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School for rock guitar

Kalimpong, May 13: If you have been toying with the idea of playing the guitar and rock is your style, a music school in town can guide you in your journey.

A rock guitar school that offers its students certificates from an England-based music institute started here last month.

It is the first institution in Kalimpong to provide training in rock guitar.

Rock School set up by guitarist Clement Lepcha is functioning from Haat Bazar near here and has a tie-up with an institute by the same name in England.

Lepcha said students of his school could complete their courses and apply for the exams that the foreign institute conducts every year.

“There will be eight grades in total. We have started with the first two grades. Twelve students have already enrolled in our school,” said Lepcha.

Examinations are held for each grade. Lepcha said guitar classes were held every Saturday. While the admission fee is Rs 1,500 for each student, the monthly fee is Rs 800.

“We will be shifting to a permanent place at Dungra Busty in 11th Mile. As of now I am the only qualified teacher. But I will recruit more teachers as the number of students increase,” said Lepcha, who has a degree in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London.

Although guitar is very popular in the hills, there are not many schools that provide expert training in the stringed instrument. Darjeeling has a school for western classical guitar, but Lepcha’s school is the first in rock genre.

Lepcha said the training would include both practical and theory lessons.

Norden Lama, the 39-year-old bassist of rock band Flames, and a student of Rock School, said: “I have been playing the guitar for 24 years now. But I don’t know how to read the notations. I learned guitar on my own but now I want to learn it in a systematic way.”

Lepcha said the annual exams for this year were scheduled for November. The tests would be conducted here.