By Craig Michaels

The Academy of Musical Performance, known as AMP, has been instrumental in molding teens through rock band performance for the past five years. This local “School of Rock” based in Old Town Indio, gives students an opportunity to create, communicate and collaborate on their own music and cover songs with other young musicians. The AMP programs are open to all levels from beginners to advanced musicians between 11-18 years old. In addition to pivoting to a new online program this Fall called “the Modern Musician,” the non-profit organization is now proud to offer Private Music Lessons and Instrument Rentals to interested students of all-ages in the Coachella Valley.

“Many people have asked about music lessons in the past and we realized we have an incredible staff of local teachers who can do that,” explained AMP’s Executive Director & Music Educator Will Sturgeon. The challenge was making the lessons affordable and accessible in a post-quarantine world. Earlier this year, AMP received a grant from the Anderson Children’s Foundation which will help provide tuition assistance for low-income families, making one-on-one lessons more affordable. Zoom and other video technology will also help make the weekly lessons accessible to all. Students can choose to connect with a teacher online for 30 minutes to an hour. Lessons range from instruments like the piano, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, vocals, trumpet, violin, and everything in between. Beginner students can get the basics while seasoned musicians can dive deeper into their instruments. It is a great resource for our community and all AMP instructors have been Live Scanned and cleared to work with children.

If you aspire to play music but do not have an instrument, AMP has you covered. True to their mission of making contemporary music education affordable and accessible in the Coachella Valley, the new Instrument Loan Program was created. Students who may not have access to instruments they want to learn can now affordably rent an instrument by filling out the form on their website and AMP will follow up with you. If you have any instruments sitting around your house or in your closet and want to contribute to the program, they are happily accepting donations of working instruments.


Following the success of the first online AMP Summer Camp, Fall 2020 brings – AMP Modern Musician Program. “It was impossible to play all together live online, but we still were faced with having to design a program that would allow teens to collaborate on contemporary music in a group setting” remarked Will Sturgeon. The Modern Music program is a one-of-a-kind online program focused on meeting students where they are (their bedrooms) and giving them the tools to be a successful online musician. AMP’s Fall Modern Musician virtual rock band program will teach students to record, perform, and distribute their music in formats that can reach thousands of people. Students also create music videos and learn the tools and skills they will need to succeed as a musician — now and moving forward. Never in music history have there been more ways to create and showcase music, and during a time when most of us can’t get together in the ways we normally would, AMP’s Fall program paves the way for the Modern Musician. The Fall program registration deadline is this Sunday Oct. 4, 2020.

AMP offers this contemporary music education program regardless of a family’s ability to pay. AMP is able to keep our Tuition costs low through fundraising and donations from our community, and on top of that, approximately 75% of the students participate through some form of Tuition Assistance, which AMP also offers. If you would like to support AMP and the programs they offer you can register to become an AMP Angel. Your monthly contribution will help give a young musician their wings, and you’ll also get access to the new AMP Album: Vol I! To register for Fall Modern Musician or to sign up for Private Lessons and the Instrument Loan program, visit their web site: