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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Hawthorne Resident Inspires Youth Through Music

Static takes a break at work to freestyle a drum solo for the Daily Voice. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Billy, 11, of Woodcliff Lake, plays guitar with his instructor Dean at School of Rock in Waldwick. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

HAWTHORNE, N.J. — There's more to being in a rock band than fame and fortune for the Waldwick School of Rock musician and inspiration known as STATiC.

"Music was before there was money and singing ... you were just a way to make a group of people feel better," he said.

"I love playing in arenas," said STATiC, the music school's director and the lead guitarist for the New Jersey-based band Ours, "but you still have to do the right thing every day."

STATiC and his bandmates schedule benefit concerts and other fundraisers into their tours, and now he's bringing similar programs and more to Waldwick's School of Rock.

The music school offers its youngsters depression-management classes, as well as programs for children in therapeutic foster care.

Students also will raise money for local bat conservationist Joey D'Angeli at the end of the month in Teaneck.

While School of Rock has no ties to Jack Black's 2003 musical comedy about students who start a band with their substitute teacher, its philosophy isn't far off.

“Traditional music lessons were in your room," STATiC said. "You had your teacher come to your house and your primary audience was your family constantly telling you you’re great.

"You finally want to be in a band when you're 18, you have a giant ego and no way to musically socialize with another musician," he said.

"We cut all that out. "This is band."

Many of the students end up becoming good friends and forming their own bands -- one of the most rewarding aspects of his job, STATiC said.

"The part I really caught on to is how these kids really learn to get along," he said. "I enjoy being the circus ring leader of sorts to keep kids who were like me inspired."

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