Getting young adults to consider their future can be very challenging but not for a group of students at Rotherham College who have managed to get pupils out of their chairs, participating and asking questions about careers in music.
Students from the prestigious Roland Music Academy at Rotherham College have been on tour taking interactive Music Performance and Technology workshops to local primary and secondary schools. The tour is in partnership with Rotherham Music Service and aims to promote music and music technology in further education.
Rotherham Music Service offers musical opportunities to children and young people in schools and in after school music centres and they also contribute to the educational and personal development of young people.
Working in partnership with the College is an ideal way for a variety of students to be exposed to the exciting and fun side to music without it being class-based whilst showcasing the exceptional students that the College helps produce. The workshops also give students, who may already have an interest in perusing a career in music, the opportunity to speak with College students and find out more about career options and what they can do after school.
The workshop project was devised by Level 3 Music and Music Technology learners in order to generate evidence for their Enterprise and Marketing and Promotion units and the College’s Level 4 BA Popular Music Performance and Production students co-ordinated and planned the tour as part of their Professional Roles and Practice module. This was picked up by the Rotherham Music Service to be rolled out to a number of schools across the Rotherham area.
The tour has seen Rotherham College students performing such classic hits as Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk and then breaking the tracks down, showing how the instrumentation and technology is utilised in each piece.
Every date on the tour ended with school pupils being invited up to perform with the band and the majority of the dates ended up with the Rotherham College students being encouraged to carry on for much longer that their allotted time. Every pupil also received a free CD of material produced and recorded by our students to showcase their best work of the year.
Through the duration of the current tour, the workshops will have been presented to around 2,000 local school pupils at a number of primary and secondary schools, engaging students from year 4 all the way up to year 10.
The workshop tour has been received so well that a number of the schools that have been visited during this initial tour have requested that the Rotherham College students return at a later date.
Music Teacher, Annie Forshaw, from Rawmarsh Community School said: “Rotherham College students visited us as part of an incentive to increase engagement for students to take up instrument lessons. The visiting students were fantastic ambassadors for Rotherham College and produced really enjoyable performances which our students loved. We’d love to have them back to do some more!”
Not only did the students get involved but the staff at some of the schools were observed dancing along. Some even used the opportunity to showcase some hidden talents in singing and performing.
Level 4 BA Popular Music Performance and Production, Ben Talbot, said: “It’s been a brilliant experience. This is very different from a gig. You get to be less formal and it is very enjoyable to see the audience participating. My dream is to go into education so this will look great on my CV. The students that we’ve seen to have really looked up to us and they’ve been really enthusiastic.”