Six- one to hold the bulb, and five to drink until the room spins.
Well, maybe that was true once upon a time, but these days if I get together with another five drummers, it can only mean one thing – the Sense Drumathon!
Sense are a charity supporting and campaigning for children and adults who are deafblind. Obviously being both deaf and blind presents enormous problems with communication, but as Sense explained, drumming is great way of reaching out. Even the profoundly deaf can feel the rhythms, quite literally, as the sound vibrations in the air ripple against their skin.
Sense gathered together a group of drummers a couple of weeks ago for a morning of music, and I was lucky enough to be asked to take part. One of my drumming heroes, Steve White, was also invited, as were an extraordinarily talented group of four teachers from Drumtech.
Drumming is a social activity; it’s a really dull thing to do on your own, but with 60 of us we had a great time. It was exciting to see how the deafblind students took to the instruments, and interesting to see how they adapted the rhythms based on what they felt.
Here’s a picture of the cast:
And here’s Steve and I working with one of the students.
Of course these photographs were posed, but the actual event was wonderfully chaotic, and the sight of 60 musicians wandering the stage, bashing things as loudly as possible and howling with laughter might have looked a little odd…
This was the first of what I hope will become an annual event. What a privilege to be asked to take part!