Get to know Chris and Jaime Cook, owners of School of Rock Cleveland Park
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Team sports have played a major role in the Cook family. Children were encouraged to join a sports team in order to learn about cooperation, competition and fitness. Chris Cook’s son Aidan was unable to play sports due to a kidney transplant so the family did what they thought was the next best thing, Aidan joined a band, referred to as “Musical Team Sports” by Chris. At the young age of seven, Aidan became a drummer in a rock and roll band at a School of Rock (SOR) franchise in Columbia, MD. The SOR model is students are first assembled into a band, while taking weekly private lessons. Actually learning to play an instrument is almost secondary. The thinking behind this methodology is that children will be motivated to practice for fear of letting their bandmates down. Aidan began his musical journey as a shy, introverted student and has blossomed into a gregarious, demonstrable 17 year old. Later this summer he will even be on tour with the SOR All Stars Band performing in public music venues. It’s a huge honor to be selected for this and he even has groupies. Chris and his wife Jaime will follow the band while they are on tour.
Chris and Jaime were in the market to purchase a franchise in 2018 and had their sights set on a restaurant. However, the more they thought about the positive changes SOR had had on Aidan, they turned their attention to School of Rock. They were even more impressed with the SOR company and like all SOR franchise owners, have a direct line to the CEO. They were awarded a SOR in Cleveland Park in 2019. Currently the Cleveland Park location has 160 students who have showcased their work on the stages of Fat Pete’s BBQ, Pearl Street Dive, the Wharf, Hard Rock Cafe, the Omni Shore Hotel and possibly their most famous location, on Connecticut Avenue directly outside in front of School of Rock.
The Cooks have worked hard to create an inclusive environment for everyone who comes into the School of Rock in Cleveland Park. Many students are trepid at first about the whole thing. Jaime still gets goosebumps when a parent notices the positive changes in their child – the growth and confidence that can only come from hard work and pushing beyond one’s comfort zone. The Cooks have also incorporated a bit of Washington DC into their physical space. Each of the seven practice rooms is named for one of the first seven presidents of the United States. The presidents have been reimagined as punk rock musicians, all well versed on the guitar naturally.
Jaime and Chris love being in Cleveland Park and hope to move into the neighborhood one day. For them, the Cleveland Park has a European feel to it with its walkability and strong sense of community that they believe is only getting stronger. They also feel very fortunate to have the greatest staff, all hard working musicians who believe in the mission of School of Rock. The only challenging thing for them both was to narrow down their musical preferences to just one favorite band or musician. Jaime is solidly a fan of 90s music (REM, Nirvana) and Chris is more into heavy metal (Shine Down) but both of them truly love all genres of music. Cleveland Park is fortunate to have so much talent and positive musical energy in the neighborhood!
3529 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008