NLR School of Music
In 2011 I started teaching with my first guitar student, once a week. Six months later I had about 15 students, and a year later I couldn't keep up any more.
The more I taught private students, the more I realised there was a need for a structured curriculum. It wasn't enough to just teach new chords, a new song and a new scale every week. I needed a curriculum that would accomplish three goals. The first was that it should be structured. There must be definite linear progression through the curriculum, with definite building blocks, where each block of skills build on the previous block. The second goal is that the syllabus must be comprehensive in the material offered. The third, and this is arguably the most important for me, is that it had to be fun and relevant.
Rockschool (also known as RSL Awards) ticked all of these boxes for me. The Rockschool curriculum starts with Debut (Pre-Grade 1) and goes right through to Grade 8. Every grade builds on the principles and techniques learned in the previous grades and challenges the student just enough to keep them interested, but not so much so as to demotivate them.
The second criteria is met with flying colours. The Rockschool curriculum teaches everything that is necessary for a person to become a well-rounded musician. This includes songs, technical exercises, sight reading, ear tests, improvisational skills and general musicianship skills.
All of these principles and techniques are taught in a fun and relevant way. The songs that students learn are contemporary and comprise of genres such as Rock, Jazz, Fusion, Funk, Metal and more. The songs are relevant in that the students can choose songs they like and want to play. They are not given a specific three songs that they are forced to play. The syllabus is also relevant in that two exams are offered. The one is called a grade exam, where the student plays three songs, and gets tested on technical exercises, ear tests and sight reading and general musicianship. The other exam is a performance exam, where the student can opt to only play five songs, and skip the rest. Offering two different kinds of exams offers the student the opportunity to decide which is more relevant for their musical goals.
Another important factor in my decision to use the Rockschool curriculum is the fact that it offers an international accreditation. This means that, apart from the accreditation itself, I was confident that my students would receive world class tuition and qualifications.
In 2012 I started offering the Rockschool electric guitar curriculum. It worked well and my students really enjoyed the songs and the skills they were learning. The parents were also happy that the students could play an exam and get a qualification to show for the hard work they put in.
When Rockschool launched their 'Rockschool Popular Music Theory' syllabus in 2015 I jumped on the opportunity to offer my students theory lessons. The subject was also well received as it focusses on the rock and pop musician. This made the subject attractive to everyone who wanted to know more about the theory behind contemporary music.
Things were going well with my electric guitar students. Everyone was moving forward and learning new skills and becoming better musicians. I felt sorry for my students who were playing acoustic guitar. I taught them songs and scales and theory and everything I could, but there was no fixed syllabus I could teach. I was overjoyed when Rockschool brought out their Acoustic Guitar syllabus in 2016. For the first time I could offer my acoustic guitar students the same level of tuition and qualification as I did my electric guitar students. My students and their parents were just as excited about this. Needless to say I immediately started teaching this syllabus.
In 2017 Rockschool launched their Music Production syllabus. As far as I can tell, Rockschool is the only institution that offers a music production graded syllabus. That means that music production is offered from Grade 1 to Grade 8, like all the other syllabi. This syllabus aims at teaching the relevant technical, practical and theoretical principles used in audio production, electronic music production, mixing, editing, mastering or sound for media. I started teaching the music production syllabus at the end of 2018.
In 2020 Rockschool launched their new Ukulele syllabus and I jumped at the opportunity to add this instrument to the list of subjects that I offer.
Over the course of nine years I have entered countless students for Rockschool exams, all of whom have passed their exams. I am confident that I can do the same for you or your child.
Head on over to my Music Lessons Packages page for an overview of my packages and pricing. This page will answer most of your questions quickly and easily.
Do not hesitate to contact me today so we can discuss the best route forward for your, or your child's, musical career.