A group of students at Delaware Hayes High School are getting a hands on lesson about being in a rock band thanks to the one of the school’s new clubs.
The Garage Band Club was started last fall by Hayes math teachers Jake Shafer and Joanne Meyer with the intent to give students who like music a chance to be in a band of their own.
“We wanted to give them the opportunity to be in a band,” Shafer said. “Lots of these kids wont get that opportunity and by having this club we can guarantee they get it.”
Shafer said the club has about two dozen students who play guitar, bass, drums, violin or sing.
“The kids have really responded to it,” Shafer said.
Assistant Principal Rex Reeder said the club is very popular among students.
“Everyone wants to be in a band,” Reeder said Friday.
Reeder said the students meet for the club for one hour, during their study hall and lunch, two Fridays a month. The club is one of more than 50 at Hayes, all with different topics including knitting, cars, video games and ping pong.
Shafer and Meyer said the students are working on a few different songs and will perform them for the school during a competition at the end of the year.
On Friday, the students were rehearsing “Better Man” by Pearl Jam and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. Shafer said the students all have very diverse tastes and said he was surprised that the students picked “Better Man” because it’s older than most of the students.
Shafer said although he teaches math at Hayes, he also studied music performance and enjoys playing music with the students. Shafer said many students bring their own instruments but they don’t have enough for everyone so students take turns playing.
Some of the students have been playing for years, like sophomore Nicholas Smith, who said he started playing guitar after spending his childhood playing games like Guitar Hero.
“I’ve always been interested in guitar,” Smith said. “I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn. It’s cool how everyone works together. It’s something I’d like to explore more.”
The band’s bass guitarist, Paton Neace, a junior, has only been playing for a few months.
“I joined mostly to learn more about my instrument,” Neace said.
Junior and group vocalist Jadis Clay said she was a little out of her depth in the club but was learning about more music.
“I’m a pop girl,” Clay joked Friday. “I am into music and knew this was more of a community thing. We are all working together to make something great. I’ve been exposed to lots of different music and techniques. It’s pretty cool!”
The community was precisely one of Meyer’s goals when she and Shafer started the club.
“I’ve always been a big proponent of the musical community,” Meyer said. Meyer said you could see the students growing and working together.
For Shafer, the goal is just to have fun.
“I’m just trying to teach kids to play,” Shafer said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.