Soon young aspiring musicians in the Northside can play their instruments in to a better tune at no cost.

Rox Performance Academy and the Northside Leadership Conference have teamed up to provide children ages 8-12 with free music lessons starting this Saturday at Allegheny Center. The Northside Youth Music Program will provide these free lessons to the creatively inclined and allow them to explore their musical side on the instrument of their choice. 

Stefan Rodriguez, the founder of RPA, has been developing the Northside Youth Music Program with The Northside Leadership Conference for over a year. 

Rox Performance Academy is a local nonprofit Rodrigeuz founded to emphasize the importance of learning the basics of music in a genre that the students want to learn. RPA offers guitar, bass, piano, drum and vocal lessons at all levels at locations throughout Pittsburgh including Plum and Monroeville.

The program will be conducted in a group setting and will initially focus on music theory, which Rodriguez stated "is the key to life.” With increased funding of the program, Rodriguez hopes to offer students lessons on an individual basis. 

Rodriguez emphasized that the overall goal of the project is to form performance groups that could play shows in the area. Performance groups would allow for the program to demonstrate to the public that it is making progress with the young musicians. 

“Our whole goal is to create music groups. It shows results,” he said.

Though the focus of the Northside Youth Music Program will be to teach children the skills necessary to play their instrument of choice, the program also strives to teach students life skills that would benefit them down the road. 

“The avenues are so short. They don’t know how to navigate them. We teach our students to navigate any avenue they choose,” says Rodrigeuz. 

With over 30 years of experience as a musician, Rodriguez and the other staff members at the ROX Performance Academy will be providing children in the Northside the ability to learn and hone their musical craft. With music programs increasingly taking cuts within schools, having a music program outside of school will make sure that every student has this opportunity.

Beginning Saturday, teachers of the ROX academy will teach lessons to students from 1 p.m. -3 p.m. at 4 Allegheny Center on the mezzanine floor. Music lessons of all types will be offered at a group level. 

To enroll a student, call Rox Performance Academy at 724-327-1141.