Trilk Rock School was developed by Dan to give young musicians the opportunity to have an ongoing band with the support and direction of a coach. Students name their own band, choose most of their own songs and have the opportunity to perform at great venues in the Des Moines area.
In the summer of 1984 my best friend and I started writing songs together. When 8th grade started up we found a drummer and a keyboard player and my first band was born. Our first gig was at the Christmas talent show at school. I was so pumped to rock the middle school. We were the last act to go on and played the only three songs we knew which were all originals. The 400 or so classmates and teachers attending were very enthusiastic and the energy in the gym was buzzing. After the show we actually signed autographs and within a couple of weeks I had my first girlfriend. If I wasn't hooked before I sure was now. Over the next year we played PTA Fun Night, an ice cream social and a handful of house parties. Unfortunately the drummer wasn't as into it as I was and sometime during 9th grade the band broke up. I tried all through high school to get a band together and for whatever reason it never happened. However, that would all change the minute high school was over. Little did I know the next 25 years of playing in bands would lead me back to the basement, back to where the musicians are young, fearless and excited to be a part of the next great music scene. Back to where the “rock” is eagerly waiting to be polished and the “roll” is just itching to be kicked down the field.
Fast forward a few years to 2009 when I started making my living as a private music teacher. I had the opportunity to coach in a garage band program at a local music store. It lasted 8 weeks and we met once a week for an hour. At the end of the 8 weeks the kids perform the songs they learned. Sometimes that would be one song but it was never more than three. I always wished that I could work with the kids longer and didn’t like feeling rushed to throw a show together. I also did rock band camps at a private school near my home. These would be during the summers and would last a week. 3 hour practices 5 days in a row and then a show at the end. We had a little more time to practice but it was still like cramming for a test and by the time they really started to feel like a band camp was over.
That’s why I started Trilk Rock School. I thought ‘What if I could coach kid rock bands for a non determined amount of time? They could learn as many songs as they wanted. They could play multiple shows a year. They could develop friendships and write music together outside of band practice. We could work on stage presence and have photo shoots. They could learn how to record and make their own CD’s!’ Trilk Rock School students name their band, pick the songs, and even pick their bandmates in some cases. I facilitate a productive, regular practice schedule and fun public shows to keep them motivated. The longest standing TRS band Punched By Proxy have been together in one form or another for nearly 6 years. After recording their debut Cd in 2016 they went out on their own and are still practicing and gigging regularly. That’s all I could possibly ask for!
Trilk Rock School students have played at Des Moines area venues and events such as the Iowa State Fair, 80/35, Clive Fest, Wooly’s, Lefty’s, The Des Moines Social Club and Java Joe’s. They’ve also played at school events and assemblies, private parties and have even been on the local KCWI TV show “Great Day”.
Current TRS bands:
Knocked Out Cold
Past Trilk Rock School bands:
Punched By Proxy
State Of Confusion