Video: Drumming circles with 1970s ELP rocker Carl Palmer

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Toe-tapping African beats and rhythms filled a Leeds school as youngsters were given their own crash course on the drums.

Seventies rocker Carl Palmer travelled nearly 200 miles from his latest tour in Spain to Guiseley to showcase his drumming talents to up to 100 school pupils.

Drummer Carl Palmer in action during his drum clinic at Guiseley School.  PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Drummer Carl Palmer in action during his drum clinic at Guiseley School. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

The percussionist, who was renowned for his stint in progressive rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer, raised the roof at Guiseley School yesterday with an extra helping hand from youngsters with visual or hearing impairments.

Pupils aged between six and 17 from across the Aireborough cluster of schools, who also have special educational needs, attended the two drum circle sessions.

Garry Freeman, who is the director of inclusion at Guiseley School, organised the event.

He said: “The children really enjoyed playing the African hand drums.

“It helped to teach them about co-ordination, improve their listening skills and also encouraged team work because they were split into groups.

“Hopefully now they will take those skills they have learnt at the circles with the desire to take them further.

“Carl was absolutely brilliant and it was an incredible experience for the children.

“The children loved it and their faces just lit up when they got involved.

“It also helps to give them a sense of identity with youngsters who are in a similar position to them.” Now Mr Freeman hopes to organise a similar event at the school next year.

But it wasn’t just the children who were in for a treat.

He added: “There has even been a lot of excitement from the staff because people of a certain age can remember the band because they were absolutely huge during the seventies.”

Katherine Robertshaw from Aireborough Extended Services, who helped to co-ordinate the schools together, said: “It was lovely to bring the children together and it was nice for the different schools to meet up and have that interaction.

“We had children of all abilities get together to take part in something that they could all do together.”

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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