Newport pupils ready to drum at the Albert Hall

South Wales Argus: ENTHUSIASTIC: Pupils from Marshfield Primary School, Castleton, playing their Japanese drums ENTHUSIASTIC: Pupils from Marshfield Primary School, Castleton, playing their Japanese drums

IN most classes, pupils have to be quiet and listen. But, youngsters from a Newport school have gained great success from being as loud as they possibly can be.

Taiko, or Japanese drumming, has proved a big hit at Marshfield Primary and the talented pupils have already played in front of more than 1,000 people and are gearing up to make their debut at both the Royal Albert Hall, London and St David’s Hall, Cardiff, next month.

In total, 56 Year Five pupils have been learning through Gwent Music Support since September 2011.

After just ten weeks of tuition, they took part in a Christmas extravaganza in front of 1,000 people and in July, performed at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Their ability on the drums – which are of varying sizes, the biggest similar to a beer barrel – led to them being asked to open the School Proms in London next month. They are now rehearsing and will also play with other talent from Newport at St David’s Hall.

Gwent Music Support’s David Powell teaches youngsters at schools around the area and said the invitation to perform at the Royal Albert was “incredible” and a “dream come true’ for many of the youngsters.

He said the drums had been so successful because they bring all pupils together: “Playing them seems to help those who are quiet come out of their shells and it develops the self-esteem of others. You see some children who may not be the most academic who excel, so it’s really good for their confidence.”

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