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“… When samurai warriors train to perfect a deadly technique with the sword, they come to understand the fleetingness of life. This is why master samurai speak of wielding a “life-giving sword…

Understand and respect the depth of your instrument’s power. The guitar has the capacity to save lives; it has given many a desperate person reason to go on. Use it’s power wisely.”

Philip Toshio Sudo, “Zen Guitar”


We used to have a local monthly student open mic at a music store I teach at. Students were encouraged to form bands and perform in front of their peers and teachers. The open mic grew, and due to the event’s popularity, the students were limited to two or three songs.

As my students’ bands stayed together and continued practicing, their set lists grew. Several bands eventually had set lists that were 45 minutes or more. These bands needed to be challenged. I started taking a few select bands to a restaurant in Northern Virginia to play at open mic events, and mix with adults. This got me thinking about the kids playing shows in better venues. With those experiences in mind, I decided to create a “Kids Rock” program, a program to get youngsters gigging in better venues.

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