Preserve, Celebrate and Educate

Rock and Roll was not born during our time.  It was carved and crafted over centuries of oppression, segregation, angst, cultural influences, religions, raw emotion, sweat and determination.   From the American south came the Blues, Jazz and Gospel and from Europe came Folk and Classical―all of which ended up in a melting pot during the late 1940s to create what we now call Rock and Roll.  The instrument that would eventually become the ultimate symbol of this music is the guitar.  The guitar, from its initial incarnation to its recognizable contemporary form, maintains a curious innocence of casual convenience and carry ‘round cool.  Whether the strings are being driven towards an ear-bleeding solo or they are being plucked to the melancholy ringing notes of a loan acoustic blues player, there is no shortage of power or emotion on either end of the spectrum.  Has another instrument ever existed that could convey such extreme messages with the same effect?

The first time I held one of these amazing machines in my hand, I was hooked.  I wanted nothing more in life than to play my guitar.  I became immersed in the artists that manipulated this instrument and took it in every direction imaginable.  I became a collector, but more than that I wanted to preserve and celebrate the history of this music and educate people on every aspect of it.  In 2003 I opened The Northumberland Rock and Roll Experience.

The Northumberland Rock and Roll Experience (NRRE) is a one of a kind, multi-faceted organization based in Port Hope, Ontario.  Over the years the NRRE has been involved in many different musical operations including: a radio program, concert venue, Rock and Roll museum, teaching facility, school program and more.  These days the focus is mostly centered on music education.  Since the beginning the NRRE has maintained a high standard in guitar instruction and has been consistently booked solid with local youth and adults alike who are passionate about learning the skills and techniques of guitar playing and performing.  In recent years the program has expanded to include an “In the Schools Program” that sees instructors visiting local area classrooms teaching both guitar and music history.  The extensive Permanent Collection provides visual references and inspiration for those learning as well allowing people to take a trip down memory lane as they revisit their own musical memories.   The NRRE has also recently begun to offer a band program to students interested in performing with others and getting on stage.

If you have an interest in the guitar I invite you to check out The Northumberland Rock and Roll Experience for yourself.  I encourage you to take the journey down old dirt roads paved by the ghosts of those who came before you and discover the allure of this instrument.  You will be glad that you did.

Keep Rockin’,

Mike Woods


27 Walton Street, Port Hope, ON  L1A 1M8
(905) 885-0908

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