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Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Former Status Quo drummer, Jeff Rich, visited Bolton School Girls’ Division as part of a Year 8 Careers Day to give pupils an insight into life as a musician.
Jeff began by explaining how he got into the music business, from playing in bands in school to playing and recording with many famous artists including Stretch, Judie Tzuke, The Climax Blues Band, Def Leppard and, of course, Status Quo. He explained to students that like any other business, it is hard work, determination and a degree of luck that are the key ingredients to a successful career.
Jeff then spoke about the development of the drum. Students learned how technological changes through the centuries have led from animal skins being stretched over hollow logs, to modern plastic skinned drums, designed to stay in tune. Jeff started with African drums then moved onto the old European military drums, right through to the modern snare drum and demonstrating the rudiments of each. Students were selected to play various drums all through the session.
The second half of Jeff’s session dealt with the drum kit and percussion. Jeff explained each part of the kit and discussed different styles of playing. He then played a solo on the kit to show how versatile a drum kit can be. The results were breathtaking as he demonstrated the skills of a professional musician. After the drum solo, Jeff invited up to 100 students at a time to play percussion and drums with him on one of the 200 pieces of percussion he brought along with him and everyone had the chance to get up and play an instrument. Jeff then invited drummers in the audience to come up and play his kit. To round off the Masterclass, Jeff invited the students to ask him questions about the workshop or music in general.
As well as being an enjoyable experience, the Masterclass also gave students a rare opportunity to be involved with someone from the industry. The Masterclass aims to encourage pupils to take up any instrument, not necessarily drums. Jeff said: "The whole idea of my Masterclass is to inspire students to learn an instrument and if I achieve that, then my job is done".
Successful Old Girls also returned to school to share their experiences with current Year 8 pupils on Careers Day. Actress Anna Northam and Project Support Engineer at Bentley Motors, Amy Durrant, ran sessions with the girls, speaking on the career paths they had chosen and offering tips and advice. Alongside Jeff and the Old Girls, there were also sessions for the pupils from Chartered Civil Engineer Eraina Smith, Microbiologist Sarah Maddocks, Managing Director of ‘Mmm Cookie Dough’ Jess Chai and Actor/Director/Writer Simon Trinder.
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