Brooklyn Music Center, Boyle Heights

My good friend asked me to share her words about the Brooklyn Music Center, the new music space operated by Ollin’s front man, Scott Rodarte.

Brooklyn Avenue Roots, Alive and Rockin’
By Victoria Kraus

A new community music school will open its doors this January along Cesar Chavez Avenue (formerly Brooklyn Avenue) by East Los rockin’ roller, Scott Rodarte of local Chicano punk-rock band Ollín.

Brooklyn Music Center

The Brooklyn Music Center (BMC) will function primarily as a school offering children and adults alike in the community affordable group and private lessons on a variety of instruments. The space will also be equipped and available to bands for rehearsals and recording.

“Our vision is to help generate art in the neighborhood so folks don’t have to go outside of the community to create or be enriched, musically,” Rodarte says of his music center.

The Brooklyn Music Center was previously the Brooklyn Medical Clinic. The space, still reminiscent of its history with its vintage architecture and glass blocks along the storefront entrance, was a shared medical and optometry clinic owned and operated by Doctors Freidman and Kaplan. Scott and his brother, Randy, also of Ollín, used to work at the clinic while in high school, where they made pairs of glasses among doing other administrative duties.

Rodarte remembers the variety of commerce that used to thrive on Brooklyn Avenue such as the Brooklyn Theatre directly across the street from his music school, Phillips Music a few doors down, and Kens, a sporting goods store. “You know, all the mom and pop stores that were around before the corporate entities like Guitar Center, AMC Theatres and Big 5 took hold of society,” Rodarte reminisces.

BMC might stir some friendly rivalry with Boyle Heights’ acclaimed Neighborhood Music School but friendly would be is as far is gets. Rodarte has more of a rocker’s intention with the music program he plans to build. Rodarte and fellow musicians from his band along with friends will be teaching everything from percussion to electric guitar, maybe even the washboard.

Remodeling of the Brooklyn Music Center is scheduled to complete in early January.

2515 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.  (at Fickett) 90033

9 thoughts on “Brooklyn Music Center, Boyle Heights

  1. Oh man that is so cool and hes right about creating such things “in the community” so we don’t have to go- outside of it.
    I vaguely remember Phillips Music as a kid in the 1980’s- pero si recuerdo there was also a Jonsons Market near the King Taco where a elementary school is now.

    Music helps to feed the heart and soul,this too will help nurture the creativity we all have, its not all about sports you know<—especially with boys.

    I played the trumpet as a boy in elementary school and then moved over to the piano.
    Now as an adult Ive used music (songs-especially instrumentals) as a form of therapy because the lyrics and rhythm can help relax and heal 🙂

  2. is that what all the noise was about ? I always kept hearing all this construction going on and when I noticed that they stopped having band practice on Wed nights, I thought the place was sold off. This is a great idea and I’m sure they’ll get plenty of students. Hell, I might take up guitar lessons.

  3. Scott, this is wonderful idea. My heart is filled with excitement. I would love to take guitar lessons. Please sign me up. How much? Will u offer voice lessons? If so, sign me up!!

  4. I was so happy to read about this. It is a great investment for the community and brings more music to LA especially to our beloved Eastside. We wish much success to the hermanos Rodarte.

  5. i wish scott, randy and i had centers like this when we were first starting out. our parents’ nerves would’ve been much less frazzled…..

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