The workshop is split into two sections and lasts for an hour and a half, which would be suitable for KS2, with a short break in the middle. Jeff can cater for up to 300 children in a workshop but if there is a total of 300 children in a Primary school then KS1 be invited to join KS2 after 45 minutes.
Section 1 (KS2) deals with the history of the drum, how it developed from Africa right through to the modern snare drum. Children are invited up to play different drums. This happens throughout the session. The whole workshop is hands-on.
Section 2 (KS1 & 2) deals with the drum kit, how it functions etcetera. Again children are invited up to play parts of the kit.
Jeff then plays a solo to show how versatile a kit can be. After the solo, children are invited up to play percussion with Jeff (up to 150 at a time). There are 200 pieces of percussion available to play in the workshop. If there’s time at the end Jeff invites questions from the children.
“The children and staff were really looking forward to your visit and were not disappointed on the day. They thoroughly enjoyed the whole morning’s entertainment, especially when you invited them to take part by playing some of the drums and percussion instruments.”
Iris Cerny, Head Teacher – Whitmore Junior School
“Students who attended the sessions have commented that they found them extremely enjoyable, well presented and structured. The sessions motivated and inspired our young people who understood the main message behind your teaching; that music should be fun and creative.”
Bob Elliott, Head of Music – Archbishop Sentamu Academy
“On behalf of Kingswood and the other 3 schools I would like to thank you for an excellent presentation last Thursday. Both the children and the staff thoroughly enjoyed the session and I am sure they now look at drum kits and percussion instruments in a really different light.
I enclose a calendar that the children here at Kingswood all contributed to by way of a thank you.”
Jenny Brown, Headteacher • Kingswood Primary
“About 3/4 years ago you visited Castledyke Primary School in Barton Upon Humber. My son was already into drums but your visit seemed to spur him on even more.
He is now approaching 14, has surpassed all expectations from his teachers and is now assisting in the teaching of new students to his school. As well as playing in the school orchestra he and some friends also set up a school band.
I wanted to thank you for your visit. It’s wonderful to be the proud Mother of a teenager with a passion and knowledge and I feel you were a key part of his interest.
Again, please accept my thanks. The work you do is invaluable to some and I for one would recommend you to anyone without a moments hesitation.”
Sam Brown • Parent
“Thank you for last week’s masterclass – everyone went home with faces aching we had smiled so much!
Good luck in all you do in the future.”
Lynn Evans, Headteacher • Kings Lodge School
“You did a master class in Haddenham, Bucks and my then 10 year old son came back saying sod the football, tennis etc and please buy me a drum kit. When I said no, he cried for the last time that I remember. I relented slightly so now have drums every where in the house and he is having advanced drum lessons in London to master jazz.
In between time he got a first class degree from York in politics and international relations and is now 22.
So thanks for giving him the inspiration and me the confidence to trust him.”
Clare Waring-Clark • Parent
“I have just come off the playground at lunchtime and wanted to tell you how much the children (and staff) had enjoyed the session this morning, they were all talking about it and “air drumming”; one group of children said they would give it a thousand out of ten!!
Thank you, it was a really inspirational morning. Alongside the history and origin of drumming their were some excellent messages for the children with regard to looking for careers outside of the ordinary and working hard to be as good as you can be. It was obvious how much pleasure you get out of your career and this rubbed off on the children.
Sometimes when we have visitors, whilst they may be good at their particular job, they do not always know how to communicate effectively with children, but you were really good at this and had a lovely sense of humour and knew how to keep the momentum going and hold their interest for a long period of time.
We have calculated that it cost only £1.32 per child, for such an exciting performance and workshop – what a bargain! Thanks again, and we will see you in 4 years time!”
Jayne Ellis • Headteacher, Ravensdale Primary School
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for last week. The children are still talking about it.
It was a pleasure having you in our school and I look forward to having you back again when you return to Belfast.”
Sinead, Teacher • Christ the Redeemer Primary School
“Just wanted to say thanks for today! The kids had a great time and the session was pitched just right in terms of the history of drumming and lots of practical ‘hands-on’.
Just what the Y6s needed. The build up to SATs has been a tough slog so it was great to see them ‘chill’ a bit and enjoy themselves. Apologies that a few were a bit over the top – they are great kids!
Afternoons like today remind me why I do this job.”
Zoe Richards, Headteacher • Parkgate Primary School
“I don’t know how much feedback you get from your school drum workshops (probably loads) but I would just like to pass on my personal thanks and appreciation for the very positive and long lasting impression that you have left on my son Calum Hall who is 10 yrs of age.
You did some sessions at his school Romiley Primary. Something that my son wrote last week has motivated me to email you.
If you’ve got kids yourself you will probably know that they don’t always tell you about notable events until after they have happened, and when they do (which is exactly what happened in this case) they don’t give much away.
Calum told us that a guy had been in playing the drums and that it had been really good and he had really enjoyed it etc, and after some further cross examination I established who you were and what the sessions were about and so on. That was about 8 months ago.
Fast forward to last Friday when Calum did his last day at Romiley Primary School. All those leaving the school filled out a form with various questions on. One of the questions was “What is your fondest memory whilst at Romiley Primary school”. Calum put down that your drum workshop and meeting you had been his fondest memory.
I don’t know about you Jeff but I think that is a tremendous compliment to you and your work. Calum had a lot of good times at the school with good friends etc but out of all that he picked your drum workshop as his fondest memory. Amazing!
Whatever you’re doing Jeff keep doing it because clearly you are doing a fantastic job. As far as I’m concerned you should be invited to every school in the country so that all the students can be left with the same positive and long lasting impression that you gave to my son.”
Steve Hall, Parent • Romiley Primary School
“Thanks for your time reading this email. I am a massive Quo fan and an even bigger fan of yours. Other than having a father who took me to see Status Quo at Wembley for my first ever concert, I first came across you when you visited my school – Woodford Green Prep School back in 1996. I was 9 or 10 at the time. Unfortunately, years have caught up with me and I am now 31 and getting married.
I am getting married in an East London venue known as Trinity Buoy Wharf. Your performance at my primary school has resonated with me ever since. I would absolutely love to get you down to the venue to do a short set.
I have stayed close with a lot of my friends who fondly remember that performance at our school over 22 years ago. I don’t know if it is possible but it would be a cherry on the top to match one of the best memories from my primary school days with my wedding day.
I see you are still active on the school scene to this day. Congrats and great work.”
Alistair, Former pupil • Woodford Green Prep School