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How to set up a band

YAMAHA-AL!VE is a travelling educational event encouraging students to take up musical instruments by giving them a chance to try out music dear to their hearts. All-day workshops are spent trying drums, guitars and keyboards, with chances to experiment with mix and scratch sound systems, and learn about the structure of a band and how to build up business, all based around a live performance from Oasis-type Manchester rock band Al!ve.

When almost 1,300 students, staff and students from Macmillan College, Middlesbrough, along with other colleges, attended a YAMAHA-AL!VE event recently, "everyone had a smile on their face. The band were very impressed with how enthusiastic the students were", says Brian Wise, head of music at Macmillan.

"We've got so much talent," says Mr Wise, "and many more students now want to joi our after-school guitar groups - even those who like doing dance and sampling."

Ten per cent of Macmillan's intake are chosen for musical ability, and they were the ones asking for tips on technique from Yamaha, but it was the "other 90 per cent" says Mr Wise, who made the event an "outstanding success".

Pupils, who organised posters, tickets and the promotion of the evening concert, also learned about the marketing and sound production which helps to make a modern rock band.

Ricci Hodgson, head of Yamaha's Pro Music Division, says: "Yamaha believes that the future of the music business depends on the quality of music education in schools and the musical experiences of young people at events such as this."

For more details, contact David JonesDJPR, tel: 01525 289300. E-mail

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