Forest Lawson

I’m Forest Lawson, I am 15 years old and live in Glenlivet

I have always loved music.  My family all say that even when I was a baby I had rhythm, I would always stop what I was doing, dance and clap my hands in time to any music I heard.  My older cousins used to invite their friends to come and watch me when I went to visit them.  This is why my Granny bought me a percussion set for Christmas when I was 2 years old and I used my plastic Winnie the Pooh sticks to drum on anything I could find that made a good sound.  As I got older I used to make pretend drum kits with boxes, buckets, pots and various other things.

When I was 6 my Mum took me to see a drum teacher who said I had the potential to be a good drummer so she saved up and along with my birthday money bought my first proper junior drum kit.  I started taking lessons but had to go to Hopeman which was too far away and too expensive to go every week. 

In 2004 we found Rossini Cavalcante in Aberlour and I have been taking lessons with him ever since.  I have learned so much from Rossini over the past 7 years and not only how to drum.  I used to be quite shy and lacked confidence in myself but Rossini has made me realise that I am very musical and have a great talent, now I am much more confident in everything I do.  Recently I have begun to improve in reading drum music, which I find quite difficult because I am dyslexic.  Being able to read music will make it possible for me to sit Rock School Exams, which I will do later this year. Over the years Rossini has, and continues to be, a fantastic role model and a great inspiration to me and I am immensely proud to be a pupil of the Ritimo Drum School.

Other drummers who inspire me are Thomas Lang, Chad Smith, Travis Barker, Stuart Copeland, Buddy Rich, Rob Rolf, Keith Moon, Jo Jo Mayer, Benny Greb, Mitch Mitchel and Mike Portnoy.

My ambition is to be a practising musician and perform on stage like my idols or a drumming teacher or both.  With hard work, lots of practise and determination I think I can achieve my goals.  I will work my way through the Rock School Grades, including the teaching exam, and hope to get into music college when I finish school. 

I practise every day sometimes for 1 hour sometimes all day and often play until midnight, I can't go into my room without wanting to pick up my sticks.  Luckily I don't have any neighbours and my Mum doesn't mind the noise. 

In the past year I have had experience in performing at various school events including special assemblies, music concerts and lunch time jam sessions but the highlight for me was performing at the Ritimo Drum Festival in October 2010 where I performed a group, a duet and a solo piece.  The adrenaline rush I got from performing was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again.

At the moment I am working on a new solo piece for the Young Drummer of the Year competition and practising some new techniques for the percussion group.

I tried to think of something clever to sum up what drumming means to me but it all sounded too fake, I just love to drum, when I'm happy... I drum, when I'm sad... I drum, when I'm angry... I drum and when I'm tired... I drum a bit less than normal.