Adults

Ex Teacher Sets up real life ‘School of Rock’


Kevin Webb

Careers Wales has helped a secondary school teacher from Usk to turn redundancy into an opportunity to realise his musical ambitions.

After a successful seventeen-year award-winning career in secondary school teaching and leadership Kevin Webb accepted voluntary redundancy in February 2011. While the redundancy initially created difficulties for Kevin and his family, he quickly recognised an opportunity to follow a life-long passion for music by kick-starting a new career in the music business.

It was both an exciting and daunting time for Kevin, as he made important decisions about his future. He quickly realised the need to seek professional advice and so contacted Careers Wales, who helped to guide him through the process and structure his next steps. He comments:

“I was so passionate about the direction that I wanted to go in, anything seemed possible, but my adviser helped me to pull all my ideas together and start to prioritise. We discussed a self-employment idea and where I could seek financial support from agencies, which turned out to be crucial.

Kevin’s Careers Adviser pointed him in the direction of ReAct – a Welsh Government scheme to up-skill and re-train individuals who have been made redundant. Through the scheme, he was able to access funding for training in ‘Music Theory’, ‘Jazz Improvising’, ‘Rock School Grades for Guitar’ ,‘Music Technology’, and later training in advanced guitar repair was also funded.

Having successfully completed his training, Kevin was in a position to launch ‘All About Guitars’ – a music tuition business based in his hometown of Usk. In addition, he is now a registered Music Leader and is involved with Colston Hall, Bristol and various venues. He locates funding through writing bid applications for organisations and develops and delivers musical workshop projects, working collaboratively with other industry professionals.

His business also sees him giving back to the community. For example, he currently teaches music to foster children through the Social Services Foster Care Department and holds a parent/child community song writing and guitar workshop each week at Raglan Primary School, which is very well received.

His latest approved grant enables him to hold a Guitar Repair training program in partnership with the Life Music Foundation, Newport, for six unemployed people. This will help them towards financial independence whilst providing a low-cost guitar repair service to the community, particularly for those on low income. He’s currently applying a similar model in rural North Devon, and is looking at how he can help towards the Monmouthshire Rural Community Development Plan - his ideas have been endorsed by the Chair of the Raglan Music Festival.

Kevin’s positive attitude made a real difference in how he dealt with redundancy however, he credits his Careers Wales adviser with setting him on the right track.

“I’ve been through a lot following the redundancy, and although I knew from an early stage what I wanted to do, I didn’t necessarily know how to get there. Careers Wales was an excellent first port of call – the guidance I received was invaluable. I sincerely believe that I was destined to do what I’m doing now and I work with some amazing people”.

You can read more about Kevin’s Rock School business on his website www.allaboutguitars.co.uk

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