A local music group is banging out a message about equality, and hopes that entry into a global competition will further empower girls and young women in the Welshpool area.
Four girls - Catrin Watkin (Llanfair Caereinion Primary School), Jossie McKenzie (Llanfyllin High School), Poppy Bowen-Heath (Berriew Primary School) and Anais Paddock (Welshpool High School) - are all part of Montgomeryshire Youth Music (MYM) and are hoping their work will capture global acclaim.
“Last month I found out about hitlikeagirlcontest.com and worked quickly to prepare a video in time with my students for the start of February,” said Theo Lawrence, who has been teaching for eight years. “Hit Like A Girl is a global drumming competition that promotes girls and women playing drums around the world.”
The four are all studying at a weekly mixed-class drum group and Theo says playing the instrument can play a huge part in any young person’s development.
“When I was learning drums as a teenager in the 90's, there were few opportunities for playing drums in our area of Mid Wales apart from one position in the school orchestra or starting a band with friends,” he said.
“I did the latter, and it was brilliant. With the new drum students have an opportunity to develop their skills and meet other drummers. Drum students bring their snare drum and floor toms along and get to play drums in a group together. Some pieces are without reading, and most of the pieces require reading drum sheet music.
“We need more girl drummers, so, this is what our video is all about - further diminishing remaining gender stereotypes with every snare drum hit, and inspiring more girls to take up the drums.
“One thing is for sure - drumming is not about power and strength, it's about technique, consistency, concentration, precision, timing, practice and hard work, focus, creativity, and listening. All of these attributes are non-gender specific, so girls and women have the same possibility to be amazing drummers and the whole world needs to know it!”
All four girls attend Montgomeryshire Youth Music, which are weekly rehearsals at Welshpool High School on Fridays after school. There are four youth groups: Drums, Guitar and Ukukele, Concert Band (wind instruments) and a full orchestra. All groups have both girls and boys in from around age eight up to 21 and there are also adult volunteers.
To watch the video visit http://hitlikeagirlcontest.com/entry/mym-drumline/ and for more information on drumming, visit www.montyyouthmusic.org.uk.