Rock stars of the future

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Kids have been rocking and rolling at a popular Summer Rock School learning the showbiz basics.

Pupils from Linlithgow Academy swapped their uniforms for guitars last week at The Sound Station in Livingston as the annual school of rock took off for the fourth year in a row.

Professional guitarist and tutor Gary Clinton runs the intensive timetable from Monday to Friday, balancing vibrant musical education with good fun. The course is based round a typical university or college music timetable with modules such as First Instrument (Guitar), Ensemble Performance, Improvising, Songwriting, Music Analysis, Music Theory and Recording and Mixdown.

Gary said: “For me this course is an eye opener to what it is like to play and study music every day, and also puts the students under a little pressure to learn material in time for recording – good experience for perhaps one day realizing a dream and becoming a professional musician. This year the main study pieces were ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and Jimi Hendrix’s classic version of Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower.’”

By the end of the week the students will have learned two new pieces of music, improved their technical skills, written a song, improvised and analysed music, and also played in an ensemble. All their work is recorded and each student receives a CD of their work, which is professionally mixed and mastered.

Gary added: “I wanted to give the students a recording of themselves so they can hear exactly what they sound like – the microphone doesn’t lie! “They can hear what sounds good and I can help them identify areas to focus on to further improve their skills. For some students it’s their fourth year on the course so they can look back and actually hear themselves improving which gives them a huge confidence boost - and when confidence is high, magic can happen.”

Gary is also working on ‘Rock Starts’, music classes for babies to pre-school children due to begin in Autumn. For more information contact Gary at or go to