Rock Band Program FAQ


How do I join a Rock Band?

If you are interested in joining the Rock Band Program at EIAA, your first step is to get in touch with Heather Wagner, the Music and Arts Studios Director. She will visit with you about your interests and set up a time for you to audition. Don’t worry about the audition, it’s just to help Heather place you in the correct band for your skill level.

I have auditioned, how do I register?

After you have auditioned, you need to purchase a membership, and then register for the current term of the Rock Band you are assigned to.  You must register each term.  During the summer months when the bands are busy performing the fee is doubled.  While you will be registering for each term individually, the intention is for this to be a long term committment. By joining a band, you're creating a bond with your band-mates who rely on your dedication to the program.

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Is there a cost to participate in a Rock Band?

Yes. Each student needs to have a membership to the Music and Arts Studios which costs $160 per year. In additions, there is a $75 fee for each term (fall, winter, spring) and $150 fee for the summer session. EIAA works really hard to make sure any student who wants to participate has the opportunity, so if you need help with your membership or class fees, please contact the EIAA office to learn more about payment plans or financial assistance. We never want costs to stand in the way of your participation.

Do I need to be able to play an instrument?

Yes- it is really helpful if you have some experience playing an instrument. However, if you have never played an instrument before, it might be a good idea to meet with the Rock Band coordinators to see how you can get started with some lessons that will set you on the path to the beginner Rock Band.

Are there instruments available?

EIAA has an instrument library with lots of guitars, ukuleles, drums, percussion instruments etc. so we can probably get you the instrument you need to get started. Many times, after a student has borrowed an instrument from us, they have a better idea about what they may want to purchase. If you already own an instrument, that’s great- bring it along!

How often do the bands practice?

Each Rock Band rehearses one time per week with their instructor. At times, when preparing for a performance, an additional session may be scheduled but typically you will rehearse once each week. If your band wants an additional practice time, you can always meet during Open Studio sessions to get a little extra time together.

What if I have to miss rehearsal?

Faithful attendance is encouraged when you are part of a Rock Band. Your band mates are depending on you to be there and it is tons of fun! We understand that sometimes things come up at school or you get sick and you can’t make your practice. If that happens, it is really important that you call us to let us know you will be absent. Heather and our Rock Band instructors make communication a priority to keep things running smoothly, so help them out by making a call if you can’t be there.

What kind of music do the Rock Bands play?

Currently, EIAA has seven bands in the program. Each band decides on a particular genre as their focus, but along with their instructor they are able to decide on the songs they want to add to their set list. 

How do I know what kind of guitar/instrument to buy?

Our Rock Band instructors are all professional musicians and have purchased many instruments throughout their careers. They would be happy to give you some pointers about which instrument would be a good one to start with and where you might shop.

Where do the rock bands perform?

EIAA has two showcases, one at the end of the fall term and one at the end of the spring term, where all bands perform. In addition, community-wide performances are scheduled several times during the year in public and private venues throughout Cedar Rapids. Performances have included; Friday Nights at NewBo, Dan’s Metal Shed, NewBo Market’s Rock the Block, The Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market, Hiawatha Fun Days, The Festival of Trees, The Hiawatha Summer Concert Series, The Linn County Fair, Break the Ice at the Groundswell Youth Venue, and the NewBo Women’s Music Festival. It is important to know that there are typically 2-3 performances per term during the school year. More performances happen during the summer due to the opportunities available at outdoor venues. Being involved in the Rock Band program means that students help to load equipment, set up at the venue, tear down following the performance and unload at the MAS when the performance Is over.

Is there a way to learn the basics about being in a Rock Band?

EIAA offers a Rock Band Boot Camp several times during the year. This program serves to educate students about: band protocol, including set up and tear down of equipment; stage etiquette; how to care for instruments; and improvisation and songwriting skills.  Students in the rock band program also may record and learn about sound engineering in the Music and Arts Studios recording studio. Most are encouraged to take studio classes and music production camps and all bands have an opportunity to record.