"Drumming has helped me through Aspergers" says SMS Grade 8 graduate Harry Wise
Yet another pupil of Slater Music School (SMS) has just graduated having achieved Grade 8 standard in Drums and is leaving to study music to degree level at college in Bristol. Nothing unusual in that, plenty of SMS students go on to achieve high grades and make music their career aspiration, but in this case, the student, Harry Wise has Aspergers.
Harry started learning drums at SMS six years ago when he was twelve. Now eighteen, music (in the words of his parents) 'changed his entire life’.
"I’m on the Asperger’s spectrum, and being a drummer/musician has helped me through really tough times in my life as I feel that it made my social skills a lot better." explained Harry.
“I’ve been a drummer since Christmas 2012, but before then I’ve always wanted to be a drummer. Did grades 1, 5, 6, and 8 last week. All with SMS. Achieved a distinction at Grade 6, really want a distinction in 8. Heavily influenced by many of the words greatest and iconic bands and drummers (my favourites Travis Barker from Blink 182). Love rock!" said Harry just after completing his course and before getting the news of the results.
Harry joined a band whilst studying at Pewsey Vale School, playing shows as often as possible and then moved on to Swindon's New College at sixteen to study Music at A level and Digital Music Production.
"Harry is now a very different individual. Confident, independent, about to leave home to study music in higher education. I set a full programme for his about 4 years ago, he is a drummer, but I also gave him melody and harmony plus theory. As near to a scholarship, as we do I guess. All subsidised and tailored." outlined SMS founder Stuart Slater.
"I’ve finished A Level music and digital music production Level 3. And now pursuing to attend the British and Irish Modern Music institute (BIMM) in Bristol. To study professional Musicianship." explained Harry.
Music is what Harry wants to do, full time. "My real ambition is to become a professional touring drummer. Either as part of a band or a hired gun. Playing big shows every night, whilst travelling around on planes and tour buses." was his reply when asked about the stage beyond college.
"A massive thanks to Sean and Stuart at Slater Music School for helping me through everything over the last 6 years. I doubt I would have succeeded this far if it wasn’t for them”.