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James Mays

Episode 7, Rock On

For professional musician and Grammy voter James Mays, rock’n’roll was more than a genre of music. Drawn to its raw authenticity, rock was a launching point for his life. Co-founder of the acclaimed Band Aid School of Music in Austin, Texas, Mays is passing on his passion to future generations.

A Sonic Journey

by Nelda Sue Yaw with Steve Roach | Nelda Live!

When Austinite and Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater was researching music schools for his film School of Rock starring Jack Black, he didn’t have to look far to find the perfect model. Right in his own backyard, veteran rocker James Mays was living the School of Rock. Founded in 2009, Band Aid School of Music was innovating a new kind of music education. Not only was Mays cultivating the next generation of rock lovers and musicians, but he was also teaching collaboration, providing a community for young people, and offering opportunities to pursue a career in music.
Our mission is beyond just any music lessons. We want to empower people to enjoy a lifetime love of music.

While his school has expanded its curriculum to include all kinds of music such as classical, pop, and country, at the heart of it all is joy. Mays’ philosophy is that he wants people to enjoy the art form and he wants to present it in a way that’s enjoyable. Says Mays, “Students are getting the opportunity to work on music that they’re hearing on the radio or streaming. It’s fun and that motivates them.” With decades of performing and recording in New York City and London, a business degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and experience in the corporate world, his life experiences came together to serve a new purpose. “I felt I was making a bigger impact on music and people’s lives through music education.”

Learn about the joys of bringing rock’n’roll to a younger generation from professional rocker, music education innovator, and star maker James Mays.

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What you’ll learn

  • Why music schools like Band Aid School of Music are important.
  • What’s different about this kind of music education?
  • What Mays and Band Aid School of Music have done to create and support career opportunities for young rock musicians.

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