Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich rocks with the Beetley school crew

Pupils at St Mary's Primary School in Beetley, get a drum masterclass by former Status Quo drummer J

Pupils at St Mary's Primary School in Beetley, get a drum masterclass by former Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich - Pupils with Jeff Rich.. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Amid a sea of double denim a 62-year-old rocker launched into a deafening drum solo while his new 'backing' musicians shook their maracas and danced to the beat.

Pupils at St Mary's Primary School in Beetley, get a drum masterclass by former Status Quo drummer J

Pupils at St Mary's Primary School in Beetley, get a drum masterclass by former Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich - The children take part in a mini performance. Picture: Matthew Usher.

This was no ordinary lesson for pupils of St Mary's Primary in Beetley, near Dereham.

They were getting a masterclass from a real rockstar - Jeff Rich.

The drummer, who now lives in Lincolnshire, performed with Status Quo for 16 years touring all over the world.

But since 2000 he has been touring in a very different way, visiting schools up and down the country and across Europe to inspire youngsters to connect with music.

Pupils at St Mary's Primary School in Beetley, get a drum masterclass by former Status Quo drummer J

Pupils at St Mary's Primary School in Beetley, get a drum masterclass by former Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich - The children take part in a mini performance. Picture: Matthew Usher.

With the whole school, and its staff, captivated by his informal style he gave an insight into the history of the drum, how it developed from Africa right through to the modern snare drum.

Children were invited up to play different drums before Mr Rich showed the versatility of his drum kit with a solo performance.

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Then the noise was ramped up to a whole new level when children were given percussion instruments to join in with a finale.

'I just want to inspire them to enjoy music,' he said. 'It is fun to do and that is why I do it.'

He said it was a difficult decision to leave the band and all the members of Status Quo are still 'mates' but he wanted to spend more time with his family after years of being away from home on tour.

He said: 'It is a fantastic life if you are single but when you have a family it is not ideal.'

He also performs with another band called Triple J and a rythmn and blues band in London but he gets to 'pick and choose' when he wants to work.

His tips for youngsters wanting to be musicians were to practice, practice, practice and to have a career to fall back on.

'Making a living in music is really hard,' he said. 'I started playing drums at the age of nine but I had to save up my money and buy the drums myself. My parents could not afford them but I started cleaning cars and washing windows and did Saturday jobs to make enough money for my first kit. If you do it yourself it means so much more than if it is handed to you on a plate.'

Mr Rich was also due to give his drumming workshop at schools in King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth this week.

* For more information about Jeff Rich visit www.jeffrich.co.uk.

* Is your school inviting an interesting visitor? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.