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How I became a drummer

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Ori Schnaider

Ever since I could walk, I loved holding sticks, from chopsticks to sticks I found outside, even a wooden spoon! Why did I love sticks? I didn’t realize this at the time, but I am a drummer. 

Did you ever have a special object when you were little? Maybe you had a blanket or teddy bear, something that would comfort you. For me it was a large wooden spoon. I carried it everywhere; I never let it go. Weird, right? My family also thought it was weird, and since I would constantly lose it and cry, my family went out and bought me drumsticks.

This stopped when I started school. I obviously was not allowed to bring sticks to school, and after a while, I forgot all about it. The next few years my life had nothing to do with sticks or spoons or musical instruments.

Then came the fourth grade. Fourth grade is the time when you can enroll in the school band. The school music teacher gives you lessons, and you perform in a concert after a few months.

The school gave everyone a choice. You had to put your first choice and also a second choice just in case there were too many other kids playing that instrument. I put down drums as my first choice and I decided to put down trombone because it looked the easiest to me. I got drums. Playing the drums in school means you play many percussion instruments, like bells or bongos.

I didn’t really like to play the drums until something happened in fifth grade. My grandpa found an old drum set and brought it home. Until then I was still only playing on a pad. My mom and sister fixed up the drum set, and my mom found me a private drum teacher. To my surprise (and everyone else’s) I was really good! Now, I take drum lessons every Sunday and I practice on my drum set at home. I am glad my mom forced me, back in fourth grade.

The only bad thing that came out of this realization is that I have a bad habit of drumming on any and all surfaces, on the dinner table, in the car, or whenever I’m waiting or thinking. In fact, I am doing it right now while I am typing and thinking of what to write. My siblings hate me because of it.

Maria Lennon and Erica Schultheis’ writing club, Candlewood Middle School, Dix Hills

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