Rockschool was a television series aired by the BBC and PBS on 1 November 1983. The series explored the history of rock music and gave instruction in popular performance techniques.

Created byEducational Broadcasting Corporation
StarringHerbie Hancock
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes8 (Series 1)
8 (Series 2)
Running time25 minutes
Original networkBBC Two
Original release1 November 1983 (1983-11-01) –
8 December 1987 (1987-12-08)

Aired in the United States by public television station WNET, Herbie Hancock was brought in to host the series for the American market. Hancock presented various topics in a studio classroom setting, interspersed with short lessons from the "Rockschool Band" composed of Deirdre Cartwright on electric guitar, Geoff Nicholls on drums, and Henry Thomas on bass, and interview segments with well-known musicians.

The series was produced by the Educational Broadcasting Corporation and distributed in the U.S. by Lorimar Productions in 1987, as six volumes on VHS tape.

Volume listingEdit

  • Rockschool Volume 1: Elementary Equipment and Basic Technique
  • Rockschool Volume 2: Blues to Heavy Metal
  • Rockschool Volume 3: Funk, Reggae & New Music
  • Rockschool Volume 4: Digital Age Hardware
  • Rockschool Volume 5: Melody and Soloing - The Lifeblood of Rock
  • Rockschool Volume 6: Arrangements - Putting It All Together

Companion booksEdit

Two volumes titled Rockschool 1: Guitar, Bass & Drums and Rockschool 2: Electronics, Keyboards & Vocals were published in the U.S. in 1987 by Fireside Books (Simon & Schuster). Volume 1 was previously published in Great Britain by the BBC in 1984. The books were edited by series producer Chris Lent.


Host: Herbie Hancock (U.S. series) The Rockschool Band

Produced and directed by: Chris Lent

Guest demonstrators


ReferencesEdit Alastair Gavin (official site)