WE'VE STARTED A SERIES OF CONVERSATIONS WITH STUDENTS WHO HAVE HAD LESSONS OR BAND LESSONS WITH THE BAND SCHOOL IN THE PAST. WE ARE INTERESTED TO SEE HOW THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE HAS HELPED (OR NOT) WITH THEIR LIVES.


Sophia Richie

AROUND 2009 I WAS TEACHING THE CONCERT BAND AND A ROCK BAND AT WELLINGTON GIRLS COLLEGE. SOPHIA WAS A YEAR 9, REALLY KEEN TO GET INVOLVED ANYWAY SHE  COULD. SHE'D OFTEN ASK IF I COULD GET HER INTO A BAND.
IN 2010 SHE JOINED THE CONCERT BAND AT SCHOOL, AND 2013 SHE JOINED A FOLK ROCK GROUP WITH THE BAND SCHOOL. 

Age: 21
Who tutored you at the band school? Adam Ladley from The Family Cactus band taught us and Ricky managed.
How long were you with the band school? 1 year
What are you doing this year? I'm starting my 3rd year studying Computer Systems Engineering in Auckland
Do you have time for music now? what are you doing? Yes, mostly classical stuff, but have been dabbling in a bit of logic pro and still jam with my roommate from time to time. I'm also a guitar teacher now as a part time job.
Do you still study music? Yea I still have voice lessons
Any defining moments / stories / anecdotes to share? Recording in Adam's studio in Wellington was such a cool experience, as well as getting 3rd in Battle of The Bands with a folk band!
How was your relationship over time with your tutor Adam and Ricky?  Really great, always felt like they were keen for us to find success and have a great time. It’s obvious Adam and Ricky both are really passionate about music and it really comes across in the way they run the school.

 In-depth discussion of the concept and lesson really suited my style, and I think it reflects how invested you guys were in our creative process. 

We tried to give students a go at everything in the industry, what did you try with us? Battle of The Bands, played for NZ Music Month at Te Papa, Rockquest, recorded a track at Zeal and then later at Adam's studio.
Do you keep in touch with any band members you met from the band school? Not directly, but always have a great chat if I run into them!
Has the skills learnt with us changed your life do you think? Definitely grew my confidence, remember one night Ricky asked me to MC the night last minute and never would have been comfortable with that before joining the band school. As well as having the confidence to reach out and join a band as soon as I moved to Auckland. 
We tried to keep the music modern and from the real. did that work? Definitely
Any career highlights since leaving the band school? A band I joined in Auckland when I moved here 3 years ago got some play on Bfm, which was pretty cool. Travelling the world with youth choirs and also being asked to sing and perform in The Boomshack Band, Ricky's star studded band. I met and sang with lots of amazing performers including Marlon Williams (2016 NZ Male Artist of the year), Lisa Tomlins and Jason Fa'afoi. 

Thanks for taking the time Sophia, It's good to catch up with you, and all the best for the 3rd year of study! 


Kiran Richards.   

ONE OUR OUR MOST INQUISITIVE AND GIFTED GUITAR STUDENTS, WHEN I LAST SAW KIRAN IN 2012 WE WAS DEVELOPING HIS VERSATILITY AND UNIQUE SOUND. HE WAS KEEN TO SOAK UP ANY INFORMATION ABOUT MUSIC AND WOULD SEEM TO RETAIN AND BUILD ON THAT KNOWLEDGE WEEKLY. HE ALWAYS HAD A QUESTION REGARDING MUSIC. 

Age: 18 years old
Tutors: Ricky Boyd and Adam Ladley from The Family Cactus
How long were you with us? Early 2010 to dec 2012, nearly 3 years. The whole time The Band School was in Wellington
What have you been you up to in 2015? I'm in my final year of high school and I am off to first year health science at Otago University next year.
Are you doing anything musical now? This year I've been in a Pacifica Beats band Ahofitu, coming second in Wellington and was awarded the NZ Music Commission's best song award. I just finished being in the band for the school production of Grease. I am in the New Zealand School Of Music Young Musicians Programme and also a school jazz band.
Wow that's a lot going on Kiran, so you're studying music as well as school? Yea I take level 3 music scholarship at Rongotai College.
What was your relationship with The Band School mentors? My relationship with the tutors was strong and I was able to learn a huge range of skills through the casual and informal teaching style.
We love chatting about the history / context and concept a lot during classes; did that help? Yes. By understanding the history surrounding the genres and songs we were learning, I found it easier to play more appropriately for the style and produce a more convincing take of the song or genre.

The Band School also focuses on music industry activities, what have you done on that side? Aside from playing in a band and gigging, I have done recording, song writing and a lot behind the important behind the scenes work to make gigs run smoothly. Did you keep in contact with any of the industry people you met through us? 
I have kept in contact with a few of the mentors and some of the special guests for sure.
You keep in touch with your old bandmates? Yes. I have made awesome friends through The Band School who I still keep in touch with. Some of them have gone on to do incredible things in music, with groups they've been in winning multiple competitions. What are the skills you've learnt through us?

 The skills I have learnt through The Band School have been applicable in a huge range of music and non music scenarios. It's helped me run gigs, manage bands I have been in, and even do professional tutoring.

We tried to focus on modern current music, did that help? By playing modern music, we were better able to write in a contemporary style. For me, it opened up the realm of modern styles which was awesome.
Can you think of any career highlights? Being lead guitarist in a 25 piece rock orchestra for Jesus Christ Superstar, playing in the band Ahofitu which came second in the Wellington Pacifica Beats completion and was awarded best song, being elected Arts Captain at Rongotai College because of my service to music.

I hear you got a scholarship to Otago for medicine in 2016, that'll be harder to play music but i'm sure you'll find a way, all the best and thanks for taking the time.
Ricky