| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

After-school fun in Dubai

With the new term comes new after-school activities too. Dubai has a huge amount on offer, so why not try something different?

Drummer Vir Bhatia

Ah, drumming… every parent’s worst nightmare. But when your son is desperate for a drum kit (and his older brother already plays guitar) then what can you do? Sign him up for lessons, that’s what – then at least when he’s going at it hammer and tongs, it’s a rhythmic beat you’ll be subjected to and not just a darn awful racket. Vir was just five years old when the lure of the bass, snare and tom tom proved irresistible. ‘I used to go with my mum to pick my brother up from his guitar lesson and thought that looked like fun, but I was too small to play guitar, so I decided to have a go at the drums instead.’

Vir turns eight next month, so he’s been drumming for more than two years. ‘I have a class once a week at the Jumeirah Music Centre where I learn all sorts of different songs and rhythms. I really like it because there are loads of things to learn – and because it’s loud.’

Ah-ha, now we get to the crux of the matter. Vir gives us a quick demo up in his bedroom and yep, he’s right, it is loud. Very loud. But, we have to say, he’s not half bad, this fella. The beat is pretty catchy, and he’s certainly got great coordination and timing. The therapeutic and physical benefits of, well, whacking a few drums as hard as you can, are obvious, but for Vir, it’s also brought him closer to his brother, the 12-year-old guitarist, Daksh. ‘Sometimes my brother and I jam together. We don’t have any favourite tunes but at the moment we’re practising If Today was your Last Day by Nickleback.’
But he admits that his ear-splitting hobby doesn’t always make him the most popular boy in the house – especially when he performs impromptu Friday morning renditions of his favourite rock tunes. ‘Sometimes when I’m bored I’ll start drumming just to annoy everyone.’

Where: Jumeirah Music Centre (04 349 2662; www.jumeirah-music.com).

Who: Kids aged five and above can learn drums as well as piano and, once they reach eight years old, guitar, flute, singing and violin. The centre also runs a Young Musician course for kids as young as three and Kindermusik for mums and bubs from newborn to three years.

When: Classes start up again this month and cost from Dhs360 for four 30-minute lessons.

Time Out Dubai,

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