Cliviger man sets up his own ‘rock school’

Guitar teacher Chris Walton who is hoping to inspire the next generation of musicians by running music courses in Burnley Schools.'Photo Ben Parsons
Guitar teacher Chris Walton who is hoping to inspire the next generation of musicians by running music courses in Burnley Schools.'Photo Ben Parsons

A GUITARIST is hoping to inspire the next generation of star musicians with his very own school of rock.

Chris Walton (33), who lives in Cliviger, has set up the You Can Rock Foundation to bring cutting-edge music teaching to schools in Burnley.

He believes the not-for-profit organisation will give underprivileged children and gifted youngsters the chance to shine through music.

Chris, who has played the guitar for 20 years, has put together a programme which expands on what schools currently offer, and incorporates everything from hip-hop and jazz to classical music.

He hopes to bring in professional musicians and DJs to teach elements of the course, and has teamed up with Nelson ACE Centre sound engineer Andrea Quarin to cover multimedia and music production.

He explained that the idea came after he visited a Burnley primary school, to do a talk for the children.

He said: “I was asked if I would do a demonstration in school. What really struck me was that some of the kids had never seen live music before in their lives.

“Some children didn’t even know what a violin was. I just thought ‘this is bonkers’. I was gobsmacked. They thought that music was just X Factor.”

But Chris aims to change all that by offering his innovative music programme to schools, both for one-to-one tuition and group work.

He hopes that the scheme will be completely externally funded, so schools do not have to pay a penny.

He said: “When I was a child, music was very available and you could learn any instrument in school, but now it is not so easy.

“We want to open up doors for children to express themselves, use gifts that they have got, or at least try something new.

“The overall aim is to give children the whole experience of what music is, and ignite their passion and vision for it.”

Chris has already been approached by Cherry Fold Primary School to run one of his programmes, and he hopes more schools will get involved.