CLEAR LAKE, Texas -- The first Houston-area School of Rock recently opened its doors. Young aspiring stars can now learn from music professionals at the Clear Lake campus.

It is owned by music man EJ Nolan.

Children who study music, who play music, do better at math, do better at language, Nolan points out. There s a new study that shows playing in a band with others encourages empathy, compassion, and listening skills.

Nolan, a musician and songwriter, has worked professionally as an audio engineer, announcer, voice-over specialist, and actor.

He even had a part in the Disney movie Glory Road as the legendary voice of the (UTEP/Texas Western) Miners. However, fans of the Houston Rockets may remember Nolan as the voice who called the first championship season Rockets.

Whether movies or sports, sound is at the center of all Nolan has done. To him there s no greater sound than music, especially at the hands of young people.

Nolan lost his talented teenage son, Dusty, to bone cancer at the young age of 15. He was a singer and student who studied at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts.

Nolan shares, I feel like by hearing the young people here playing music, it s like I can still hear him.

Nolan sees a lot of Dusty in the young music students at his school including students like 11 year-old guitarist Austin.

I m excited when I always come here, says Austin about attending the new School of Rock. You wanna do what you love... you know what I mean?

Like most of the other students at the performance based school, Austin, receives private lessons but also gets the opportunity to jam with others.

He says with a big smile and his guitar in hand, Sounds really cool when there are other people playing with you instead of being at home.

When they all play together they really rock. Students range in age from 8 years old to 17.

Classes average about $50 a lesson. To learn more call 281-21U-ROCK.

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