Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Teenager drumming up support for career

A TEENAGE musician from Henley is trying to become a full-time drum teacher.

A TEENAGE musician from Henley is trying to become a full-time drum teacher.

Andy Jeffs, 19, of Ancastle Green, currently does the job part-time out of a unit at a storage centre on the Newtown Road industrial estate.

But he is hoping to increase his number of students from 10 to 15 to 20 during this year so that he can devote all his time to teaching.

Mr Jeffs, who started drumming when he was 10, said he was brought up on the “right” type of music, such as rockers Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

His father Seamus is a manager for a software company and his mother Lisa is a history teacher at Hemdean House School in Caversham.



Mr Jeffs, who was educated at Sacred Heart Primary and then Gillotts School, said: “I thought everyone wanted to be a guitarist so I decided to become a drummer.”

He left school at 16 and then enrolled on a music course at Henley College but left early.

He then worked at Goldsmiths jewellers in Bell Street before it closed in 2014 and now works at the Tesco store in the morning so his afternoon is left free to teach.

Mr Jeffs said: “I was going to go to university to learn to teach but that wasn’t the best solution.

“I went a different way and I am already making money as a teacher.

“My parents are very supportive and quite proud of me for taking the initiative to do something independently.

“They’re pleased with the success I’ve managed to have so far. I probably should have started it a couple of years ago but I was busy being a teenager.”

He makes about £500 a month through his lessons and still learns himself from Benson drummer Mike Glozier. Mr Jeffs said: “He gives me advice on being a teacher as well.

“He taught me all the main things I needed to now to go into this as a business and has supported me through that.”

In his teaching space, he has two drum kits so that he can show students new beats, riffs and drags and then they can copy him.

This  saves time because they don’t have to keep swapping seats. He has a £300 Premier kit and a £2,500 DW Design Series kit, which he saved up to buy.

Mr Jeffs said his aim was to continue playing and to teach as many people as possible.

“I like to be an influence on young people,” he said. “You can push them to learn new things.

“I’ve got a 10-year-old starting soon and he hasn’t had much success with his other teacher. He just wants someone fun to introduce him to the drums and to enjoy learning. His old teacher might have been a bit ‘old school’ with his teaching. I like to keep it really simple.

“I get older pupils as well. One guy was 30 and he hadn’t used a kit or performed for 11 years.

“I want to inspire him to perform again. It’s about giving him the confidence to get back out and start playing in front of others.”

Mr Jeffs encourages his students to join bands and has worked with Acoustic@Magoos, the performance club for young people which meets once a month at the bar in Hart Street.

For more information, email Mr Jeffs at andy@henleydrums.com or visit www.henleydrums.com



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