School of Rock!

This year members of our amazing Cullybackey College Student Council decided that they wanted to offer our year 8s an amazing opportunity.

The passage below was written by Adam Wilson, our Head Boy and the student responsible for leading the roll out of the wonderful ‘School of Rock’ programme.


I started the School of Rock program with the idea in mind that I wanted to offer the students in this school something fun to do other than what we already had for them, especially since so many have such a love of all kinds of music.

After participating in the schools’ annual talent show, Cullybackey’s Got Talent, as well as the Spring Concert and being a member of the Cullybackey College Student Council, I had spoken to a lot of these students and saw an opportunity.

I named the program after a music class with the same name in my old high school in Canada, where students would form bands and perform songs together during different events hosted throughout the school year. I was inspired by what I had experienced over there and felt I needed to bring such a great program to Cullybackey College.

The idea of my program was simple. I wanted to give the students a chance to learn the very basics of an instrument or singing, completely free of charge, taught by their fellow students, with the opportunity to show off their new music skills by playing with other students, forming a band, which they would form themselves with whoever they wanted as part of the program.

Here are some words about the program from some of our excellent tutors and organisers:

“When Adam informed me about his idea to start the School of Rock program, I knew immediately the idea was fantastic. I am very passionate about the Arts and getting kids involved in it, so I knew I had to help Adam with as much of the planning as I could so the program could run smoothly, organising the students by year group, putting them into tutoring groups based on what instrument they wanted to play. We started with the Year 8 students and each one involved, regardless of whatever instrument they were learning, astounded us each week with the progress they made. They definitely made us proud! The brains behind the entire program was the incredible Adam Wilson. The program only took place because of his desire to teach children the art of music, so all credit goes to him.”

– Lucy McKendry

“When Adam first told me about the School of Rock program, I thought it was a great idea to teach students about the instruments they wished to learn and how to play them. Music is a massive part of my life and I love everything about it, I was so excited that Adam asked me to help. Throughout the program I helped with the guitar tutoring, which allowed me to get to know some Year 8 students that were passionate about guitar. Regardless of whether they had previous experience or not, they are now all on a similar level after only a few tutoring sessions and are able to play a song or two. This program was the highlight of my school year and the kids loved it too. All thanks to Adam!”

– Halle Millar

“I first heard about school of Rock through Adam. When he told me about his idea I was immediately interested and knew I had to get involved. I have always loved music and have played instruments from a young age. School of Rock brought fun opportunity for the students to get involved in music and to show off their talent. I was so happy to be involved in School of Rock and I hope it will continue to be successful.”

– Nicole Millar