At The Rock Box, we have the privilege of working with a variety of students, some of which experience personal hurdles of their own, such as Autism (verbal and nonverbal), Aspergers, Down Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, blindness and hearing loss, just to name a few. While these “disabilities” may pose different challenges for each student, one thing they have in common is they didn’t let it hold them back or stop them from reaching their goals in music. We’re extremely honored and humbled to help them along the way.

We also help students with injuries heal faster while using drumming (and other instruments) as a form of physical therapy.

Whether it be a physical, mental or genetic disability, permanent or temporary, music is a wonderful healer for the mind, body and soul!


Events exclusively for our Special/Sensory Needs students:


“These people get it! Another place that Autistic people can come and learn to shine!” – James Ritchie (Autism Family Center of Florida)


“We enrolled our son, Flynn, for drum lessons a few months ago to give him an outlet and experience. He has Autism and is nonverbal. We decided on drums so he can learn the basics and rhythm. When we enrolled him, we told Angel (drum teacher and co-owner of The Rock Box) we didn’t care if he plays at all. We want him to have an experience and we don’t expect him to do anything perfectly. We also told him even if he doesn’t want to play we would even like it if he could just watch Angel play the drums. Being nonverbal has its major challenges, but Angel stepped up. He read books and researched more into Autism. He asked us questions and changed his teaching style (and drum set for a while) to better serve Flynn. I could not be more happy and at home at The Rock Box. Flynn plays on the drums some days and plays on the floor others, but Angel does everything he can to keep Flynn engaged.” – Sarah White-Bednarek


“The Rock Box has some amazing teachers! We never expected Nathan to play the piano. We just wanted something fun and engaging for him. 6 months later, he’s reading music and dancing while he plays!” – Amy Ayres


“We love The Rock Box! Their fun, laid-back environment is a perfect fit for Rayme. Ray Rogers (guitar teacher) allows Rayme to progress at her own pace while still holding her interest. Not an easy task.” – Bre Gleason


“Both of my young adult children have been taking lessons at The Rock Box since last year. They both have autism and so I wasn’t really sure what they were capable of learning; my main goal for them was just to have a creative outlet to enjoy themselves while possibly learning some things along the way. I was not disappointed! They scored some great teachers who were EXTREMELY PATIENT and figured out a way to help them learn at their own pace without being overwhelmed. It’s been a joy to watch them both practice at home WITHOUT BEING FORCED. We had to leave because we are relocating an hour away. I have a feeling I’m going to be hard-pressed to find another school like this. Highly recommended.” – Catherine Griffin




We Rock for Autism has expanded its reach by helping sponsor the special needs music program at The Rock Box Music School & Stage, in the way of scholarships and supplies. We Rock for Autism has been providing music therapy support since 2014 to children with autism and The Rock Box Music School & Stage, located in North Port, FL has been providing classes to students of all abilities since 2016. Now, with this new found partnership, they both strive to bring the joy and benefits of music to more children on the spectrum.
The sponsorship will start by providing funds to The Rock Box Music School & Stage to help with supplies, mostly books and materials to be used by the instructors during the music-based sessions. Then, scholarship opportunities will be offered to help low income families experience The Rock Box Music School & Stage lessons, to see how their child responds.
“In November of 2018, I received a message from Angel through our Facebook page,” said President of We Rock for Autism, Chris Wilson. “He wanted to learn more about what we were doing and how they could help. We formed a friendship from there and being a fan of some of the projects he has been involved with, just made it that much cooler.”
With both organizations being music based and both with a high-level involvement in the rock and roll community, working together makes perfect sense.
“The Rock Box Music School & Stage is extremely excited to be partnering with We Rock for Autism on this scholarship program. We have done a few fundraisers for them already,” said Angel Bartolotta, creator, co-owner, and drum teacher of The Rock Box Music School & Stage, “and we are looking forward to a bright future together bringing music and happiness to children with Autism.”


We Rock for Autism – We Rock for Autism was founded in March of 2014 with the intention on raising awareness and encouraging the acceptance of individuals and families that have been affected by autism. Providing Music Therapy to children on the spectrum is our primary mission, but we also host events, concerts and music related activities. To learn more, visit www.werockforautism.org

The Rock Box Music School & Stage





    Donation Amount


    1123 N Toledo Blade Blvd
    North Port, FL 34288


    PHONE:  (941) 200-2163

    EMAIL:  rockboxmusicschool@gmail.com



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