Next big talent in Cockburn

Sam Touchell (director of the Rock Academy) and Grant Touchell (teacher  from the Rock Academy) and students.
Sam Touchell (director of the Rock Academy) and Grant Touchell (teacher from the Rock Academy) and students.

A ROCK band program operating at the Cockburn Youth Centre could be nurturing Australia’s next great musical talent.

Rock Academy was set up in 2012 and provides young people with the opportunity to rehearse weekly with a professional music tutor and perform at some of Perth’s most popular music venues.

‘After attending a similar school when we were teenagers, my brother Grant and I have always wanted to provide young musicians with the same opportunities that we were given,’ said Rock Academy director Samantha Touchell.

Rock Academy students are sorted into bands depending on their instrument, experience and music interests.

‘We rehearse every week during the school terms and, although we see them working hard and constantly improving, it’s when we see them up on stage applying all their hard work, rocking out in front of a crowd of people and loving every minute of it that we know we are doing a positive thing. It’s really inspiring.’

‘We are constantly amazed by the level of talent we have in our academy. We definitely have more than a few stars in the making.’

Samantha said the academy gives young members the confidence to follow their dreams.

‘I guess they like that not only are we teachers but we all play in bands and perform around Perth, so they have something to look up too,’ she said.

‘Their dream of pursuing music as a career feels more achievable because they see us living it.

Cockburn Youth Centre coordinator Paul De Bruin said Rock Academy had been complimentary to the centre.

‘It’s all about positivity, so we definitely benefit from having them in the centre,’ he said.