Music maestro aids Cliviger Rock School

ROCK ON: Chris Walton (33) of the You Can Rock Foundation has been supported by Burnley firm AMS Neve.
ROCK ON: Chris Walton (33) of the You Can Rock Foundation has been supported by Burnley firm AMS Neve.

A GUITAR teacher who set up his own school of rock has been boosted by a world-class audio technology business.

Chris Walton (33), of Cliviger, created the You Can Rock Foundation to give children the chance to get a cutting edge music education and inspire the next generation of young musicians.

Now Chris’s pioneering venture has been given the backing of Burnley-based AMS Neve. The specialist company, whose technology has been used to make Hollywood blockbusters like “War Horse”, “The Artist” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, has stepped in to provide Chris with top-level sound recording equipment and iPads.

The You Can Rock Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organisation, has already been working with local schools including 60 youngsters from Cherryfold Primary School on song-writing, studio production and music performance.

But Chris believes the help and support from AMS Neve boss Mark Crabtree will help take the project to the next level. He said: “Mark Crabtree has personally given me invaluable experience and advice to help push the You Can Rock Foundation forward.

“He has been dealing with films that have won Grammys and Oscars – that is the level of experience of the industry. He also has a real passion for the local area.

“The reason he decided to back and support me is about music and investing in young people. They can be somebody and they can do it in Burnley without having to go off and do it somewhere else.”

He added: “The equipment will really take it to the next level – we will be able to do so much more.”

Chris already runs tailor-made courses for children in schools which look at the process of creating music from the song writing and musical arrangements to recording the finished product.

The new equipments means youngsters will be able to access Garage Band software to play with, edit and create their own musical arrangements on the iPad.

“In the music world it is not radical but in school terms it is a completely different way of looking at things. It is cutting edge music education. In terms of school there’s nobody else doing it.

“Kids are so aware of technology now and it is so easy to bring technology into the classroom,” said Chris.

He now hopes to bring this new approach to more schools in Burnley and Pendle.

Mark Crabtree, the founder of AMS Neve, said: “I met Chris at the Burnley Bondholders’ Meeting.

“I tried to help him get his ideas into focus, I was intrigued by its broad appeal. It is nothing like a traditional music lesson and in addition he was helping them learn music, creative writing,

“It appeared to be a great and radical idea. It crosses so many different boundaries. It is not an instant form like X Factor is, it’s kindling a lifelong pleasure – making music.”

Mr Crabtree, a self-confessed music lover who plays the piano, violin and guitar, added: “It is all about having inspirational teachers. AMS Neve started because of my love of music and electronics. I had an inspirational music teacher and then put together the company. There is a lot of musical talent around the town. it is great to be able to support that.”