Lyle and Jennifer Board are ready to rock—literally. The couple is bringing a School of Rock to Baton Rouge this spring.
Though the California-based company has more than 200 locations, the Boards’ franchise will be the first for Louisiana. The school is known for its hands-on approach to teaching music: Students ages 6-18 learn by performing songs. Programs place students on stage at real rock venues, and its guest professor series brings major recording artists to teach classes.
After nearly 20 years in health care administration, opening the school is Lyle’s way of matching his business experience with his lifelong love for music. The 47-year-old will be general manager and an owner-partner with his wife, Jennifer Landry Board, who’s keeping her day job as principal of Duplessis Primary School in Gonzales. Jennifer, 43, is the daughter of the late swamp-pop musician Joe Landry.
The Boards are transforming a 3,300-square-foot building on Sherwood Forest Boulevard into rehearsal studios, private lesson rooms and drums-dedicated rooms.
The Boards’ musician friends tell them they’re jealous of the young people who’ll attend the school.
“Every time we tell musicians what we’re doing,” Lyle says, “they always say, ‘Man, I wish I’d had something like that when I was a kid.’”
5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THEM
1. The Baton Rouge school will employ professional local musicians as instructors. “We want credible, gigging rock and roll musicians from the area,” Lyle says. “We also want to hire instructors and music and show directors who have music education backgrounds.”
2. To gather inspiration for their school, the Boards visited School of Rock locations in Chicago, Texas and Tennessee. “We not only love the concept; we believe in the people,” Lyle says.
3. They hope the school’s music education will contribute to children’s socialization and academic success.
4. Their careers helped prepare them to operate a School of Rock. “My role with medical practices has been about running a business,” Lyle says.
5. Because school music programs have been cut from many schools, they say School of Rock will offer a new outlet for music education.
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This article was originally published in theJanuary 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.