Rockschool Stories 01 December, 2022

Rockschool Stories: Rhys Galvin

This is what happens when you get a 2-year-old boy a toy drum kit!
Finalist in his school talent show and achieving a distinction in his Grade 1 Drum exam are just a few accolades that 8-year-old Rhys Galvin has gained. But his story doesn’t start there. It starts with a little toy drum kit, gifted to him for Christmas at the age of 2 and you know what they say…the rest is
his-story. So let’s dive into Rhys’ story and find out how Rhys became an incredible drummer in our latest Rockschool Story.

Based in the Home Counties, Rhys owes a lot of his success to his inner determination and phenomenal drum teacher Marc Danecker (MD Music Lab). Musical influences such as Royal Blood, Linkin Park and Dave Grohl have also shaped this young musician into the buddying drummer he is (check out his performance in the video below).

Read Rhys’ inspirational journey in the full interview below:

When did you first pick up a set of drums stick, and why?

I got a toy drum kit for Christmas when I was 2 years old – there is a funny video of me bashing the drums and cymbals with plastic sticks and asking for daddy’s help because I couldn’t reach the bass pedal. I then got a small acoustic kit with one symbol and a snare drum which I loved playing, it made me feel alive! I carried on until I was old enough to start having lessons.

What did you like most about studying with Rockschool?

When I first started having lessons at age 4, my drum teacher Marc spent about a year teaching me basics and writing out drum patterns for me to learn. Once I was ready, he then suggested the Rockschool grades to give me more structure and something to work towards. Every time I pass a grade it makes me feel really proud and encourages me to keep going! I also love the songs – particularly the ones by Jason Bowld!

How did your teacher combine his knowledge with this material to help you learn the fundamentals of the drums?

I got my drum teacher Marc to answer this question:

‘Having spotted something very special in Rhys, I knew that he’d settle into the Rockschool grades comfortably. The main factor for me was that he was able to understand notes when broken down. So he was able to start the song very slowly, making sure he counted the note values along the way. Then after increasing the speed in time, you end up with the result you see today. He’s 100% committed to drums/music and I couldn’t be prouder’.

Inspired by the work Rhys and his teacher, Marc, are doing together? You can find your own music teacher using our “Find a Teacher” tool:

Thinking about your musical journey, what’s one achievement you are most proud of and why?

I have a few achievements I am proud of. I was so happy to be selected for the Rockschool VMF 2022, I hadn’t realised that there were people from all over the world who applied to be part of it! I was also proud of getting a distinction in my Grade 1 exam, which was really difficult because I wasn’t able to have lessons in person due to Covid.

Is there a technique you struggled with most, and how did you overcome it?

I struggled with the Rolls and Ruffs in the technical exercises. I overcame it by letting my sticks bounce whilst hitting the drums lighter and being more relaxed.

Do you think this platform of knowledge allows for personal style and approach, and why?

Yes, I regularly use fills from the Rockschool songs when I’m jamming or making my own drum beats! I love the different music styles like Rock, Funk and Pop and depending on what type of song style it is I use a different energy and feel!

Is there a style/genre you feel most comfortable in, or do you feel prepared to tackle anything musically?

I really love the Rockschool songs by Jason Bowld! I love listening to rock bands such as Royal Blood, Linkin Park and Metallica and his songs remind me of that style. As part of Grade 5, I’ve been studying ‘Smack Talk’ and that is Funk, which is very different to what I usually play. It was good to tackle it as part of my grade 5 as Funk is the hardest style for me because you have to ‘swing’ the beat!

Which qualities do you think make a great musician?

Determination and resilience – we are taught it at school, and never to give up! Also, it’s great to have lots of energy and put it into the music, plus look really cool whilst doing it!

Are there any drummers who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?

Dave Grohl – he is a great drummer and can also play all the other instruments you need in a band! He is always chilled – he doesn’t panic and looks so cool!

Favourite track from Rockschool Drums, and why?

Tiberius in grade 5 by Jason Bowld! It gets your heart pumping by starting slow at the beginning and by the middle you’re going all out with the ‘double time feel’! Plus I love being able to add my own develops – I’ve recorded my version of it as part of this blog!

What advice would you give to all the musicians starting out there?

Be really determined, never give up and always try your hardest. Make sure you practice and that it’s an instrument you love playing. Also, find a teacher you gel with; I really look up to my drum teacher Marc – he’s the best!

Which achievements would you highlight in your musical journey?

Getting to the final of my school’s talent show by playing ‘Attitude’ from grade 4, then passing my grade 4 exam with a merit and receiving really good feedback from the assessor. When I’m older I hope to be part of a rock band travelling the world!

Rhys is clearly on his way to becoming a phenomenal drummer and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him live in concert one day as part of a Rock band, travelling the world of course.

Feeling inspired? You can discover more about Rockschool Drum Grades here:

Inspired by the work Rhys and his teacher, Marc, are doing together? You can find your own music teacher using our “Find a Teacher” tool:

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