A music-loving deaf teenager from Peterborough can pursue his ambition of becoming a drummer after being awarded a grant.
William Palmer (13) received £500 towards the purchase of an electric drum kit, an allowance for sheet music and weekly music lessons for one year thanks to the MED-EL UK under 19s music grant.
It was discovered that William was deaf when he was just three months’ old but he is able to partially hear due to cochlear implants he received at Addenbrooke’s Hospital when he was two and three.
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of hearing to a person with profound or severe hearing loss.
It is used together with an audio processor positioned behind the ear or on the head.
After receiving his new drum set, Hampton College pupil William can now continue his school drum lessons at home as he looks to pursue his ambition of making into a band.
William’s dad Andy (35) said: “William loves playing the drums and is committed to it. He has loved the drums since he was very small. Indeed, it was probably the first sound he ever heard.
“It was lovely to win the grant. It will allow him to play at home in a way that was not possible before.He’s always enjoyed music. Hearing music with implants is a different experience. Sometimes it’s harder to pick up rhythm.
“He goes to school, does his homework and plays football. Apart from that he’s on the drums. He’s a busy kid.
“If he can continue practising like he’s doing so far he could play in a band.”
Andy is pleased that William’s year-long drumming lessons will be delivered by his current teacher, Chris Ogden, adding that his son is lucky to be taught by him.
Andy said: “The implants do not give you natural hearing. I do not think it impacts him at all. If you saw him playing on the drums you would not think anything different.
“It’s like a way of life. The implants are very impressive but if Will did not have them he would still be a wonderful lad.”
David Baguley, head of audiology and hearing implants at Addenbrooke’s, said: “It is fantastic news that William has been awarded this grant to allow him to pursue his passion for music.”