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Rocksteady workshop gets kids performing on stage at Routes Festival in just 15 minutes

Laura  Barnes
Rocksteady workshop gets kids performing on stage at Routes Festival in just 15 minutes

Rocksteady is a peripatetic music school based in Godalming, Surrey that currently teaches over 10,000 children across 350 primary schools in the UK.

The school recently volunteered at the Routes Festival in Brussels, running free music workshops for local refugee children.

A core part of its workshops is the ability to get children playing in a band together on either guitar, keyboards, drums or vocals – in just 15 minutes.

The festival, which took place on September 16th, was organised by Singa Belgium and Refugee Aid Serbia to bring together local communities and refugees through workshops, discussions and performances. Offering a chance for interaction and a day of recreation for refugees who have often endured a perilous journey to reach Belgium.
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The Routes series of festivals takes place each year in various locations across Europe. For 2017 it began in Polykastro in Macedonia on 12th August and visited Belgrade, Vienna, Berlin and Paris before the final date in Brussels. Entry to the festival is completely free and features live music, food, workshops, discussions and performances.

The Rocksteady team performed a couple of songs for everyone at the festival and then ran a series of workshops involving children from the local area and refugee children, who took to the stage for the first time and within 15 minutes were playing in a band at a music festival, performing songs such as ?’can’t Stop the Feeling’ and ‘Summer of 69’.

Even though many of the refugee children could not speak French, the team managed to teach over 20 children on the day to play either keyboards, drums, electric guitar or vocals, through basic counting 1,2,3,4 in French.

“Going to help at events like this is a core part of what Rocksteady is about,” explained Mark Robinson, founder of Rocksteady Music School.

“Routes festival aims to help refugees integrate with their new communities and playing in bands is a great way to start building those bonds. We can give them the experience of playing music together, having fun and making people happy, which makes a real difference to children of all ages and backgrounds.”

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Tags: music school , Rocksteady , Routes Festival

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