Elementary-school drummer with a development disability receives a great response

A nine-year-old Hakodate boy with a development disability is attracting attention by showing his self-taught drum playing online.
Tomoki Izumi beats out a light rhythm while humming the lyrics of a song in the soundproof room of his house. At the climax of the song, he hits the cymbals powerfully with an eager look on his face. His father has videotaped and posted him performing 16 tunes, including ones of popular bands, on YouTube one-by-one since last November. Some of the videos have been viewed more than 800 times.
“I feel happy when my friends and teachers saw my videos and thought they were cool,” says Tomoki.

He started drumming when he was two. Music has always been a part of his life, partly due to the influence of his grandparents who play in a band. He has practiced in his own way of learning rhythms and beats by listening to professional performances.

The voices of other people speaking have made him feel uncomfortable since he was in kindergarten and he was diagnosed with a development disorder. He had trouble communicating with his friends and had to leave the kindergarten.
Then he began releasing stress by playing the drums more often. Even when he was scolded by his parents, playing the drums in tears for about thirty minutes allowed him to calm down and come back to the living room.

Although the sound of the school bell makes him uncomfortable, he enjoys music class where he can play the recorder and Japanese drums. Tomoki loves video games, and he wants to be involved in making them when he grows up.
“Playing the drums helps me. It helps me feel calm. I want to continue playing when I grow up and form a band someday.” He is following his dreams with the help of music.

His videos can be found by searching for “TOMOKI drums” on YouTube.