27 March 2017

What is band coaching? Long-term trainer Ruud Borgers interviewed

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.Image result for ruud borgers
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!

Training week with Ruud Borgers in photos

Hello, readers!

As it was announced in this post, a training week with Ruud Borgers happened from 20th until 25th of March. Check out the highlights in the photos below!


17 March 2017

Upcoming training week and a concert in Gracanica

Hey, readers!

There are many activities planned for our students to happen in the near future, one of those being another gig in Gracanica. Before that happens, we will be visited again by Ruud Borgers for a training week that will last from 20th until 25th of March – 25th being the event date of the concert.



Having Ruud Borgers work with our bands all these years has been really valuable for the students, as they get to learn more from him each time, so we expect this upcoming training week to be as successful as ever. With these rehearsals, the bands will be ready to perform their old and new tunes at Genghis Pub in Gracanica, on 25th this month.




Ruud Borgers





(photo taken from the official Facebook profile of Genghis Pub)


Stay tuned for news and photos from these events!

2 March 2017

Hip-hop workshop with Mergim Memoviq

Hello, readers!

On 25th of February, for the first time ever, our south branch students have engaged in something completely different – a hip-hop workshop. Led by Mergim Memoviq, the class started off with the introduction of the genre and the interpretation of its lyrics in general.




The introduction consisted of a discussion about hip-hop as a revolutionary genre since mid 70s until now. The students were taught about the first steps of hip-hop, its pillars, and what hip-hop contains as a music genre. The entire workshop was followed with interaction and many of the main hip-hop figures were mentioned, as well as their impact in the music industry. The discussion extended to the evolution of the genre and the inspiration behind it.



During the lyrics interpretation session, participants were asked to interpret their favorite hip-hop verses and to try to freestyle on their own. Participants also discussed rhyming styles and the importance of combining different writing techniques to create good hip-hop lyrics.



Overall, the workshop was very successful and we’re excited about engaging the students in music genres not yet celebrated at the Rock School.