Web Exclusive: Rock and Roll Academy Live
First it was AC/DC that rocked through the earbuds of Telluride-based all-girl band Juxtapoze. Then, the 13-year-old foursome decided that Amy Winehouse was the coolest. Next week, they'll probably be on to something else. But, no matter what they're listening to, one thing's certain for this band: Its members need to listen to rock music, and lots of it, so that when they hit the stage, their covers of the Rolling Stones' "Get Off of My Cloud" and Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" sound as feisty and rockin' as the originals.
But only part of Juxtapoze's rock success comes from the music the girls listen to. Much of their musical training and stage presence are a result of their studies at the Rock and Roll Academy, a private music program in Telluride dedicated to teaching 7- to 18-year-olds the nuances of notes and lyrics through rock 'n' roll.
At the helm of the four-year-old program is Mark Galbo, a professional rocker with 25 albums under his belt. With Galbo, who sees his role as a coach rather than a teacher, Juxtapoze has learned to play through its mistakes, pick up different instruments, and handle a crowd. The band has also realized that rock provides an outlet that academics don't. Guitar riffs and drumbeats are now Juxtapoze's passion, and rock—not voice lessons or piano practice—is real music.