Special fund aids students of rock

Collin Coady of Scripps Ranch performs at a recent School of Rock Show. (courtesy photo)

Special fund aids students of rock

After seeing her sons thrive in their performance-based music lessons, Meridith Coady of Scripps Ranch realized the School of Rock’s approach is about a lot more than just learning a few chords on a guitar.

The national music school chain, which has locations in Oceanside, Encinitas and Liberty Station, also teaches its students how to be good bandmates: setting up before the show, working with others to put on a great performance and then cleaning up when the fun is over, Meridith said.

“That was translating into his school work, it was translating into his personal relationships,” she said of her oldest son, Nate Coady, 17, who has been at School of Rock for eight years. “He really started to see himself as a small piece of a bigger picture.”

So, when the family of one of Nate’s classmates fell on hard times in 2015, Meridith Coady and other parents pooled their money to ensure the young musician could stay enrolled at School of Rock.

Nate Coady rocks out at a School of Rock Show. (courtesy photo)

That collaborative effort spawned the Rock Out Scholarship Fund which, since its founding last year, has assisted seven future virtuosos in paying for lessons and has put about a dozen rehabilitated instruments in the hands of young rockers.

“The ultimate objective of our organization is to get more kids playing music and more kids playing music in groups, where they learn to play together as part of a team,” Meridith said.

Meridith runs the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit with her husband, Shawn Coady. Two other board members meet with the couple several times per year. Scholarship award decisions are made by a panel of School of Rock instructors.

Scholarship-receiving families pay at least 25 percent of their child’s tuition, which is offered at a discounted rate through a partnership between Rock Out and School of Rock. Students typically have three hours of band rehearsal weekly plus a 45-minute private lesson.

The Rock Out organization also offers awards to students at other music schools.

Most awards are around $145 per month and are available to kids ages 7 to 17. The largest was $250 per month for the length of a season, which lasts about four months leading up to a weekend of performances.

That’s where Rock Out has raised the bulk of its money, through concessions sold during the weekend of shows, including one-off beers crafted by Shawn Coady, who works as a brewer.

The other piece of Rock Out is providing instruments to young music students. The organization accepts donations of instruments in need of rehabilitation and fixes them up.

It recently provided an upright piano to a musical theater class and guitars for a music class at San Diego Cooperative Charter School in Linda Vista, Meridith said.

Those interested in learning more about Rock Out Scholarship Fund can visit its website at

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