Sophomore Umer Mallick beats to the sound of his own drum

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Courtesy of Umer Mallick

Practicing the drums, sophomore Umer Mallick spins his stick.

After Umer Mallick went to a neighbor’s garage sale and saw a little boy jamming out on the drums in 2013, he wanted to see how hard playing them must be. Four years later, he’s a sophomore and, with practice, can play almost any song he listens to.

Although Mallick loves to listen and replicate music created by bands, he does not want to play in one.

“I don’t really like to play in front of other people. I love doing it, and it helps with stress. It’s more of something I do for myself rather than to entertain others,” Mallick said.

Unlike the average musician, Mallick does not play his music from a sheet of paper.

“I actually cannot read music,” Mallick said. “My instructor taught me to play based on notes. I would always get it wrong, but then he would play it, and I would just imitate him.”

After a couple months, Mallick ended his lessons with an instructor and started learning in the way that works best for him.

“I listen to my music and play with what I hear. I don’t actually follow any specific guidelines. When you play the drums, you can feel the rhythm in every part of your body. I don’t actually focus on hitting what at what time, I just go with the flow.”

After playing the drums for as long as he has, Mallick still strives for improvement.

“My goal is to get better and play faster. Because obviously, the faster you can play, the more wicked cool you are,” Mallick said.

After he began, he realized that learning to play was harder than he initially thought.

“I thought if he [the kid at the garage sale] can play the drums, it can’t be that hard to learn. I was obviously wrong,” Mallick said.

Mallick hopes to continue playing drums as an adult.

“I don’t think I’d have it as a job. It will be a really nice hobby when I get older, because playing drums is a really big stress reliever,” Mallick said. “Just like runners have a running high, I have a drumming high.”