1. Music isn’t a contest.
Spoiler alert: The School of Rock kids don’t actually win the Battle of the Bands at the end of the movie. But does it make them love playing and making music any less? No, and that’s the lesson: Not everything is about popularity or record sales; music itself is the reward.
2. There are no real rules when it comes to making and loving music…
Don’t know how to play a musical instrument? Never sung a song in your life? That doesn’t mean you can’t make music! Forget about what music “should” sound like or traditionally be and get experimenting.
3. …but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from some of history’s greats.
Even if there aren’t any real rules, you can still study and appreciate the music of people who came before you. Whether you love Led Zeppelin, Public Enemy, or The Carter Family, delving into music history is fun. Everyone’s art is always at least a little inspired by someone else’s, after all.
4. Music brings people together.
Anyone who’s ever been in a pulsating crowd at a concert knows the power that music has to bring people closer to one another — sometimes too close.
5. Don’t judge a fan at face value.
Bey stans, EDM kids, punk rockers: There’s no one way to dress, speak, or live. Principal Mullins freaking out to Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen” proves that there’s a crazy music fan in everyone, regardless of how they look!
6. Music is cathartic.
Who could forget when Dewey asked his students to get real with him for the sake of inspiring some song-worthy angst? Whether you’re letting out your feelings by writing a song or playing one to get you through something, music can provide the most magical healing.
7. It’s not always easy being a girl in music.
Summer Finn rejecting the role of a “groupie” solidified her badass status in School of Rock, but hers is an unfortunately common situation in real life too. Don’t ever think you can’t be a bass player like Katie, or the lead singer like Tamika. Girls have more important roles in rock than just being relegated to band-worshippers.
8. Everyone’s taste is different, so don’t get upset when people just don’t ~get~ you.
So maybe someone thinks you’re a weirdo for being a Phish freak. Or, you get side-eyed when you say you can’t stand Ariana Grande. Whatever your taste in music is, it’s OK to be different and to respect everyone else for being different too.
9. Talent transcends age.
School of Rock confirmed that you’re never too young or too old to take music seriously. In fact, with all of their confidence and open-mindedness, kids might actually rock out the hardest.
10. Above all: There’s a place in music for everyone.
Whether you’re a musician, a critic, a manager, or just a super fan, everyone can make music a part of their life. But maybe it’s not the best idea to lie about being a teacher and then enter a group of kids into a music competition?