Tag Archives: drumming workshops

The Importance of Personal Contacts

I have pretty much lived clinical trials, clinical research & drug development for 18 years of my life! So, when I was made redundant in 2007 I decided to try something new as a career. I focused on my drumming & percussion workshops for schools, businesses, community groups … and I discovered the importance of previous experience and exposure.

I am reasonably well-known in a few circles locally for my percussion and drumming work, but my workshops, though plentiful had been voluntary input to a couple of schools for friends who were teachers: I worked full-time and did the workshops as favours. These were extremely well received and over a period of 5 years or so I made many visits.

Unfortunately, around the time I left work, there were major changes in the teachers (specifically, head teachers) at the schools where I had worked. My friends retired or left the profession and so many of my contacts evaporated overnight.

The last 2 or so years has been spent building links with new schools, but with many competitors already established, it has not been easy.

And through all of this, the old adage that “It’s not what you know, but who you know” has shouted in my face many times. Sure, I’ve had breaks and done workshops, and the future is looking bright, but it is difficult to express the frustration and sometimes blind panic that ceases hold when the very thing you’re wrestling with is what puts bread and butter on the table, clothes on your back and keeps your car on the road.

So what have I learnt?

In three words, “Never give up!”

I’ve learnt more about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses during this time than at just about any other period in my life. And I intend to work on these as I move forward.

But if you’re a teacher, or a manager who is looking for creative drumming & percussion workshops to spice up your lessons or build your times (and you’re based in the UK), I can help! 🙂

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The Power of Music to Change the Label

Don’t you just love the way we label people … loser, nobody, somebody, hero … etc.

But we make these decisions with very little supportive evidence .

We look at people, perhaps at what they’ve done (or not done) and then we decide on their value, which is incredibly subjective and can be based on such strong scientific principles as ‘How we feel’!!

I recently ran a drumming workshop with a group of people aged from 19 into their early 20’s. If you were to put labels on them, many would have opted for terms like ‘nobodys‘.

In fact if you asked them who they were, they’d probably tell you that they are nobodys (based on what society has told them) because they are a group who have struggled with school and come from backgrounds which have resulted in such low self esteem that they rate their value as zero.

BUT they are one of the BEST groups I have ever run workshops for!  Period.

Sure, many were shy but they were great listeners, sensing changes in feel and rhythm, and when we stopped, everyone stopped on exactly the same beat. Some were prepared to try solos. They were willing to give it their best shot.

Here are some labels I would use for this group:

  • Winners
  • Brave
  • Enthusiastic
  • Great learners
  • Listeners
  • Smilers
  • Relaxed (eventually!)
  • Contributors
  • An inspiration to me

And if that is being a nobody then I want to be one too!

Thank you all for making it such a great session and teaching me what it takes to overcome personal barriers and uncertainties to make things rock!

You are an inspiration and don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are a nobody.

You have more going for you than you may realise for some time. But once you can grasp how special you all are and what talents you have, then you will see yourselves very differently.

I just pray that the rest of us will give you chance to shine as you did in our workshop.

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I was greatly encouraged to receive the following comments from one of the youth leaders after the event …

“I thought the session was tremendous. It was a great environment for our guys, many of whom have low self-esteem. The way they were able to join in with the session without feeling pressured worked really well. Overall, the evening was a memorable event for our guys and a very enjoyable one!”   TS; Youth Leader