Freshman at West Salem High School 
RiverCity Rockers and Legends of Rock
Guitar, Vocals, Violin, and Ukulele
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy April 2017

When did you start playing music and why?
I started playing the violin in 4th grade. I don’t remember why I started, but I’m always listening to music and I’m driven to always getting better.

What is your favorite song you’ve ever played at RiverCity?
I don’t really have a favorite. But ‘Nervous Breakdown’ by Black Flag was fun. I like the fast-paced songs.

What do you like about RiverCity?
It’s the students, the music, the instructors and it’s the place where I feel like I can be myself.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
Metallica, Nirvana, Hamilton Soundtrack, Weezer.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?
Practicing guitar, singing, transposing songs onto the ukulele…and sleeping.

Learn To Play AC/DC, Black Sabbath, & Led Zeppelin!

legends of rock

Play In A Band & Rock (Legends of Rock Ages 10-18) - Class Starts Saturday

Our Legends of Rock Program is a twelve-week session for beginning-advanced musicians ages 12-18 which focuses on influential groups in music history. Our Fall 2017 session will feature three ‘Monsters of Rock’: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin! These quintessentially influential bands contributed much to blues, hard rock, metal, stadium rock, and more, and through learning songs by these staples of music, our students will be able to play with their peers in a fun and supportive environment which encourages teamwork, musicianship, and music appreciation. Twice during the twelve weeks, the Legends will have the opportunity to play onstage for their families and friends.

The Saturday morning band rehearsals are also accompanied by weekly lessons. Here, our students can hone in on basic music theory and fundamental skills in the instrument of their choice through focusing on chords, scales, notes, rhythm, riffs, rudiments and the likes. Be it guitar, drums, bass, piano, or voice; they can take these skills and apply them not only to the group, but to their own individual musical pursuits.

Through learning about these bands, their history, and the way they performed, our Legends will accrue essential knowledge regarding performance etiquette and equipment. They will be able to play and perform with other kids and teens their age while learning fundamental skills and practical knowledge regarding performing in a professional setting with their bandmates.


Spencer Hughes .jpeg

Senior at South Salem High School 
RiverCity Rockers, previously Royals
Guitar and Vocals
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in February 2015

When did you start playing music and why?
I started playing music when I was 10 years old, when I got my first guitar. I really liked listening to Rock n Roll music and I wanted to be a part of it. Guitar was my favorite part of the songs I listened to.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?
My favorite song I've ever played at RiverCity would have to be between ‘Aces High’ by Iron Maiden, ‘Even Flow’ by Pearl Jam or ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd. Each of those songs were amazing choices and they challenged me to be better than I previously was.

What do you like about RiverCity?
I like that everyone at RiverCity is there for a common goal and experience; we all want to bring Rock n Roll back to life in this city and share our passion for the music together.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
My favorite bands are always Weezer and Metallica, but apart from that, I've been listening to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jack Johnson.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?
When I'm not at RiverCity I'm usually practicing my guitar at home or working on putting together my solo project album that I've been working on for the last three years. It's taking a long time but I'm really excited to see how it turns out when it's finished.

Rock Hard This Fall With Our Legends Music Class: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, & Led Zeppelin

Electric Funeral performed by students of RiverCity Rock Star Academy first show ever at Level B Theater in Salem Oregon on May 2nd, 2015

Rock School for Ages 10-18: Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano & Vocals

This season our Legends of Rock Program will feature three bands we are calling Monsters of Rock: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, & Led Zeppelin. We will be working with these three bands as a group to ensure parts for all performers and vocalists and make it accessible to all students. These three bands are the quintessential influences of hard rock, blues rock, metal, stadium rock, and more that continue to influence bands today. This 12-week legend of Rock Program is for kids and teens ages 10-18 from beginners, intermediate and advanced students on instruments including guitar, bass, piano, drums, and vocals. Students learn about the history of the band, the catalog of music, profiles of the members of each band, and the equipment they used. At the end of the 12-week program, the students will perform for their family and friends at a local venue. This program is on Saturday's from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (starting Saturday, September 9th) and the cost of tuition also includes a weekly private 30-minute lesson as well as a preview and a final season show. Sign up now and save! Enroll Here

Music Class for Ages 5-7: Enroll Now for Only $120!

music classes and music lessons

The Pop Rocks Program is geared towards young, aspiring and beginning music students ages 5 to 7. During the 6-week program. Pop Rocks focuses on the foundations of music such as rhythm, sound, basic music theory of notation, tempo, pitch, dynamics, timbre, song structure, and developing listening skills. Students explore a variety of accessible instruments, as well as vocal activities with an emphasis on active, participatory, dancing, and movement exercises. Students can continue the Pop Rocks Program multiple sessions and will be prepared for more formal music education. Sign up before September 5th and SAVE 20%! We have two different classes to offer, Thursday's 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Starting September 14th OR Saturday's from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Starting September 16th. Enrolled students can enroll in private guitar, bass, drum, piano or vocal lessons for a significant discount. 



RiverCity Renegades
Vocals and Guitar

When did you start playing music and what was/is your influence for playing music? 
I remember when I was a kid in the 70's and the radio station KING.FMwas just getting started and it seemed that a new great sounding song and band was playing every day. I was in 4th or 5th grade and my cousin and I would pretend we were John Lennon and Paul McCartney as we sang Beatles songs together. Towards the end of the 1970s and beginning of 1980s New Wave was becoming popular and for most of my middle school years, I was listening to Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, The Cars, The Boomtown Rats, Joe Jackson, and The Knack. I sang it all and continued rocking in high school to Hard Rock including AC/DC, Van Halen, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Scorpions, Billy Squier, Journey, Steve Miller, and Sammy Hagar. As I got older I’ve added Blues and Grunge artists to my playlist.

Tell us about your musical journey.
In 2008 my health took a turn for the worst as my back was injured and I required two back surgeries, which also started me on a long five-year path on disability. Music became my therapy and I found myself wanting to sing more and more. It wasn't until spring of this year when I joined RiverCity and started playing guitar (and singing) that although I had tried before, RiverCity’s great instructors, hands-on approach, and supportive bandmates is the right choice for this guy! I have so much fun at RiverCity!

What is your favorite song you've played at RiverCity?
I would have to say when I first sang ‘Black Betty’ by Ram Jam and I had a real live band performing with me.

What are your favorite bands or artists right now?
I like so many songs and bands, but my go-to bands (this week anyway) are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Ram Jam, ZZ Top, and Elvis Costello.

What is your ‘day job’ (besides a Rock Star at RiverCity)?
Right now I am a disabled vet and I recently started classes at Chemeketa Community College in the Building Inspection Technology and Plan Review Program. I hope to work for one of our local city, county or state building departments when I've completed the Associates Program in a couple of years and I am able to get off of disability. I was a contractor for almost 15 years before my back problems.


Tristin Liebelt.png

Junior at Sprague High School
RiverCity Rockers
Drums and guitar.
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in January 2017

When did you start playing music and why?
I started playing guitar in 8th grade in a rock appreciation class. The class sounded pretty interesting and it was a fun experience. I’ve since branched out and play drums at the Academy.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?
My favorite song that I've played is ‘Hip Hop Kids’ by Portugal. The Man

What do you like about RiverCity?
I like the diversity and the different types of rockers at the Academy. I also really enjoy the presence of the teachers - they do a really good job!

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
My favorite band right now is A Day To Remember.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?
When I'm not at the Academy I like to skateboard and listen to music.

Music Lessons: Guitar, Drums, Bass, Piano, & Voice

music lessons

Free Trial Lessons

Our staff come from a whole variety of musical backgrounds and are versed in everything from classical, jazz, and folk, to punk, rock, and metal. Their professional experience in guitar, piano, drums, voice, and bass allow for flexible lessons catered towards each individual student, and the opportunity to get instruction in the fundamentals of their instrument in their particular style of interest. Be it drum lessons, guitar lessons, voice lessons, bass lessons, or piano lessons, the RiverCity staff is delighted and excited to work with any student – young or old, novice or advanced – to help them feel comfortable and confident in their instrument(s).

Not quite sure whether or not music lessons are something you’d like to dive into straight away? No worries. Come and give us a visit - the first lesson is on us. We’ll pair you up with the teacher who best matches you or your student’s skills and interests, and we hope that you’ll keep playing music with us! Schedule Your Lesson Today!

Gibson Announces Slash as First Ever Global Brand Ambassador

Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has been named Global Brand Ambassador for Gibson, the company announced on Aug. 15. He is the first to receive the designation in the guitar maker’s 100-plus year history.

As part of the new role, Slash will develop new products for the Gibson Custom, Gibson, and Epiphone lines. The musician has been aligned with the company for the last three decades.

Please read the full article on Variety here.

Back to Cool: Now Enrolling Fall Music Classes & Music Lessons

music lessons_guitar_bass_drums_piano_vocals

RiverCity Rock Star Academy combines excellence in music education, performance, and fun each and every day. Check us out and join our community.

Make Back to School Cool Again

We offer music classes for Kids, Teens, and Adults of all skill levels. From first-time beginner musicians to advanced accomplished players and singers. We have 6 programs to choose from Pop Rocks (ages 5-7), Young Rockers (ages 8-14), Rockers (ages 12-18), Legends of Rock (ages 10 -18) AC/DC, Black Sabbath, & Led Zeppelin, Royals (performance band-audition only ages 14-20), and Renegades (adults ages 21+). We also offer private lessons in guitar, bass, drums, piano, ukulele, and vocals. Check out the RiverCity difference. 




Senior at Winema Early College High School
RiverCity Rockers
Drums, Keys and Vocals
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in January 2017

When did you start playing music and why?
My interest in music sprouted when I was about 10 years old. I would play the drums on “Rock Band” and shortly after I got my first drum kit and keyboard. However, I didn't start drum lessons until I was 14 and I am now teaching myself piano and play the keys on some songs at RC.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?
My favorite song that I've played at RC would either have to be ‘Brick House’ by the Commodores or ‘Violet’ by Hole because all the stars were just like little fish.

What do you like about RiverCity?
One of my favorite things about RC is how fast it became my second home. I get along with all the teachers and students really well, and I've made some amazing friends. Most importantly though is the amazing V-Dog – the official rock dog for RC.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
I'm into so many types of music, but right now I mostly listen to older music like Queen, Nirvana, GnR, and AC/DC. Also 80’s pop and New Age rap.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?
Some things I like to do when I'm not at RC are learning new songs on the piano, hang out with my cat, watch the show Shameless, and go on night adventures.

You too can be a ROCK STAR!

Music education, performance programs, private lessons, summer camp, and workshops for kids, teens, and adults. #rockacademy

Join us for an awesome Bowie tribute!

Come out and listen to our Royals perform at Keizer Rapids Park Amphitheater starting at 6pm, A food truck and Gilgamesh Brewing will be on site. 🏼‍⚡️#rockacademy #rocksalem



RiverCity Renegades
Drums, Keys, Bass, and Vocals

When did you start playing music and what was/is your influence for playing music? 
I started playing drums when I was about five years old. I was drumming on my mom’s pots and pans and she said let's get this kid a drum set.

Tell us about your musical journey.
My musical influence started with Steve Smith from Journey. I'm in a band called Clydeascope - we are a cover band playing 60s and 80s classic rock music at different events. I joined RiverCity Rock Star Academy to make new friends, have fun, and to get out there playing as a musician in the community.

What is your favorite song you've played at RiverCity?
My favorite song I’ve performed so far at RiverCity is ‘Any way You Want It’ by Journey.

What are your favorite bands or artists right now?
My favorite bands are Journey, Loverboy, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, and The Doobie Brothers.

What is your ‘day job’ (besides a Rock Star at RiverCity)?
I work at NW Wine Company.

Summer Blowout 2 Party - All Ages at The Space August 31, 2017

summer mix tape show

The RiverCity Rock Star Academy Summer Mix-Tape Session will play their season ending show along with sets by the Royals and Renegades on Thursday, August 31st from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Space Concert Club at 1128 Edgewater Street NW, Salem 97304. ALL AGES UNTIL 9:00 p.m.

Royals Open For Heroes & Rebels: A Tribute to David Bowie Show

heroes and rebels bowie tribute show

The RiverCity Rock Star Academy Royals will open the Heroes and Rebels: A Tribute to David Bowie show next Friday, August 11 at 6:30 PM - 9 PM with their own set of Bowie songs. This show is free and features many of Salem's top musicians playing a great set of David Bowie tunes. Keizer Rotary Amphitheater at Keizer Rapids Park. 1900 Chemawa Rd N, Keizer, Oregon 97303