Hi I’m Neal
I have been playing Guitar since I was 19, teach guitar, run my own recording studio and own and run PopRoX Rock and Pop Workshops. I have a BA Hons 2.1 Degree in Creative Sound Design from Surrey University through The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford and am also an Apple Certified Pro in Apple’s Logic Pro.
I originated from the IT world where I worked my way up to European Brand Manager for a large Singaporean multimedia company called Creative Labs who brought sound and music to PC’s in the form of the SoundBlaster sound card. And I was part of the team to launch the 1st ever hard drive based MP3 player in Europe.
Seven years ago my circumstances changed and I became the main carer at home looking after my two amazing kids Mia and Connor who are now 12 and 11 respectively. During this time I took the opportunity to complete a 2 year degree in Creative Sound Design at ACM Guildford. I also took the decision to turn my hobby (My Recording Studio) professional setting up MiaCon Ltd. I also became quite busy teaching children Guitar.
I was then contracted to ACM Guildford to set up, pilot and grow their youth franchise project, ACM Junior/XL. Rock and Pop Workshops for children 7-12 and 12-16 years old. Teaching them to play Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vocals. We successfully launched in five locations around Surrey.
I have now parted company with ACM and continue with my own PopRoX Rock and Pop Workshops based out of Knaphill, Woking where we teach in excess of 60 children each Saturday during term time.
The experience I have gained has given me a fantastic insight into developing methods to teach children and hopefully inspire them to want to learn more. Our weekend Rock and Pop workshop has been running now for over 3 years with 100’s of children experiencing a wonderful way of learning in an environment of like minded musicians all having fun, enjoying each others company, while learning how to play instruments and gaining the confidence to get up and perform in front of friends and family.
I don’t do this on my own as I have learnt that it is the team that really makes it happen and at PopRoX we have a gifted, carefully selected team of amazing tutors who care about the children as much as they do about their music. You can read about them on my Tutor page.
With PopRoX Academy Summer Workshops we are taking our extremely successful weekend formula and making it available during School holidays. Our 1st one starts this Summer on the 18th August 2014. We believe we now have the right methodology to deliver a successful programme to further develop children’s playing ability, skills and confidence learning an instrument that will stay with them for life.
PopRoX Academy runs weekend and holiday workshops. Details and location of our Weekend workshops can be found here. This site focuses on our Holiday Workshops and outlines additional courses we offer that have been developed over 3 years, exclusively with young musicians at heart. The PopRoX Academy Holiday Workshops is an extension of our hugely successful PopRoX Rock and Pop Weekend workshops that have been running out of Knaphill, Woking since May 2011. With 100’s of students coming through our doors each year.
Our methodology is that “Children Learn better with the Songs they Love”. We believe it is important to engage in the learning process with music that retains the children’s attention and inspires them to learn and want to come back for more.
We have a faculty of teachers that have been with us for many terms. They are all industry professionals in their own right and are exceptional musicians. Many have themselves been to Universities and Colleges to learn their craft. We believe that having these skills is very important to be able to technically demonstrate an instrument but at PopRoX we believe that it is of the utmost importance that our tutors have exceptional teaching skills and the ability to communicate at any level , so not only are they awesome players they are also exceptional at teaching at whatever level, at whatever age and above all inspiring students to want to learn and play.
We have 4 Tutors, one per discipline: Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vocals plus an on-site Manager to oversee the running of the day.
Learning music can be hard going if its delivered in a dry and uninspiring way. We make learning music fun. The workshops are lead by Tutors that engage with the students, understand them and can connect at their level. We do not expect the students to be engaged 100% at all times and our Workshops are structured to include additional fun related activities to break the day up. Banter is common place between students and tutors. Students make new friends, form their own bands and meet up outside of the workshops. Its a great way of meeting people who have the same interests that you do.
Our Band Workshop is designed to develop skills to a further level by applying what you learn in a band scenario. You can liken this concept to football .. a child may be great at kicking the ball against a wall or can do 100’s of “keepie uppies” but when he or she starts to play in a team, thats where the real skills develop and the more he or she plays the better they gets. Well thats exactly the same here too. Playing as part of a Band develops your performance skills, makes you engage with the other musicians, allows you to listen to the other instruments, helps you understand the structure, arrangement, dynamics and complexities of a song. It provides a sense of working as a team; wanting to learn and practice as to not let your band players down.
Safety is a matter we take very seriously too. After all you are leaving your children with us to not only teach them but look after them for hours at a time. You can rest assured that our faculty is CRB checked, there is a 1st Aider on hand at all times and a Manager who is not engaged in the teaching process is on site and available to handle any issues with the students to ensure there is no disruption to the other students in case of an incident.