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Rock University rolls into The Vault

By Kayleigh Rahn
Tuscola, get ready to rock.

On Monday, Feb. 1 The Vault Art Collection will welcome a new face to their crew with Rock University, a business providing instrument lessons for all ages.

Marty Gibson–an English teacher in the Neoga school district and founder of Rock University, or Rock U–has taught private guitar lessons for years; however, it was an unfortunate bout with an illness that forced him to roll back his hours at a part-time job.

“I couldn’t be on my feet all day,” he said. “I thought I needed to find a way to make money with less physical strain. I thought I’d start doing guitar lessons again, but my wife didn’t like the idea of doing them out of the house. So I thought all right, I’d start a little business and if I’m opening a business, why limit it to just guitar, think big for change.”

That’s when Gibson reached out to Neoga resident Dawn James who taught piano from her home.

“Then I talked to another drum instructor, and I thought I’d talk with some of my former students who are music majors at Eastern (Illinois Univeristy),” he said. “We just built and built and built.”

That’s how Rock University opened its doors more than two years ago.

“Besides my self I have eight other teachers,” Gibson said.

For now, Gibson will work guitar and ukulele lessons, while Jim McBride will lead bass guitar, vocals, and harmonica, and Paul Bierman will host vocal lessons.

“We are still working on scheduling other teachers at this point,” he said. “We’re going to try to have certain teachers up here on certain nights. That schedule is still being developed.”

The company also includes a DJ service that focuses on school functions.

“Being teacher owned, you don’t have to worry about the DJ playing crazy things; I know that culture,” Gibson said. And a recording studio at the Neoga location, at 118 E. Sixth St., Neoga, recently opened as well.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 10 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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