Gene drums to a winning beat

Gene Peterson shows off the finger spinning technique that helped him become Australias Best Up and Coming Drummer of the Year at the Ultimate Drummers Weekend 2006.

When it comes to his sons education, Nick Peterson is definitely drumming to a different beat than your average parent. This former Trinity Catholic College teacher happily let his son Gene leave school at the tender age of 14 and encouraged him to follow his dream of becoming a drummer rather than complete his schooling.

And it seems to have paid off thanks to Nicks commitment and Genes natural talent.

Gene, 18, was named Australias Best Up and Coming Drummer of the Year at the Ultimate Drummers Weekend held in Melbourne in late July, and his dad couldnt be prouder.

I taught him piano from the age of five because, as a music teacher, that was the only gift I could give to him, said Nick, who gave up his career as a teacher to focus full time on nurturing Genes musical gifts.

I couldnt have done it without him, said Gene of his dads support. For me, leaving school in year 10 wasnt taking a step back, it was a productive step forward. Both my parents realised that I knew where I wanted to go and that a school certificate wasnt going to help me get there.

Nick happily bought Gene his first set of drums and told him to make as much noise as he liked. He also made it clear that if Gene really wanted to succeed as a musician he would have to practice, and Gene began to dedicate eight hours a day to his music.

Now Gene is just having the greatest time of his life, and as father and son, we are having the greatest time together, said Nick. There has been a lot of negative publicity lately about North Coast youth and Genes story might provide some kind of balance and possibly inspiration to young people in the area.

Gene is currently on tour with the tap/hip hop/break dancing troupe Raw Metal but says he is really excited about playing at the Australian Drumming Festival in Sydney later this year and opening next years Ultimate Drummers Weekend.


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