Is There a Drummer in the House?


We were at my son Casey’s 8th grade graduation this morning when one of his teachers came up to me, obviously revved up about something, and asked, “Did you hear what happened at the assembly yesterday?”

From the breathless tone of his question, I assumed at the very least that someone had lost a limb.

“No,” I said, “what happened?”

Self-portrait with drumsticks

He told me they had a performance by a street percussion group called Street Beat, and as part of the show, they asked for a couple of volunteers from the audience. Casey plays the drums, and a lot of kids were yelling and pointing at him to be selected, so he was.

What they did with the volunteers was, the Street Beat guys would play something and the kids would try to match it. My kid was able to match everything perfectly, the other kid wasn’t, so they sent the second boy back to his seat and invited Casey to sit in and jam with them on the next song.

Keep in mind this is street percussion, where they use found objects as instruments, so his “drum set” consisted of a gas tank, an upside-down bucket and a water-cooler-size water bottle.

According to the teacher, he was awesome! I wish I’d been able to see it. I’ve been to all of his activities and performances since birth. I noticed he got a lot of comments about it from kids who signed his yearbook.

So his junior high career had some ups and downs, but I’m glad he was able to close it out on a high note.

I asked him, “Did everyone go crazy when you finished, like in Napoleon Dynamite?”

“Sort of,” he said.

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