      -Saturdays: 9-10pm

Band Coaching for All Ages

Do you play in a band that needs some direction? Let one of our expert instructors help your group with anything from arranging and songwriting to marketing strategy and band politics. Sometimes an experienced outside set of ears can be just the ticket for getting your band to the next level! Our band coaching services are for kids and adults, call or email for times and details!

yellow hard hat hiWE ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTIONyellow hard hat hi

As you may or may not have noticed, we’ve got a little construction project on our hands. In early 2016 we added an adjacent office space (a former hair salon) to our studio and we’ve been using a few of it’s rooms for our lessons ever since. We’ve recently begun tying the two spaces together, adding a few more rooms in the open space, and bringing the existing rooms up to par. We can’t wait for everyone to see the finished project but in the interim we ask that everybody excuse the mess, and use caution while proceeding to lesson rooms that are through the construction site.


Ernie's Pick of the Month

Julian Lage - Arclight

julian lageThis month’s pick is an instrumental jazz guitar record -- ahhhh!  Hopefully you’re still with me. It’s true that jazz guitar can sound like stale bread mixed with math - however, Lage has tapped into something that few possess. He is able to put aside his world class chops for something more important: singable melodies and interesting composition. Put this on while you’re cleaning or throw it on the headphones for a more personal experience. There is something for everyone on this one!

TL;DR: Bill Evans plays a telecaster.

Key tracks: Nocturne, Ryland, I’ll Be Seeing You

Spring Break and Summer Camps 2017

  • Spring Break Camp, April 10-14th
  • Warped Summer Punk Rock Extravaganza, June 26-30th
  • Night at the Rock Opera, June 19th-23rd
  • Just Press Play Recording Studio Camp, August 7-11th

Full details coming next month! 


Instructor Concert Calendar

Where can you catch your favorite Sunburst Instructors performing live this month? Here’s where:


Scott and Rosanna, Tribute Brunch @ James St Gastropub  - 2nd and 4th Saturday of Every Month, 12-2pm


Heather Kropf @ Biddle’s Escape

 - Sat, Feb. 4th, 7pm

Ernie, Kiki, Jonathan

The Buckledowns @ Hambones - Fri, Feb. 3rd

As always we love to hear your feedback about the newsletter, or anything else for that matter. You can reach us at (412) 475-8280 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks for reading!
–Sunburst Team