A NORTH-EAST music legend is celebrating after his online music academy has secured a "super exciting" new partnership.

The online music education provider RockAcad has struck up a partnership with one of the UK’s oldest examination boards, Trinity College London, meaning you can now earn a music diploma through the site. 

RockAcad was founded by North-East drummer David Green, known for his work with Andy Taylor of Duran Duran and regional favourite Sam Fender.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Mr Green paid homage to the North-East when announcing RockAcad's latest success.

Since launching in December, the company has grown rapidly, teaching students across the world and growing its team of professional musicians and tutors.

The team have worked with the likes of Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Sam Fender, Boy George and Selena Gomez.

As face-to-face music exams could not go ahead as planned due to the pandemic, Trinity College London launched its first permanent digital exam offer in November 2020.

Now people of all ages and levels of ability can study for Trinity’s Digital Grades or diplomas through the online music academy, making RockAcad one of the exam board’s first online-only private exam centres.

Mr Green said: “It's super exciting and an honour to be working with Trinity, they are such a solid international exam board, having nurtured musicians since 1877.

“We are also very excited about Trinity’s recent move to digital with their rock and pop syllabus. It ties in perfectly with what RockAcad is doing as we move with the times and look ahead to the future of music education.”

Mr Green built a successful career as a professional drummer and session musician, playing for the likes of Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, the UK X-Factor, Ricky Warwick of Thin Lizzy and Alice Cooper’s guitarist and collaborator, Tommy Henriksen.

Having studied Trinity’s music syllabus as a young musician in the North East of England, Mr Green has a personal connection with the education charity.

He added: "I got into music after receiving drum lessons at school whilst living in Gateshead.

“This collaboration means so much as I studied up to Trinity Grade 8 on drums as a child, so I know how paramount they are as a structured learning course.

“Those grades helped me in developing my musical skills, which in turn helped my career as a musician and teacher.

"I went on to play with local bands across Newcastle, Gateshead and Teesside in the late ’90s, cutting my teeth at places like the Bridge Hotel and The Cluny, then working up to the O2 Academy."

Mr Green says his "first break" came with Newcastle-based band Detroit Social Club, with who he went on to tour the world. Together, they release a series of singles and an album on Universal Records.

He then joined another North-East based band, Little Comets, but they were not in the region for long.

Little Comets released two albums, made the top 40 and toured across the UK, Europe and the USA. 

Mr Green added: "I have always worked as a session musician alongside the bands and ended up becoming the drummer for Andy Taylor, of Duran Duran, in 2011 which involved spending a lot of time at his home studio in Ibiza, working on countless sessions and tracks for him and other artists and projects.

"What I love about the North-East music scene is how it always keeps churning out great talent.

"People completely forget how many incredible artists are from up here: Sam Fender, Sting, Brian Johnson, The Animals, Andy Taylor, Mark Knopfler, Venom, The Wildhearts, Prefab Sprout, Hank Marvin, Maximo Park.

"And newer bands like The Pale White. The list goes on and on."

He has also played the drums for Sam Fender in the studio and was the drummer of VANT, which featured Sunderland singer Mattie Vant. 

RockAcad was recently awarded the ‘Points of Light’ Award by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Since the announcement of the win, the education company has seen its demand for lessons 'skyrocket'.

The company is now expanding its student base internationally and introducing new teachers to its team.

The latest addition is Pete Friesen, a renowned teacher and guitarist best known for playing with Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and hard rock band The Almighty.

National Advisor for rock and pop at Trinity College London, Toby Davies, said: “RockAcad’s online-only teaching model is a perfect fit for Trinity and we are confident in the success of the partnership.

“RockAcad’s teaching approach will work brilliantly with the content of our syllabuses that help to develop real-world musical skills. The digital exam experience will also provide candidates with a seamless extension of their online lessons.

“As both organisations explore this digital world, they will work together to share ideas and celebrate students’ achievements.”