Corporate-Music Training with Rock Academy Worldwide
Rock Academy Wales (RAW) has developed a bespoke team-building program using the medium of rock music to engage, motivate and inspire corporate employees. RAW offers to come into a corporation and form bands from members of the organization, mentor them while they learn popular rock songs, then let them loose on an eagerly awaiting audience of colleagues.
RAW is powered by experienced individuals from the Rock Music Industry. Following is an interview with Chris Kelly, the Director of RAW. Visit http://www.rockacademyworldwide.com/index.html
Has this been an ongoing part of your business model or is this something new? How did you start?
We’re just starting out; found a space in the market that businesses were not servicing. The competencies gained from teaching kids and teens in a rock-school style setting are the same competencies that are used to teach adults.
We find clients by talking to the managers and see what their needs are. Making music in bands is about working in teams, problem solving, lowering stress, and having fun.
You worked with Microsoft. Were they a bunch of programmers with no music skills? Were they receptive?
About eight out of 20 had picked up an instrument before…they were a very receptive group. Mostly from the accounts team, so quiet mice at first, but rock Gods by the end of the course.
You introduce a lot of people to music both through your corporate training and your courses for young people. Are you working with any musical instrument brands right now?
Nothing that we get endorsed through at the moment, but we’re open to offers.
Can you give me an idea of how a corporate training goes?
Breaking up the drums, three backup singers, two guitars. Start with icebreakers, then we split the bands and assign each band a tutor, then the process of choosing the right song, then rehearsals, finally the gig. We can have between 3 – 10 in one band. Beginners to advanced. Open tune guitars for easy playing. Others can design concert posters, manage the band, costume design etc. Training can take place at their headquarters or at music venues (because they are playing a show at the end). The training can last one day or a week?
You take them from point A to point B; can you define these points?
Some people have no musical background, participants get a list of three songs to play. They pick one or two; they are taught the songs. They perform them later that day. RAW relies on great teachers. Participants are sent documentation in advance (chords, lyrics, etc.). During the show teachers will help out and get them back on track.
How do get people playing quickly?
Drummers will learn a simple 4/4 beat, guitarists will play open chords if they don’t know how to play, keyboards hit one notes or simple chords, bass players 3 or 4 notes, it works out in the end. We choose songs that represent the group’s ability.
How do you get them feeling confident and having fun? What about self-esteem and nervousness?
We give some players wigs and sunglasses, not because we think that is how rock stars are supposed to look, but because it helps them to let go. Adults are more receptive to playing and less shy of failing than the kids who come to RAW.