YOUNGSTERS have been rocking all over the school with former Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich.

Jeff swapped playing in front of thousands of fans to speak to pupils at St Matthew’s Primary School in Halliwell.

And he even gave the percussionists of the future a drumming masterclass.

The 59-year-old has toured 5,500 schools over the past 20 years, giving an educational insight into the instrument.

He said: “I try to make it as much fun as possible and get them playing instruments at the same time. I try to put it across that music is something you can enjoy doing.

“I was inspired by a jazz drummer when I was in school and had support from my parents as well. I didn’t have anything like a masterclass when I was in school. I went to school in London and we had a few police in but not drummers.Most primary schools don’t do a lot with drums, but St Matthew’s have djembe drumming classes. Drumming has always been popular, but some schools don’t have the money to do it.”

Jeff’s drumming had children dancing and bopping their heads. Then all the pupils took hold of a percussion instrument and played along with the famous drummer. Pupil Logan Bond, aged eight, said: “Jeff’s drumming was really good and entertaining. I have never played the drums before and I will play them again now. I didn’t know who Jeff was, but my dad did and he will be jealous that I met him.”

Year Six pupil Ash Farkoosh, aged 11, said: “The drumming was exciting. It inspired me to play the drums.

“I hadn’t heard of Status Quo before but I told my family Jeff was coming in and they said they would like to come in too.”

Jeff still misses some aspects of being in a band, such as touring, but added he is enjoying being able to spend time with his family, including his youngest children, who are aged three and five.

He will be visiting St James’ CE School in Farnworth today.

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