Welcome to our Music student interview with Mark Wong. This is part of a series of interviews we’re running with Rockhaq pilot students. Rockhaq workshops were first piloted in 2011-2012 with students from colleges in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Some of our original pilot students have now returned to the new community. We thought you may like to hear how Rockhaq workshops helped a pupil studying BTEC Music Technology, hence this Music student interview.

 

Music Student Interview

Mark Wong joined the Rockhaq community when he was studying BTEC Music Technology in Nottingham. This makes him perfect for our Music student interview! When he first heard about Rockhaq, Mark was not interested in writing about music at all. By the end of the pilot, Mark was our top reviewer having won hundreds of points and writing an average of 3,000 words a week on the Rockhaq community. Astonishing! We rewarded Mark with tickets to see his favourite band, Blink 182 and have a case study on Mark’s progress from our pilot.
We have another interview with an English student and more coming up with Media students. For now, we caught up with Mark to ask what he’s upto and what impact the Rockhaq community had on him from 2012 through to 2016. We’d also like to say a big thanks to Mark for being so awesome, and we’re very pleased to welcome him back to the community 😀

Q1. When and where were you first introduced to the Rockhaq community?
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I was introduced to Rockhaq in 2012 when founder Michelle Dhillon came into South Notts College – now Central College Nottingham – to tell us about the website. 
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Q2. How much effort did you put into writing before Rockhaq?
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A lot of effort does go into writing up a review because you’re always trying to explain to the reader about what the music sounds like. I would say that old albums or classical pieces take more time then the music reviews that are written about artists in the last 10 years. This is because with older reviews, I often research as much as I can about the artist and album from sources such as the internet or documentaries as often there are more considerations to take into account such as the artist’s impact on the music world. 
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Q3. And how much effort did you put into writing after Rockhaq?
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Rockhaq has definitely made me want to write more for it’s website as once you start writing reviews you become more motivated because you start to enjoy it more and I think the reason for this is, it’s because of Michelle Dhillon’s encouragement and praise for the work we do on it. Also with writing older pieces on Rockhaq, because you have to do those reviews justice by researching a lot into that album and artist, it can also influence you to put the same kind of effort into other things like coursework.  
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Q4. What are the BEST and WORST things about Rockhaq?
[well type=”well-sm”]With Rockhaq being a writing platform that welcomes music, the diversity of the music reviews that’s on the website is absolutely incredible which shows how wonderful that community has been brought together. As everyone has different music tastes, Rockhaq allows the community members to have debates about various music pieces which can potentially influence others to explore new music genres where members might have not been interested in those genres before. As well as music reviews, Rockhaq has had some brilliant opinion pieces which really shows how much you can write around the subject and I think this stems from the members themselves as well as Michelle’s passion and curiosity for the subject.[/well]
Q5. What difference has Rockhaq made to your life/work/education prospects? Was it positive or negative?
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Rockhaq has made many changes to my life, one of them being how I write. To have someone that tells you how you can make a piece of writing sound more professional is such a valuable lesson because whether you’re writing up a music review or a piece of coursework at university, you can apply those grammar techniques to your work which will benefit yourself for the long run. In terms of education, when I was at college studying music technology, I did consider journalism as a career path. Even three years down the line I’m still considering it which shows how much Rockhaq has made an impact on my life. 
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Q6. Has Rockhaq made any lasting changes to how you write? 
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Rockhaq has made changes in which I write, for example the biggest mistake that I used to make was writing a sentence which would say “It could of” but through guidance I now know I should have put “It could have” and after so many reviews later it always sticks with you and this is one of the best things you can take away from Rockhaq is that it improves your writing for life. 
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Q7. What do you think could be improved about Rockhaq?
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I really can’t think of anything that could improve Rockhaq really as it’s so accessible and easy to use. When I didn’t use it for 3 years between 2013 to 2015 I did miss it a lot because when I was at college it was something I invested a lot of time in and when something as enjoyable as that doesn’t fill a part of your life anymore, it does become boring and frustrating as in the time that I didn’t write on it, i would listen to so many bands and have several ideas about what I could write about that particular artist. But I guess that’s what happens when you enjoy something as much as Rockhaq. 
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Q8. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
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Honest opinion? In 2012 I said that Rockhaq was far superior than all types of social media. Four years down the line and I still stick to that comment.
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What a ringing endorsement! Visit Mark’s profile to read his awesome Rockhaq reviews. Thanks for reading our Music student interview. Watch out for others, coming soon.
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