Rock night for mayor

Rock Project
Rock Project

Mayor of Milton Keynes Cllr Martin Petchey was given a guitar tutorial when he visited a new music school.

He spent the evening at the Rock Project Milton Keynes, which has opened four new schools in the area recently.

The franchise is run by Chris Allum, who has been working for The Rock Project Berkshire as a bass tutor for the past two years.

The Rock Project franchise offers adults and children the chance to learn a musical instrument on the guitar, drums, keyboard or bass, taught by a professional musician, before coming together at the end of the class to play live during the two-hour weekly sessions.

Harmeet Nandra, who runs the Rock Project Berkshire franchise, was at the special evening to welcome the mayor, who joined the junior session.

Harmeet said: “We explained to him what we do at the Rock Project and that we want to become part of the fabric of the community of Milton Keynes. We have four schools and about 100 students, with capacity for 160 to 200, so we are working our way towards that and letting people know we are here. The mayor thought it was really good that we are here.”

Cllr Petchey sat in on a guitar tutorial, and had a go himself.

He listened to the students play live together at the end of the session, when they performed Counting Stars by One Republic.

Harmeet said the mayor’s visit made the session extra special for the students, adding: “They were really excited to see him. They had seen him at various places so knew who he was. We were very grateful to him for coming along and to see what we are doing.”

Chris, 29, has relocated with his girlfriend to run the four schools, which are held on Mondays at Fulbrook Middle School in Woburn Sands; on Tuesdays at Great Linford Primary School; on Wednesdays at Romans Field School in Bletchley; and on Thursdays at Chestnuts Primary School in Bletchley.

Chris has a wealth of musical experience, having played instruments since the age of 12 then studying at Brighton Institute of Modern Music before joining a function band, then teaching in schools.

He is looking forward to welcoming new students to the Rock Project Milton Keynes and said: “It is so empowering learning to play an instrument and then performing together. It encourages young people away from electronic screens and to instead use their time to learn a new skill whilst working with others to perform. It’s an incredible achievement and extremely fulfilling to watch the young people develop both in their musical ability and confidence.”

The new school will give a boost to local employment, with seven tutors recruited from the surrounding areas.

For more information or to book a free taster session visit mk.therockproject.com or find The Rock Project MK on Facebook.