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Guest Blogger

Gillian Thomson, The Noteworthy

The Noteworthy introduces you to interesting Edmontonians, the places they go and the things they love. It's a collection of fascinating people and highly recommended places to eat, drink, shop and play in Edmonton.

Gillian has an interesting story herself (read about it here). She has her hands in many honey pots lending her creative mind to a mix of writing, graphic design, and marketing projects.

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Not Your Average Music School

Friday October 24 , 2014

Backbeat is not your average music school. The concept is awesome–students are put into rock bands to learn how to play and perform live to build confidence and feel like the rock stars they are.   


The rock school was opened by Dan and Nella Sabo in 2012. The husband and wife pair have perfect backgrounds for the school; Dan is a teacher with his Masters in music and Nella is an MBA holder with entrepreneurial spirit. They wanted to create a space that’s all about the kids–Backbeat is a safe place away from family and school where they are free to create, be themselves, and develop some serious music skills.

Their approach to team building is apparent in more than just the rock bands. They employ 8 talented music teachers and invest in their development, provide benefits, and have regular team meetings–a departure from typical music lessons in your basement.

As for the location, they searched high and low for a space that captured the spirit of Backbeat. Their shop is in the heart of Old Strathcona, a supportive arts and cultural hub with plenty of options for parents while they’re waiting. They even have a stage in the back alley with the perfect amount of graffiti adding to the rough-around-the-edges, self-expressive feel needed for authentic rock shows.

Future rock stars aged 7-18 can register for lessons on a month-to-month basis (best to work in the bands for 4 or 6 month terms). All types of lessons come with the live performance benefits. They even run week-long rock camps in the summer.

If you’re wondering if Backbeat is the place for you or your kids, check out their free upcoming rock show on November 2nd and be amazed by 15 talented bands that practice there.

Sugar High Rock Show

Sunday, November 2 – 2:00pm

10011 Whyte Avenue

Free admission

Arrive early if you want a seat!