ROCK superstar David Rowntree starred in a drumming workshop with deafblind children, run by renowned deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie.
Blur’s drummer joined the cast of hit musical show STOMP and Britain’s Got Talent star Kieran Gaffney in the noisy class, led by Dame Evelyn, to help the children appreciate rhythms and vibrations.
The event was held to launch a national drumming event, Drumathon, for the deafblind charity Sense.
Rowntree said: “I’m delighted to support the fantastic Sense Drumathon – it’s such an inspirational event. It’s a real privilege to drum with people who have a sight and hearing loss.”
Sense’s patron, the Princess Royal was also there and made an impassioned speech about the importance of music in the lives of deafblind people.
Taking place in over 200 schools nationwide, Drumathon involved up to 10,000 primary school children. They created a giant simultaneous drumbeat, as well as raising funds for Sense.
Drumathon also aims to raise awareness of the challenges deafblind children face with communication and to show that music is a powerful tool in enabling them to express themselves.
Dame Evelyn said: “Music has a wonderful way of joining people together from all backgrounds and ages, through the shared experience of listening, dancing or playing together, or in this case, drumming.
“We are hoping to drum awareness into the public of the almost quarter of a million people who have a serious impairment of both vision and hearing.”
Some deafblind people are totally deaf and blind, but others have some remaining use of one or both senses. Causes include premature birth and exposure to rubella during pregnancy, which can cause babies to be born deafblind.
Sense is a national charity that has supported and campaigned for children and adults who are deafblind for over 50 years. There are currently 356,000 deafblind people in the UK. The charity provides specialist information, advice and services to deafblind people, their families, carers and the professionals who work with them.
They run services across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and employ 2,000 people most of whom work in services directly with deafblind people.