Envision being a rock star taking the stage ready to perform. Electrifying energy fills a packed house. Palms sweating, it’s just you, the band, and your instruments. Suddenly, the crowd erupts into a thunderous roar as you start to jam. Fantasy? No, fact! This is how members of The Beat feel each time they play a gig.

What’s The Beat? A classic rock band opened to all students at Fairmont Historic Anaheim Campus. Led by music teacher and jazz musician Sam Montooth, the students meet before school to practice for at least 30 minutes per session. Band members who participate learn to express themselves through music which helps them develop self-confidence and bolsters their self-esteem. “Think garage band with a leader,” says Montooth. His students may choose to sing, play guitar, drums, percussion, or even rock a beat on a cowbell.

Eventually, they learn to play music by classic artists like Toto, Queen, Joan Jett, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO). Interestingly, the band is comprised mostly of students with little to no experience. However, Mr. Montooth’s passion and love of teaching is the driving force behind the band. One of his favorite aspects of teaching music is watching his students start with little to no musical knowledge or rhythm and eventually grow to the point where they can perform confidently in front of a crowd. “It’s the connection between mental and physical. Everyone is capable of learning music.”

The Beat is currently preparing for their Spring Jam (concert) on May 15, at 5:30 pm at the Historic Anaheim Campus. As a working musician and a music teacher when his students or their parents come to him to say thank you, he knows he picked the right profession.