September has certainly been an eventful month to say the least! From the new Guitar, Bass and Drums product launch event, to receiving the Queens Award at the RSL HQ from Gillian Norton (OBE DL), Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Richmond. Being a global awarding body, the launch event celebrations went far and beyond our London home. Read below to see the various GBD18 launch events from around the world!

Rockschool GBD'18 Launch Event London

The anticipation is over! The Guitar, Bass and Drums product launch that we’ve all been waiting for took place over the 20th-21st of September at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (London).

It has been an incredible twelve months at RSL HQ, and the product launch event was a significant chapter that allowed us to discuss three exciting new additions to our portfolio, whilst recognising all the hard work and dedication shown by our staff, partners and global stakeholders. We hope all in attendance enjoy the day and had all of their questions answered. Please keep in touch and let us know how the new material is working in your lessons, in the classroom and home sessions.

The Rockschool House Band

Musicians Andy G Jones (Guitarist), Paul Elliot (Drummer) and Andy Robertson (Examiner/Bassist) were introduced as GBD 18’s Rockschool House Band for the event. A mix of highly respected musicians, clinicians, and educators. Between them they have played for the likes of Van Morrison and Queen, with the teaching experience at London College of Music, Tech Music Schools, The Academy of Contemporary Music, BIMM and more!

Their faces may look very familiar to those of you who have seen some of the GBD ’18 videos shared on our social media channels this year. We would like to thank everyone for their involvement with the GBD ‘18 project, it has been thrilling to see so many of you pick up the new books, ask questions, and express your excitement to have so many new songs to learn!

Battle of the Bands 2018

The Rockschool Battle of the Bands took place on the second day (Friday) of the London launch event. Not only were we impressed with the level of performance on show throughout the day, but at the mix of age-groups that entered from all over the UK. After receiving entrants from up and down the country, our final entrants were:

Judges included house band member Paul Elliot, drum legend, Steve White, and our very own Rockschool examiner, Kirstie Smith. AND THE WINNER IS…


The Sound, who performed the track ‘Geek’, travelled all the way from Blackpool and consist of band members: Katie Hill (Guitar), Megan Delves (Keys), Max Fish (Drums) and Will Hooper (Bass). We’d like to thank each of the bands (and their supporters) for taking part. It was a humbling experience to see so many of you enjoy yourselves playing tracks that we hope will be memorable parts of your future development as musicians.

Rockschool GBD ’18: Launch Event India

The Guitar, Bass and Drums syllabus India launch was held in Delhi on the 12th September at the lively, open-air venue Zorba (South Delhi). 

The event opened with a warm welcome note from Country Manager and Director Ritesh Khokhar followed by open jam session where many senior musicians performed tracks from the new syllabus. CEO, John Simpson, also attended the event and has talked about the positivity from all he spoke to. John also delivered a presentation on the ethos behind the release, with insight into the material, the production process and an overview of the history of Rockschool Grade Exams. In addition, there was also a clinic for both guitarists and drummers, which featured performances from more than ten senior guitar and drum players from the Delhi region. Well done to everyone involved in organising the GBD ‘18 India product launch event, there were excellent performances from all the talented musicians who travelled from all over the region to participate in the GBD 18 launch and we would like to thank them for all their efforts.

GBD ‘18 Launch: Malaysia

The new Guitar, Bass and Drums syllabus launch event was hosted at the RockFest 2018 at Sunway University Kuala Lumpur on the 1st September. Students and teachers flooded the event - many having to stand where they could find room – which was extremely encouraging. Business Development Manager, Conor Burns, gave a presentation on the new syllabus and was thrilled to see (and hear) the excitement from all in attendance with regards to the brand-new track-list available.

GBD '18 Launch, Brunei

Conor stopped off at Brunei for two days with Malaysia Rep, Rockie Siew, where they had the chance to launch the GBD ‘18 syllabus to all the RSL centres in the region. This was also a great opportunity for Conor to witness all the students receive their latest awards for their last round of Grade Exams, which is always a heartening experience.

Genre Week!

Genre Week Genre week is still going strong on our social media platforms. Each week our posts focus on the biggest influences on a specific genre with the last few weeks exploring Rock, Fusion, Soul and R&B, Neo-Soul, Metal and Blues Rock – so, if you’re a fan of any of these musical movements, be sure to check out Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Click here for our latest Spotify playlist!

ISM Webinar

ISM Webinar Education Strategy Manager, Dan Francis, joined forces with ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) and delivered a webinar as part of their music education exam series. Dan explained the range of exams currently offered by RSL and the how they can help all students achieve worthwhile, recognised success across multiple levels. We hope those who tuned in on Tuesday afternoon enjoyed the session.

If any of your questions weren’t touched upon, please be sure to let us know at:

If you missed Dan’s webinar, you can watch the full thing here


Wolf Alice Win 2018 Mercury Prize! Last month we were excited to announce that RSL Alumni Joff Oddie and his band, Wolf Alice, were nominated for the 2018 Mercury Music Prize for their second album, ’Visions of A Life’. What we can now confirm is that the band went on to win the illustrious prize. We would like to say a big congratulations to Joff (guitarist) and the rest of the band! (L-R) Joel Amey, Joff Oddie, Ellie Rowsell and Theo Ellis of Wolf Alice attend the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2018 at Eventim Apollo on September 20, 2018 in London, England

MAS Records Announce New Patron

MAS Records (Kidderminster College) confirmed English songwriter and Kaiser Chiefs frontman, Ricky Wilson, as their latest patron. I’m sure most readers are aware, but Kaiser Chiefs, are best known for their hit singles "I Predict a Riot" and "Ruby” as well as their album Education, Education, Education & War which went on to hit number one in the 2014 album charts. Wilson, a coach for the tv show The Voice UK, has now joined the MAS Records family alongside fellow patron, and Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer, Robert Plant.

“The MAS team and I are elated to have secured Ricky as an additional patron to MAS Records alongside Robert Plant and Karl Hyde. We will be keeping in contact with Ricky throughout the year to keep him updated on any standout artists coming through the MAS Scheme”. Scott Garrett, Head of MAS Records. Read the full article here:


September has been a busy month for the team...

Conor’s Tour of Asia!

International Business Development Manager, Conor Burns, visiting Asia this month where he had the chance to travel throughout the region, landing in destinations such as Malaysia and Brunei. Conor continues his tour with trips to Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia! If you’re in any of the countries mentioned and would like to speak to Conor, please contact our International Team on:

John in India!

RSL’s CEO was in Delhi, India this month where he caught up with the RSL India team.John and the team had a chance to catch up and spend some time meeting with music teachers from throughout the region, with the event being attended by over 100 music teachers from Delhi/NCR.

Dan in South Africa!

In our August newsletter, we mentioned RSL’s International Operations Manager Dan Phelps, was off to check out RSL South Africa. Dan had the opportunity to visit new and existing centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Hilton and Pretoria. Dan said: “I had a fantastic time catching up with the South Africa team! I had the opportunity to witness their continuous growth in success and good practice and was more than happy to provide any support that will help them to continue achieving their goals whilst maintaining excellent standards.” South Africa will be celebrating the GBD ‘18 launch in early November and we’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date in a month’s time.

That's it from us for now! We'll catch up later this month!