WHEN former primary school teacher Emily Urquhart’s music program outgrew the community hall, she decided to open a school of rock.
Established in 2008, Rock Scholars in Osborne Park gives young musicians a performance space, rehearsal rooms and a link to the local music scene.
Ms Urquhart said Rock Scholars gave young people an authentic experience of playing in a band rather than just music lessons.
“Up until the age of 18 nobody really knows what’s out there, nobody really knows there’s such a thing as local bands because you can’t go to gigs when you’re underage,” she said.
A musician herself, Ms Urquhart has a range of experience in the Perth music industry.
Ms Urquhart said the school also gave each band a mentor who was a working musician and provided song-writing workshops.
“We teach them what to expect when you go into a studio and work them on writing their own stuff and how to arrange and construct songs,” she said.
After running the business for six years, Ms Urquhart said she saw former students becoming “movers and shakers” of the Perth scene.
“Now I go out to local gigs and most of the young bands will have at least one Rock Scholars ex-student in the band,” she said.
“They are professional, don’t have any ego and they know how the industry works.”
Ms Urquhart said the school had an annual showcase at their concert venue to give the bands something to work towards.
“At one time we had 22 bands here but I like to only have 100 students, having a small community works really well for us,” she said.
“I know every student who comes in here I can give them the one-on-one attention.
“They feel like this place belongs to them in a way.”
The Rock Scholars Band Showcase is on October 24.