Denise playing the drums

Denise on the drums

Orb member Denise makes a super-human effort to get over to Orb for her weekly drum lessons, it’s a unique two hour journey across the Yorkshire Dales that might put some people off, but not Denise:

“I get the 8 AM bus to Skipton from Settle, catch a bus to Harrogate, then get another one from Harrogate to Knaresborough.”

So Orb has to have something very special going on amongst all the music, art and computer equipment to make her journey worthwhile:

“Oh yeah it’s worth it. I like Stevie and everybody … I look forward to coming, I think it’s brilliant.”

Playing the drums is a new skill for Denise, she started in May 2010 and has been learning to play under the careful tuition of Stevie. She now owns her own drum kit at home and calls it ‘Lady’:

“I like the sound of a drum kit being played. I love looking at them and living with them.”

Stevie teaching Denise to play the drums

Stevie and Denise

Stevie has adapted a special technique for teaching drums to people of all abilities, which improves coordination and simplifies drumming, breaking it down and making it simpler to learn whatever your level. It works too because Denise will be showing off her new skills by playing along live with a Queen Song at the FEVA event in Knaresborough next month:

“I like Queen, We Will Rock You is one of my favourite songs. I’ve got a model of Freddie Mercury, he stands next to my bass drum at home.”

In the true spirit of Orb Community Arts, a creative environment which promotes positive mental health, Stevie encouraged Denise to improve and push herself to the next level by playing live at FEVA. But it didn’t take much convincing, she doesn’t seem nervous at all:

“I’m excited, it gives me a buzz … I just hope I don’t do it wrong!”

We asked her what she would say to someone thinking of coming to Orb, to use their fully equipped recording studio or rehearsal room:

“I think it’s brilliant, they’ve got really superb kit. It’s a great atmosphere, I’d stay here all day if I could. I love it.”

Four hands, drum sticks

That's four drum sticks on one drum kit: we're very hands-on at Orb

This blog article was written by Chris Kenworthy: copywriter and photographer