12-year-old Dylan completed his Grade 8 Drums for Rock and Pop from home during lockdown 2020. He is influenced by a variety of music and bands including Nirvana and Artic Monkeys. He says of his recent experience: "Last year I played the role of Freddy Hamilton in the West End Musical School of Rock. Playing the drums live on stage each night further fuelled my passion for drums and rock so when I finished that I was looking for the next challenge and wanted to take my next Grades with Trinity College London who offered some great and iconic song choices."
EXPERIENCE OF WORKING TOWARDS A TRINITY QUALIFICATION
How did you find the process of working towards the qualification?
I very much enjoyed it as I liked the song choices and different styles of music.
How did you find the digital exam experience?
It was a different experience as unfortunately, I was not able to take either of my exams face to face due to the pandemic but Trinity put in place an excellent online alternative and I treated my submission as though it was a live exam performance and it was graded in the same way.
What did you find challenging about the process of preparing for the assessment?
As we were in the pandemic, I wasn’t able to meet with my drum tutor in the usual way so we had lessons over Zoom on my mobile phone with another phone set up to play the backing tracks through a speaker. I enjoy a challenge and luckily we have all this technology around us.
Where have you found sources of help and support and what has been helpful?
My drum tutor, Oliver, was fantastic and also adapted brilliantly to the change of circumstances. Trinity set out very clear instructions and advice guides about how to undertake the digital assessment and their website is a really good source of information.
Welcoming new opportunities
Have any new opportunities been opened to you through working towards a Trinity qualification?
The qualification has helped my playing technique and has led me to consider a future in teaching.
What has been the impact of this experience?
It has helped me understand and incorporate different styles and genres of drumming into my own playing. It has also (along with my School of Rock experience) honed my skills and understanding of musical elements such as dynamics and time signatures which are really important when playing with my band.
What has been the personal impact of working towards the qualification?
It has prepared me for adapting to new environments and learning styles.
What have you learnt from the experience?
It has helped shape me into a better drummer introducing me to higher level drumming skills and technical knowledge.
What is the impact on your creative development and artistic practice?
It has definitely helped develop my performance within my band especially as we are not able to meet right now so we are connecting online from different places around the country!
NEXT STEPS IN THE JOURNEY
What’s next for you?
I am thinking about studying for the Diploma in the future so that I can consider teaching. I am also interested in music production but for now, I am enjoying playing along to my favourite tracks and with my School of Rock bandmates.
TIPS AND ADVICE
What would you recommend to other young people working towards a Trinity qualification?
I would highly recommend a Trinity qualification! The syllabus is modern and relevant with iconic song choices. This makes it so enjoyable whilst also challenging. My tip would be to try and practice because you love your instrument as opposed to feeling like it is a chore. The Trinity syllabus helps here because it is so much fun!