Music Learning Collective

RSL Awards Celebrates 30 Years in Music

In November 2021, our good friends at RSL Awards celebrated a very momentous occasion—their 30th anniversary!

We were delighted to be invited to an intimate venue close to their HQ in Teddington to help them celebrate. After delayed trains and arriving “fashionably late”, we had a fantastic evening with them and their other long-term partners and collaborators.

One particular highlight was getting the chance to hear from RSL’s founder, Norton York, about what led him and a few close colleagues to establish Rockschool all those years ago. Primarily, it was in response to the fact that if you wanted to earn accreditation on electric guitar, bass, drums or keys, there was simply nothing available to you (other than classical piano, timpani and the French horn!).

This is something that resonates with us here at the MLC—we’re passionate about providing quality music education on instruments, laptops and in styles and genres that people want to learn today. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not knocking the classics of the past, bygone eras (we love them, in fact) but trying to teach a kid who’s listening to Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa or Silk Sonic about the finer points of a Mozart symphony rarely ends well; we need to spark their enthusiasm and passion for music first. Then, with expert guidance and encouragement, they will naturally trace the steps back to who influenced their idols, and who influenced them, and so on (most people end up back at Bach, eventually).

It’s exciting for us to see how well this approach works and following a framework such as RSL’s syllabus not only brings structure but, of course, recognised accreditation too (even UCAS points at the higher grades).

The evening also enabled us to hear from RSL’s current CEO, Suzanne Harlow, about their direction of travel and the exciting opportunities on the horizon. To top it all off, we were honoured to be awarded the status of an RSL Approved Centre!

Watch some of the highlights of the evening below, not least of which includes our very own CEO, Paul Hose.

2022 will see the MLC celebrate its own momentous occasion—our 15th anniversary! We hope to be as disruptive, passionate and forward-thinking as our colleagues over at RSL were in 1991 and continue to be to this day. Happy birthday, and here’s to the next 30 years!

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