Category: Music Teacher

Rockschool Guitar Exams – “a great entry to guitar based music”

March 15th, 2019 by

Danny Webber is a guitar teacher based in Bristol, providing a mobile service enabling students to learn from the comfort of their own homes in and around the Bristol area.

 This article has been written for Rockschool on behalf of MGR Music by Leigh Fuge, a professional guitarist, tutor and journalist. Here he interviews Danny Webber, a Guitar tutor based in Bristol.

Dan runs Guitar Lessons Bristol and has been working professionally as a full time private guitar teacher for the past 4 years. With over 10 years teaching experience, Danny utilises the Rockschool Graded Curriculum with his students over the lessons he offers. Aside from the benefits of sitting a recognised qualification, Dan uses the RSL range of graded exams to provide his students with a thorough path from beginner to advanced player and expose them to a variety of genres and techniques.

Danny is a proficient player who plays in a range of bands, covering everything from functions and private gigs to pubs and original music, as both a guitar and bass player and has also completed his Rockschool Grading during his years studying at Bridgewater College, Truro College and Plymouth University, Danny holds a BA (Hons) in Music and a Grade 8 Certificate from RSL.

“I really like that the emphasis is not just on the playing, but also on the technical side such as scales and aural testing. It is very well rounded.”

All of Danny’s students feel the Rockschool grades are great for pushing them into new techniques and genres and he feels they are great for helping students plan ahead towards having a career in music, using the Rockschool curriculum to obtain the full range of skills needed.

“The exam experience was great, my students book their slots for exams themselves and often get their desired dates.”

Being based in Bristol, the local exam centre for RSL is based in a Bristol College, this provides students with a comfortable and professional environment to undertake their examination. Any students on Danny’s books that have ever needed to contact Rockschool to discuss moving exam slots, dates of exams or any general queries have always provided good feedback about their experience.

As a teacher, Danny has also felt the benefit of using these resources with his students saying that “as you move towards the higher grades it pushes you to use and recall your own technical and theoretical knowledge at a higher level than you might do on a day to day basis.”

Danny feels the way the books are laid out are intuitive to every age group and contain enough varied material to please everyone. The books variety is also great for influencing younger students to find their musical interests.

“It’s a good way to discover what sort of music you might like. It’s a great entry to guitar based music in different styles. There is usually a metal track, a rock track, a blues track, a jazz track, a funk track and more. In my own learning I would sometimes pick the jazz based tune to push myself into playing something I would not have otherwise done in my day to day playing, it could be a real eye opener for me.”

The option to choose some well known songs that have been arranged for particular grades is a great way to encourage people to push themselves by playing songs they known but while also giving them the option to play songs by artists/genres they might not be familiar with.

Do you have a story about how Rockschool graded exams have helped your students? Get in touch with us as we would love to write about it!

About the Author:

Leigh Fuge is a professional guitarist, tutor and journalist from Wales in the UK. He has been working in the music industry for over 10 years as a touring and studio musician with various artists, guitar tutor and writer for many high profile guitar publications. He also teachers via the MGR Music platform and helps pair hundreds of high-quality tutors with students around the country.

RSL Teacher Conference 2019

December 19th, 2018 by

Join us at the Twickenham Exchange on Sat 9th Feb 2019 for the inaugural RSL Teacher Conference as we aim to connect music teachers with our industry partners.

Not only is this a great opportunity for Music Teachers to network but this also allows them to receive beneficial advice and support from our key industry partners, including; Steinberg, Casio, Yamaha Education, Musicians’ Union, Hal Leonard & Music Gurus.

Leading industry professionals including examiners, teachers, business entrepreneurs and many more will be sharing their expertise and experience through engaging workshops and seminars throughout the day.


We’re delighted to announce our opening Keynote: An Interview… with Max Helyer (You Me at Six)


You Me at Six Guitarist, Max Helyer, will discuss his personal account of Rockschool-Student-to-Rock-Star, as he sits down for a chat with our very own Tim Bennett-Hart.

2018 saw the band release their sixth studio album ‘VI’ – their fifth Top 10 album in the UK – which was supported by a sold-out tour, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the bands’ debut.

You Me at Six’s acclaimed debut album, ‘Take Off Your Colours’, included such hits as ‘Kiss and Tell’ and ‘Save It for the Bedroom’. Six years and three albums later, they found themselves Number 1 on the UK album chart with 2014’s ‘Cavalier Youth’. The band have toured with the likes of Paramore, Fall Out Boy and Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Topics for discussion will include:

Teaching Technology. UK Education Strategy Manager, Dan Francis will lead a session with Steinberg on the approaches teaching music technology to groups and individuals. Discussing the equipment needed and tools available to help any musician expand their teaching to include technology.

Preparing students for Examinations. Senior examiner Dr Bruce Darlington will explain the common issues experienced by examiners and how to prepare students to make the most of their examination. This includes looking at areas such as interpretation and improvisation.

Dealing with Performance Anxiety. James Banfield from The Liberated Mind will be exploring the effects of performance anxiety. In this session, James will deliver practical tips and techniques that you can provide to your students to cope better with performance nerves.

Piano and Keys 2019. There has been a great sense of anticipation for the upcoming Piano and Keys 2019 syllabus  and we are delighted to announce Teacher Conference 2019 attendees will be first to get inclusive insight to the new material including artists, tracks and MUCH MORE!

Prices : £40


Free Workshop for Vocal Teachers

November 12th, 2018 by

Join us at Leeds College of Music on Saturday 24 November for a free workshop for vocal teachers led by Kirstie Smith. As part of the workshop you will be able to find out more about the Rockschool graded exams syllabus for singers and how this can support your teaching practice. Kirstie is a vocal specialist, professional musician and experienced examiner with a wealth of experience to share.

You can read more about the syllabus online here…

The workshop is suitable for vocal tutors; teachers who work with vocal groups; and HE students who may be considering vocal teaching as part of their professional practice.

To book your place, please complete the following form by Friday 16 November. Places are limited to 20 people.


This workshop is run by RSL Awards (Rockschool Ltd) in partnership with Junior LCoM, the Junior department of Leeds College of Music. Junior LCoM runs a range of courses during the year for school age students including our Saturday Music School, holiday courses, and aural and theory training. Please let me know if you would like to know more about our work and how it can support your students. Find out more here…

ISM Webinar

October 5th, 2018 by

Want to know more about music exams? Listen to the ISM Webinar

Do you know everything about music exams?

ISM – the Incorporated Society of Musicians – has prepared a series of free webinars series to help music teachers understand better music exam boards and how their exams work.

RSL has been invited to take part to this project and contributed with the webinar below, presented by Daniel Francis, Education Strategy manager at RSL


September 19th, 2018 by

On Tuesday 25th September, Dan Francis will be presenting a webinar in association with the ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) as part of their Exam Board series.

‘Get to know the ins and outs of music exams and make the best decision for your students. This September, the ISM Trust presents a series of free webinars to help music teachers understand music exam boards and how their exams work. London College of Music, Trinity College London, ABRSM and Rock School will tell you about how their qualifications help pupils progress and provide the latest information on their syllabi.’


Dan will take you through the range of exams currently offered by Rockschool and some of the key features which help them to support students in making good musical progress in both knowledge and skills. This webinar will take you through the new Guitar, Bass and Drums exam series as well as our unique Music Production syllabus and will give you exclusive information about some of the new developments in the Rockschool series which will ensure students are prepared for the world of work in the creative industries.

Comprehensive Qualifications

Rockschool is the only awarding body offering Vocational Qualifications, Graded Music Exams and group qualifications in the Performing Arts and Dan will draw on his experience as a teacher and manager both in and out of schools to give practical insight into the way these qualifications can be used together to create a comprehensive music education. He will also provide information on how they complement other qualifications, such as GCSE and A-Level and provide accreditation for work done inside and outside the classroom.

Learning for Young People and Adults

Rockschool run qualifications from Debut to Advanced level, including Teaching Diplomas and so this will be an opportunity for you to gain insight into how Rockschool can support teachers and students alike in developing their practice to make sure they can work in a range of environments both as an individual and as part of a wider team.


Dan is the UK Education Strategy Manager for Rockschool and, following a degree and PGCE in Music from Nottingham and Leeds, has spent 20 years as a musician, teacher, senior leader and consultant in both schools and Music Services. His primary aim is to work with other music professionals and education advocates to ensure that students have the best access to industry-relevant and high quality musical qualifications which reflect their musical aptitudes and aspirations.

Here is the link to sign-up:

CMU:Music Education Conference

May 15th, 2018 by

CMU: Music Education Conference @ the Great Escape Festival 2018

Catch us on the panel!

RSL will be attending The CMU Education Conference taking place on Wednesday, 16th May 2018 at the wonderful Great Escape Festival, Brighton. The festival, which provides a platform for upcoming artists from around the world, returns to Brighton for its 13th edition, bringing with it 450 of the most exciting up and coming artists of 2018.

In 2016 alone, music contributed £4.4 billion in GVA (gross value added) to the economy, proving that the UK music industry continues to be one of the UK’s biggest success stories with a rich, respected heritage.

The event attracts a wide array of education professionals who have a great opportunity to network, discuss the current state of music education, and engage in profitable discourse with the aim to support students who have the ability to become a part of the UK’s popular music industry.

Like many, we want music education to prosper and be available to people who enjoy music and want to take part; unimpinged by any financial or physical factors. With that in mind,  RSL’s Strategy Manager, Dan Francis will be on the panel discussing progression in arts education; with a focus on: Performance Diplomas, Music Theory Music Production and much more.

Click here to view the full programme.



RSL attends MMA Conference 2018

May 10th, 2018 by

The MMA Conference is back!

We are excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at this year’s MMA National Music Teaching Conference! The conference will be a three day event from 18th-20th May 2018, and will be held at Eton College (Berkshire). The MMA conference connects an array of music education professionals from music administrators, instrumental teachers and heads of department.

We’re always eager to attend events that present a great opportunity for music education professionals to network effectively with inspirational people from inside the music industry. If you would like to share ideas on good practice, develop your classroom skills, and participate in industry-focused activities – then please feel free to come along.

As many more music education professionals react to the rapid growth in the Music Production market, we’re finding that interested parties can find themselves feeling lost when it comes to introducing it in their current teaching timetable. This year, Music Producer expert Sam Vasanth will be representing Rockschool to help you with this very task, with a seminar on the RSL Music Production syllabus, which provides an overview of all the elements featured in the grade exam.

RSL’s Strategy Manager, Dan Francis, will also be in attendance to present an overview of how the material fits within the wider context of each school level, and how it can be used alongside other exams, such as the EPQ qualification.

To view the full programme timetable – just click here.

We’ll see you there!

The RSL Team

RSL@ Brighton Music Conference 2018!

April 26th, 2018 by

RSL are off to the Brighton Music Conference 2018 (BMC) this week.  The BMC hits its 5th year and continues to attract leading delegates and speakers from The Electronic Music Industry . The 3 day event involves a blend of workshops, seminars, networking and club events.  There will be over 50 talks from top experts in the industry, discussing important topics such as mental health in The Electronic Music Industry, how to get your music signed to the right label and diversity in the industry.

Exhibitors range from industry suppliers, technology companies and service providers giving you all the information you need to. RSL will be at BMC 2018 discussing the Music Production syllabus, level 4 teaching diploma and teacher registry for music production graduates.

We will be located at the main arena where you can get all the information you need about Music Production so come and say hello!

 Electronic music industry experts speak at the "BMC 2018"

Click here to view the full programme for the BMC 2018.

Queens Awards 2018

April 21st, 2018 by

RSL wins the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade!

We are delighted and proud to announce that we have won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade! We feel honoured that RSL received recognition and appreciation for the achievements it has accomplished through the years.

Established in 1965 , the Queen’s Award for Enterprise celebrates the UK’s small and medium sized businesses. Widely regarded as the most prestigious business awards in the country, the 2018 award marks the 52nd anniversary of the scheme.

A presentation ceremony will be conducted at RSL HQ by the Lord-Lieutenant of the County as HM The Queen’s representative. Additionally, HM The Queen will host a reception at Buckingham Palace for representatives of the winning companies on the 28th June 2018, with Founder Norton York and RSL’s CEO, John Simpson, in attendance on behalf of the company.