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Opportunities for a drum kit player to play with others?

(19 Posts)
deplorabelle Wed 04-Oct-17 13:04:05

DS2 is 8 in Y4 of a small (one class entry) primary school. He's had a year of lessons on drumkit and is doing really well (starting grade 2 though his teacher considered skipping him straight to grade 3)

We'd really like to find him an opportunity to play with other instruments or singers e.g. In a band or accompanying a choir, but I don't know how to find anyone. I only know classical a tiny bit and ds vociferously against trying out orchestral percussion (is this even an option for him?).

There is nothing going on at school. School buys in a freelance music teacher one day a week to do music lessons with each year group and the barest minimum involvement in school plays. (Its heartbreaking- children mumbling to recorded music). Anywhere out of school I can look?

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 04-Oct-17 14:30:27

could you send in a letter to the music teacher saying just this and asking if they could email you a reply?

hertsandessex Wed 04-Oct-17 14:30:32

Do you have a county music service? There might be opportunities there with drums but could also help edge him towards orchestral. This is most definitely an option providing he is likes reading music and not just playing by ear. So many orchestral percussionists started on drums.

Generally not so easy at that age to find playing opportunities outside school. Sure he will get a lot more at secondary school although still not easy especially if they have many drummers.

deplorabelle Wed 04-Oct-17 18:57:01

County music service would be good - I haven't seen anything listed that would work but he only does strings through school so maybe there's other stuff I don't hear about.

I don't hold out much hope for the music teacher at school I'm afraid sad

deplorabelle Wed 04-Oct-17 18:57:25

Thanks both for replying

Ferguson2 Wed 04-Oct-17 21:42:25

I played semi-pro drums for forty years - pubs, clubs, rehearsal bands, pantomime, stage shows, barn dance bands.

Contact your local SECONDARY school, to see if they can help.

(I'll come back tomorrow with more information.)

hertsandessex Wed 04-Oct-17 22:11:17

Ferguson - that was impressive for eight years old smile

Secondary schools worth a shout although all the ones I have had exposure to have too many drummers already especially beginners/intermediate (20-30 at one school). I have seen bigger primaries with opportunities and county music groups with programmes for younger children.

raspberryrippleicecream Wed 04-Oct-17 22:13:20

Definitely try googling your local music service/hub. My area really doesn't have much going on in general, but this year they have started 4 separate ensembles for Beginner to Grade
3 . (Percussion, woodwind, strings, brass) with the intention of amalgamating them into an orchestra later this year.

hertsandessex Wed 04-Oct-17 22:15:50

My son started when he was 6 or 7 and didn't really play a lot with other groups until secondary by which time had passsd grade 6 Trinity Guidhall. He has lots of opportunities since at school and outside although he also done orch perc which has helped get opportunities in say concert and wind bands.

SoMuchToBits Wed 04-Oct-17 22:26:11

Yes, County Music Service may be able to help. Which county are you in?

My son started snare drum age 8 then kit and tuned percussion age 11. He then got into the county music programme and progressed through it, and also got a lot more music experience at secondary school. He's now 16, playing in loads of school stuff, has grade 8 kit and grade 8 orchestral percussion, plays in county youth orchestra and couple of local wind bands, and gets asked to play in local orchestras quite often. He loves it all!

Paulweller11 Thu 05-Oct-17 00:07:45

Contact local music service, they might have a big band, wind band or even a jazz band.

woolleybear Thu 05-Oct-17 06:27:44

My dd plays in a County Arts windband and its junior section and they have a percussion section.

Sadly the junior band is down to one person at the moment so he may find himself much in need!

elsiemarleysellsthebarley Thu 05-Oct-17 06:34:26

The music hub has to provide ensemble opportunities and clear progression routes (in order to bid for their funding) so definitely give them a call.

If he's not into orchestral percussion school/ area/ community wind bands, jazz bands, big bands, brass bands use kit players although they never need more than one or max two! In our area we a have a 'rock school' (not linked with the hub) which I believe has students in small bands.

Topnotes Thu 05-Oct-17 06:46:54

Yes ask Count music service for advice. My DD age 9 plays in a junior wind band. They do quite rocky, poppy stuff e.g Mambo No. 5, amongst other styles

deplorabelle Thu 05-Oct-17 10:10:35

Thank you all. This sounds really promising and I'll try following up with the county music service Oxfordshire) and possibly the local secondary schools (though I agree they might well be overrun with beginner/intermediate kit players)

Ferguson2 Thu 05-Oct-17 20:52:25

(Did I say I was eight?? - NO - I played trumpet as a teenager, but didn't start drums until I was 21, and could afford lessons, and bought a kit an item at a time.)

Unfortunately, these days many kids only know mostly pop or rock style music, and if they want to learn drums, think that is the only way to go. However, there is a wealth of music genres available on-line, and also play-along CDs, from Jamey Aebersold, and other sources.

One of the best British drummers was the late Kenny Clare, and I give links to some of his best tracks:

Pianist Ahmad Jamal - "Poinciana"

hertsandessex Thu 05-Oct-17 21:10:50

Ferguson - sorry I was joking I was wondering the relevance of your experience pubs, clubs etc to an eight year old at primary school. Agree with you about the focus on rock and pop. My son is more focused on jazz and finds most of the pop stuff quite boring to play from a drumming perspective.

deplorabelle Mon 09-Oct-17 15:41:25

I'm hoping DS will branch out from rock and pop when a bit older as its not really my thing at all but at the moment im just delighted he's playing and want to support that any way it works. Thanks for the links

TonicAndTonic Mon 09-Oct-17 15:48:53

If you have any local brass bands they might be a good option - they often need percussionists. He might be a bit young at the moment, but worth asking as some have training bands that feed into the main band. He would probably be expected to take a turn on other percussion instruments, not just drum kit, but these days they play quite a few styles of music. Look on Google or Facebook for your area?

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