School of Rock came to a classroom in Sunderland when The Voice contestant Billy Black joined in a music session.
The 38-year-old singer, from Pallion, was watched by millions when he auditioned for the hit BBC show and caused a stir with coaches Boy George, Paloma Faith, will.i.am and Ricky Wilson.
Though he didn’t make it through to the next round, the rock singer has been inundated with gig offers as a result of the show.
Now he’s been checking out the stars of the future at Highfield Primary, in Ford Estate.
The school hosts a twice-weekly music group called Highfield Heroes, attended by pupils past and present.
Dad-of-two Billy joined in a session of Robert Palmer’s Bad Case of Loving You with the pupils, which he sang at his audition.
Billy was joined by the lead guitarist from his band, Ricky Lee Roper, and says he was blown away by their talent.
“I never expected them to be this good,” said Billy, who fronts The Billy Black Band.
“They really worked well as a team, which is what matters. They all have their individual personalities, which they really showed in their performances.
“The bass player, Thomas Hall, was really good. I never expected a nine-year-old to play that well. Drummer Sophie Garnham was brilliant too. Singer Charlotte Thomson was great. All of them were.”
Speaking about the response to his appearance on The Voice, he said: “The support I’ve had has been amazing. I never expected it.
“We’ve had loads of offers of work coming in for the band since it was aired.”
Singer Sophie Campbell, 10, from Hylton Road, said: “I’ve been singing with Highfield Heroes for two years.
“I love it. We get to perform at concerts and other schools and it makes people happy.
“I got really excited when I found out Billy Black was coming along. I saw him on The Voice and thought he was great. I want to be a female rocker when I grow up, like Avril Lavigne.”
Bruce Nicholson, community manager at the school, said: “Billy’s a great inspiration for the kids, to show them that you can make a living out of music.
“The band is great for the kids, they have access to a full orchestra and it gives them a chance to build confidence and self-esteem through music.”