Rock Workshop

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The deadline has passed, but we still have openings for the following:

Drums - Classic, 90s, Hard Rock

YOUTH (Middle school/Early High School)
Bass or Guitar/Bass (switching between the two) - Indie, Alternative

Spots will be filled on a first come, first eligible basis.


In Rock Workshop we place musicians into bands based on genre, age, and experience. In the summer session bands write and record originals over the course of two weeks in our professional recording studio, coached by our engineers and play a gig. Any rock style is accepted including metal, punk, indie, classic, and blues; any age from 9-99; and any level of experience* from beginner to advanced shredders.

*Participants must be able to play through at least one song to be eligible. See "Auditions" below for more info.









Madison Music Foundry began the Rock Workshop program in the fall of 2008. Since then we have had over 300 musicians participate in 109 bands.

Many parents have commented on their child’s increase in confidence and renewed interest in music as a result of their participation. Students have remarked on how Rock Workshop provides them with a very different experience than they get from school and often find that they can express themselves more creatively through this program.

Adult participants have commented on the excitement they felt at finally getting on stage (or in some cases--back on stage) after wanting to for all these years. A number of groups have even continued on after the completion of the program.

How it Works


The main difference from the fall/spring sessions is that the summer session is two weeks long and takes place at Blast House Studios, located at 1117 Jonathan Dr - four blocks from Madison Music Foundry. Rehearsals are two hours and take place each weekday Monday-Friday (the final rehearsal on the last Friday will be at Madison Music Foundry). The exact times are established once the groups are formed.

See "Enrollment" below for links to enrollment forms.


The first step in Rock Workshop is completing an application. There is a $25 application fee which will count towards tuition.*

See "Application" below for the link to the form.

After we receive all the applications, we will contact you to schedule a time for your placement audition. We place students into bands based primarily on ability, age, and musical interest. However, sometimes need (i.e. for a particular instrument) and availability affect placement as well.

See more about auditions below.

Tuition is $375 and is due in full at the time of placement* and includes:

  • An instructor for all rehearsals and recording sessions
  • All the gear needed for the rehearsals, recording and the gig
  • The recording studio rental including the recording engineer
  • A CD of your band’s recording
  • Rental of the High Noon Saloon including a live sound engineer
  • We do offer financial assistance. You can apply via the enrollment form.

*If we are unable to place a student in a band, then the full tuition and application fee will be refunded. However, the fee cannot be refunded if the student withdraws after the enrollment form is submitted.

Once students are placed into a band, we will contact you about scheduling a regular rehearsal (see dates for upcoming sessions). The group will meet weekly over the course of nine weeks. Seven of those weeks are two-hour rehearsals (the other two weeks are recording sessions--see below). Bands are expected to learn three songs and these tend to be all originals. Madison Music Foundry provides all the amps, drums, keyboards, microphones and speakers needed for rehearsals. Students only need to bring their guitars, drumsticks, etc.

View the Rock Workshop syllabus.

Weeks four and eight will be spent recording at Blast House Studios. These two sessions will be three hours long. All the bands’ songs are placed on a CD which is handed out at the gig* (though students will get a CD-R immediately after their recording session). The final rehearsal will be focused on preparing for the live show.

*Summer session participants get the final CD at the end of the following Fall session.

The Rock Workshop showcase usually takes place at the High Noon Saloon, a world-class music venue that regularly hosts touring national acts along with local talent. All the bands perform in one show and get 20 minutes to setup, play and takedown. Like rehearsals, Madison Music Foundry provides all the “backline” for the show (amps, drums, keyboards) while the High Noon Saloon provides their in-house PA system along with a sound engineer to run it.

Dates for the next Rock Workshop session are listed below.

Important Dates


APPLICATION DEADLINE - August 20th, 2021*
*Space permiting after deadline

Saturday, August 28 & Sunday, August 29
At the Madison Music Foundry

September 30th-December 5th, 2021
**Rehearsals are replaced with recording sessions at Blast House Studios the weeks of 10/21 and 11/18

Rehearsals are weekly and are two hours long; the two recording sessions are three hours long. Dates and times offered for the session can be found here.

Sunday, December 12th at the High Noon Saloon, 11:AM-4:00PM


The first step in Rock Workshop is completing an application. There is a $25 application fee which will count towards tuition. Fill out the application form here.

Fall: Friday August 20th, 2021

Rock Workshop Placement Auditions

We call them "placement auditions" because the main point is to learn about your musical talents and interests in order to place you in an appropriate band. In order for us to get the best understanding of your abilities, we've come up with the following critieria:


  • Guitarists/Keyboardists: something with rhythm playing and something with lead playing
  • Bassists: a fast and a slow song, or contrasting styles such as a punk rock tune and a blues tune (or whatever styles you like)
  • Drummers: contrasting styles such as a metal tune and a blues tune (or whatever styles you like)
  • Vocalists: songs that show your vocal range and styles
  • Instrumentalists/Vocalists: If you signed up on an instrument, but also sing, I'd like to hear you sing and play a little--it's okay if it's just part of a song.


It's okay if you don't know all of things we ask for in the technical category. However, the more you know, the better player you'll be, so you may want to ask your instructor about them.

  • Guitarists/Keyboardists: Chords (I'll name them, you play them. They could be power, open, or bar chords), scales (major, minor, pentatonic)
  • Bassists: Note finding (I'll name them, you play them), chords (outline them), scales (major, minor, pentatonic)
  • Drummers: Different types of beats (i.e. rock, 6/8 ballad, shuffle), counting exercise (play for 8 bars and play a fill on the 8th bar and repeat entire pattern 3-4 times)
  • Vocalists: Major scale (could be solfege)


Everyone will do some sort of play along with the auditioner(s). We'll either

  • tell you the chords (guitarists and bassists),
  • play a style on bass (drummers), or
  • play a simple chord progression on guitar or piano (singers)

and will ask you to play or sing along. This is meant to get a feel for how you learn new material--something you'll be doing a lot of in Rock Workshop.

Most importantly, have fun! We know anything with the word "audition" sounds nerve wracking but Rock Workshop is a different kind of organization. Just come down and show us what you know, and we'll take it from there. The more relaxed you are, the better sense we'll get of what the right band for you is.



At the end of every session we send send out a questionnaire to get feedback from students and parents about what they liked and how to improve. Here are some things they said:

"[An] absolutely fantastic experience for all of us. We hope to enroll in another workshop soon. Really appreciate all of the efforts the staff of the foundry put forth to make it all work and the education and instruction are superior. Keep up the good work!"
--Parent of a Rock Workshop student

"It provided me with chance to work with a professional instructor, who is well trained, record in a professional recording studio, and have a real gig at the HIGH NOON SALOON!!! "
--Youth Student of Rock Workshop

"My daughter's personality totally emerged through this year's experience. What had been a timid, quiet girl became a vocal leader, confident performer and out-there personality by the end of the program. Fabulous to see the showman emerge!"
--Parent of a Rock Workshop student

"Chris Vincent was awesome! He was funny and great to work with. We had fun, but also he kept us in line and stayed professional when we needed to be. Everyone at the Foundry was very professional and welcoming."
--Youth Student of Rock Workshop

"You guys did a really good job with the organization and communication, and the music turned out great!"
--Parent of a Rock Workshop student

"I loved everything!!!!!"
--Youth Student of Rock Workshop

Click here for articles about Rock Workshop, Madison Music Foundry, and Blast House Studios.

Rock Workshop Gallery