Scott Brown is still trying to get his music students to raise a little hell.
The long-time bass player for Canadian rock band Trooper has been teaching at Headliners School of Performing Arts for the past three years when he’s not touring across the country.
Brown is one of three working rock musicians teaching the Rock School program this year, joining Murray Atkinson, from The Odds, and Todd Sacerty, from Johnny Cash tribute act Big River.
“I wanted to do a giving-back-to-the-kids kind of thing,” Brown said.
The program sees students ages 12-17 playing a variety of instruments, from guitar, bass and drums to vocals and keyboards, organized into small bands, based on skill level.
Under Brown’s mentorship, the kids choose eight to 10 songs to work on over the 10-week program, learning how to put all the pieces together, rehearse and, most important of all, make decisions as a group.
“It’s the kind of thing we never learned as kids,” Brown said. “We learned through trial and error.”
Brown, who lived in Nanaimo since the age of eight, joined Trooper as its regular bass player about 17 years ago on the recommendation of another Nanaimo son, Paul Gogo, who plays piano in the band.
Prior to that, Brown cut his teeth on various international touring acts, including Danger Danger and the Paul Laine Band. The latter, which was managed by Bryan Adams’s manager Bruce Allen, toured with Joe Satriani and Richard Marx.
Brown is also performing as a solo acoustic act – just him and a guitar.
A lot of the kids he teaches are into the same type of music he is, so it wasn’t a surprise that one of his bands picked Trooper’s Here for a Good Time as one of their songs. He’s still waiting for one of the bands to pick Raise a Little Hell.
“We’ve put out some really good bands over the years,” Brown said.
At the conclusion of the program, the bands will perform in a showcase night open to the public at Headliners with full sound and stage set-up.
While the kids – and their teachers – put in countless hours of hard work, in the end, it’s all about having fun.
“They’re all real cool kids,” Brown said. “We have a blast – we just laugh our heads off.”
For more information on tuition costs, please visit www.headliners.ca or call 250-585-1811.