When Ryan Van Tuyl first picked up a guitar in the eighth grade, the notion of a rock 'n' roll school for kids seemed pretty far-fetched.
The Fountain Valley High School graduate first honed his musical chops by playing bass in a friend's punk band. At the time, rock music was already a multimillion-dollar industry, but it didn't have the prestige of, say, law or medicine.
"When I was a kid and I wanted to go buy a guitar and join and band, my dad was absolutely against it," said Van Tuyl, a Huntington Beach resident. "He thought I was going to be a strung-out drug addict who didn't finish high school."
As it turned out, Van Tuyl finished high school and then some. After serving as musical director for several Orange County churches, he earned an associate degree from the Bass Institute of Technology at the Musicians Institute. Six years ago, he launched his most ambitious project yet: RockStars Music Studios, which trains kids and adults how to play like their idols through one-on-one instruction, group lessons and live shows.