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School children set for gigging experience in rock band lessons

Schoolchildren and teenagers are getting ready to rock on their return to school where they will be taught how to play as a band.

The Rock Project is set to open in the brand new Weald of Kent Grammar School Sevenoaks Annexe for children aged seven to 18.

Led by Chris Thorburn, who runs The Rock Project Tonbridge, students will learn to play guitar, bass, drums and sing as a band in weekly sessions at the school.

Youngsters will learn how to play in a band.

Youngsters will learn how to play in a band.

Father-of-two Chris decided to launch The Rock Project so his young sons Harry and Daniel could learn music in a group environment rather than the more traditional methods. 

Chris said: “The Rock Project is a million miles away from the one-to-one music lessons children usually have in school or with private tutors.

"We hold sessions where they learn their favourite music together before performing it as a band and even get the opportunity to appear live on stage at our end-of-year concerts.

“It not only develops their talents as instrumentalists or singers but helps them create a new circle of friends with the same interests and also builds their own self confidence.”

Growing up in Zimbabwe on a farm and attending a boarding school, Chris later managed safaris in the African bush due to his passion for wildlife.

He moved to the UK 15 years ago, when the safari operation was closed and works in the fruit import industry, supplying fresh produce to supermarkets.

Chris Thorburn will teach children how to become musicians.

Chris Thorburn will teach children how to become musicians.

“I’m always inspired by the wealth of musical talent produced in this country,” he added.

“Young people are very privileged to have all these amazing artists on their doorstep  I used to travel to South Africa just to buy my favourite heavy metal album as many of them, like Iron Maiden were banned in Zimbabwe.

“My only opportunity to see a major rock star was when Bruce Springsteen came to the country in October 1988 as part of an Amnesty Human Rights concert. It was an absolutely phenomenal experience and I was hooked.”

The Rock Project Sevenoaks will begin on Tuesday, September 12 at the newly built Weald of Kent Grammar School Sevenoaks Annexe.

The Rock Project Tonbridge will restart on Friday, September 8 at Weald of Kent Grammar School.

Both of the schools will hold junior sessions from 4.15pm to 6.15pm and senior sessions from 6.15pm to 8.15pm every week.

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