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THE LOW DOWN ON PKRP

Written by Mike Weihmann [PKRP Student]
Edited by Ryan Hook [PKRP Student]

What is Rock and Pop?

Officially, it is a course designed to teach students about the industry of music, the technology involved, modern album production, instrumentation, and vocalization.  It gives students the chance to perform at a comfortable level in front a variety of audiences through live performances.

Unofficially, Rock and Pop is the place to go for a student seeking the most clear and awesome way to express themselves.  It is a place to go to be with your friends and to experience a higher level of energy when playing with a group. You can hang with your friends in class and relax, then focus your energy and feel fantastic when you absolutely nail a song. It is a place to be yourself!

What kinds of music and players are in Rock and Pop?

There are all sorts of people from a variety of musical backgrounds and tastes (Bluegrass to punk, jazz to thrash metal, firsthand players to super-shredders) Everything goes and everybody gets better together without the harsh criticism of the outside world. Nobody is perfect, and learning is the main focus of the class. If you are a person who loves to rip out lick after lick, sing heartbreaking lyric after lyric, just strum your brains out, smash drums like an ape, or even bust out never-ending face-melters, you will fit in great! Rock and Pop welcomes ALL genres, and encourages all avenues of music.  Rock and Pop accepts all people, from all music.

What happens if I register in Rock and Pop? What does the semester look like?

Rock and Pop will teach you how to become a true musician and an even better performer. Playing a song is not just about accuracy, it is about utilizing the stage and captivating the audience.  Rock and Pop gives you the confidence to stand in front of a crowd of people you don’t know and put them into an auditory chokehold.

There are three performances within the course, each with increasing expectations and enhancements. You start the semester easy and end it like a rock star. The first thing that happens in the course is the gathering of bands, based on interests in music, and finding a good band name. You know how difficult that can be? It’s excruciating, but it can also be really sweet and/or hilarious to do. Did I mention every band gets their own pages on the Rock and Pop website?! You get to fill these pages with biographies of your bands and later on, any other promotional material.  This course takes pride on how it provides students with an authentic music industry experience!

Everyone in Rock and Pop is assigned with duties to keep the site functioning. If you’re a novelist or a Stephen King in your mind, you can choose to write biographies, articles, write-ups for events in PK music, summaries on tutorials, whatever the heck you want. We need guys/gals to take photos for our bands, people to record our performances, prepare videos for online viewing and all that jazz.  So if you can handle a camera and are able to squeeze the most out of every frame, we need you!

Do you know what a “mixer board” is? Can you hit the, “record,” button, and press it again to stop it? Holy man that’s amazing! As a “tech” in the PKRP crew, you get to learn how to prepare an amazing stage to perform on, handle all the gear and tech, and learn how to operate a recording studio?

Are you a boss? Do you like to work by telling others to work?  We need managers to be responsible for coordinating all things and people. Whether it be write-ups on latest gigs, recordings or photos for band pages, the managers are responsible. There aren’t too many openings, so if you think you’re a boss, be one.

Performance #1

After only a few weeks of time together, bands perform a song merely to prove that they can function as a cohesive group. There are no audiences for this performance, just your shred-mates. It’s only one song and the other 4-5 bands need to perform, so don’t play Dream Theatre for your first song, alright?

Performance #2

The next following weeks are spent preparing an additional two songs, enhancing your first performed song, and generating promotional material. This includes taking photos together and pumping out posters. With the photos, don’t worry; they can be cool or ridiculous. Once your promo material is verified by Mr. Buryn or Mr. Price, your materials then get stored on your pages for all to see.

Before your next performance, you also learn stage etiquette. Sounds corny, but stage etiquette is actually very important and is key to a solid performance onstage.

At the end of those weeks, you play three songs and perform them in front of an audience. Evaluations are based on how entertaining the band is and also how confidently you play the songs. Precision and being able to play the whole song is a part of it, but the focus is on performance. Anyone can sit and shred in front of an amp, but can you shred on a stage where everyone can see and hear you?

After performance #2, the stretch for the final mark begins.

Performance #3

Your goal is to prepare a massive 5-song set or a 25 minute set to which you can invite as many people as desired. [So yes, for that one, you COULD play Dream Theatre.] To get as many people to come to this performance you will need to maximize your promotional material and get the word out about your band. Bands have gone from PK, [formed in Rock and Pop,] to success in life, so having an insane promotional base can help carry a band, like yours, beyond Paul Kane. In the hang-time between practices, a lot of study on the music business is done. Around this time, Rock and Pop gets busy, but a good busy.  Bands are now starting to prepare for the legendary PK Plugged performance (Associated with AXE MUSIC)! Considering this is the last performance, your all has to go into it (Excellent technical execution, intense showmanship, and a smooth set). Essentially, it’s equivalent to a real-life gig.  You will have spent the entire semester preparing for this show. You are marked honestly for this performance. So 20456% is required. Just kidding 110% should be enough.

After PK Plugged, you should be another step closer to becoming a true musician, graduating, and becoming, with luck, a rock god.

What is the annual Rock and Pop Tour?

The annual Rock and Pop tour changes destination every go around.  It is an amazing real rocker experience that you get to share with all of your friends. The Rock and Pop tour will take you, your band mates, and a bunch of people from PK, on a tour to various locales where you sleep, wake up, hang, play a rock show, do awesome stuff, and then sleep, then rinse and repeat for a 5-day experience like no other.  In past tours students have met many BIG names in the music industry, including both famous artists and producers.

This year, we will be touring to Vancouver, where we will be meeting up with the recording and producing guru, Don Mcleod!  So in mid April, students will load up their gear and embark on the 16-hour coach ride.  16 hours?!?!?!  Sounds long, but it is a blast!!!  Once in Vancouver, bands will check into a hotel, enjoy fine dining, and possibly other planned itinerary for the evening, like visiting local sights, swimming, bowling, whatever. In the morning we head to our first show where we set up the stage, and do a sound check.  We provide an insane rock show and then we pack and move to another location, play another set, and have another rocking time.  For many students, the PKRP tour is truly a highlight of their high school experience.  If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself on the website and explore the official statement! It’s the best week you’ll have for a long time!   [www.pkrockandpop.com]

What is PK Plugged?

WHAT IS PK PLUGGED?!?!?!?!!

Well, it’s a contra positive to Paul Kane’s Unplugged. Instead of playing nice, soft music you would hear in a café to invocate the calm spirit of the big winter holiday, you get a hardcore mash-up of the most intense bands competing for the title of best band and a reward from Axe music.  PKRP students strive to produce the loudest, most heated night in the Paul Kane year!

Bring all you’ve got to the stage and more as you get a professional set-up from Axe music, including top-of-the-line equipment and lighting. The stage is set for an audience consisting of your friends, family, friends’ family etc. and also 3 real-world musicians to critically analyze your performance. [Not for the weak in spirit!]

PK Plugged is one of the biggest rock shows in St. Albert.

It IS for the best of the best.

What kind of content is there in the Rock and Pop website?

[www.pkrockandpop.com]

On the Rock and Pop website, you can access band information, news on upcoming events, our live Twitter feed, information on Rock and Pop course outlines, contact information to the course instructors, and even information on what’s going on in the music world today! Stay tuned for all the latest and interesting news for the music you enjoy.

Who runs the Rock and Pop website?

Anybody can access it, but if you register into Rock and Pop, you get a piece of the website that you contribute to.  So… students run the website! Mr. Buryn and Mr. Price just facilitate the means by which we do.  They are also there to guide us, help us, and monitor content.  Yes, everything on the website is “school” appropriate!

Who teaches Rock and Pop?

Mr. Buryn, a man who’s seen and been a part of the world of modern music, teaches some of the Rock and Pop classes. He’s been in countless bands as a lead-rhythm guitarist, drummer, vocalist and guitarist/vocalist many times over. He knows everything about playing on stage and has the experience to prove it. Mr. Buryn knows tech inside and out, and can produce amazing tracks in the studio. He is a teacher who knows how to bring bands to the next level and teach them how to keep it strong. Mr. Buryn will teach you all you need to know about playing, talks about all the latest things in music, and jams with all musicians. There is no music Mr. Buryn doesn’t know or doesn’t love. He is a guy of music! [Not official, but rumours speak of a jam club after school on Fridays of which he is often affiliated…]

Mr. Buryn is a master-ninja of modern rock and the industry, he’s a heck of a guy to be around and he’s your instructor for Rock and Pop!

Mr. Price is to music what Yoda is to the Force. Having an immense concert and orchestral music background, he knows and lives in technical music. Mr. Price has been a teacher at PK for some time and leads all other musical programs in Paul Kane.  He plays, with fluid execution, the trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, piano and who knows what-all. He plays in tons of groups around Alberta and works magic with each of them. Beware of his Stewie doll!  [Inside joke!] Mr. Price is one of the nicest, hard-working teachers you could know.

Ultimately, by having both Mr. Buryn and Mr. Price as the instructors for Rock and Pop, students get and unbelievably complete and exciting experience!

 

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