As you know, Ruud Borgers has been a big part of our Rock School, be it band coaching, playing live with our teachers and students, or overall advising and sharing his talent and knowledge with all of us throughout the years. Now you have the chance to get to know him even better in the interview below, where he explains how it is to work as a band coach.
Ruud Borgers by Sander Troelstra (source)
1. Where do you work?
Rockcity Institute, Eindhoven, Netherlands
2. What is your job?
Band coaching teacher
3. What do you enjoy most about your work?
That it is always exciting to see what happens when people start making music together. The interaction, the way they play and sound together, the musical arrangements are what make music interesting to me. What makes the difference between a good band and a not so good band. Actually my field consists of all the things you can’t write down. Everything that goes beyond the facts.
4. What would you like to change about your work?
Nothing really, only… the more talented students are, the more interesting the work, so sometimes I wish some students were more musical.
5. What kind of mentality do you need for your line of work?
Maybe mentality isn’t the right word. I think a better question would be which skills you need to do this. Socially you need to good with people and either be empathic or develop your empathic ability to be able to consider things from someone else’s perspective and understand their musical style. Coaching is a lot easier when people trust you.
Musically you need to be pretty all-round because you need to be able to trigger a whole band to produce a better result. For instance, you should be able to give both a singer and a drummer or guitarist feedback at their own level.
Didactically, you need to be familiar with competency-based education and to keep everyone in the room busy.
6. Why did you choose this work?
I never thought I would be a teacher but when someone asked me it seemed like a good idea. It seemed like a logical thing to do on weekdays since there aren’t too many opportunities for musicians to play on those days.
7. If someone wants to become an entrepreneur, what advice would you have?
Not too much about entrepreneurship because that’s clearly not my strong suite. I never really developed my business side and I don’t want to spend too much of my time on those things, so I work with others who know that side of the work. But maybe one piece of advice: know your limitations! If you are not so good at something, like accounting or promotion, hire someone who is good at that to do that part. We don’t want mediocrity of course!