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Female drumming competition aims to break gender stereotypes

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, July 31, 2020  /  02:45 pm
Female drumming competition aims to break gender stereotypes

The winners of C the Drum Girls Season 1 (from left to right) Joyce Bellinda, Febri Dyta, Sherina Faiha, Chynthia Jazmeen and Naila Fahria, during their final performance at Lotte Shopping Mall, South Jakarta, in October 2019. (instagram.com/c.thedrumgirl/File)

Gender stereotypes in music have been one of the biggest challenges Indonesia's female drummers have faced in promoting their instrument of choice among a new generation of musicians.

PT Citra Intirama, the local distributor for Japanese electronic music instrument manufacturer Roland, conducted an internal survey in 2019 on buyers of electric drums and several music schools in large Indonesian cities, including Surabaya in East Java, Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Medan in North Sumatra. The results showed that 10 percent of buyers and drum students were female.

PT Citra Intirama national sales manager Franky Boseke said the lack of aspiring female drum players in the country was caused by gender stereotyping, especially by parents.

“It’s due to their mindset. A number of parents in Indonesia still think that drums are only for boys. Girls aren’t allowed to learn the instrument and are asked to play the piano instead,” Franky said during a press conference on Thursday. “[But] music instruments are general; they can be played by all genders.”

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had encouraged people's interest in playing drums.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people playing electric drums at home. Perhaps it’s because they want to engage in more productive activities while sheltering at home, one of them being music,” he said.

Read also: Playing the drums can change the structure of your brain: Study

In line with the increasing interest and aiming to break prevailing stereotypes, online female drumming competition C the Drum Girls Season 2 is calling on beginners and musicians with a basic knowledge of drumming to participate.

Online registration is open to girls and women aged 15 to 30 starting on Aug. 1 on its website. Winners must pass three stages within the competition, starting from the online audition, a final audition for selected 50 participants and a 30-day challenge for five finalists who will be trained by professional drummer Mia Marcelina. Each stage can be streamed on media company C Channel Indonesia’s social media platforms.

“[Participants] need to prepare themselves mentally and be committed to following the 30-day challenge,” said C Channel Indonesia head Fany Lahithany.  

Winners of C the Drum Girls Season 2 will receive a set of Roland V-Drums TD-1KV, a cash prize of Rp 3 million (US$ 208.05) and a live-streaming video device for smartphones, Go:Livecast. They will also be able to join the Roland Tribe program, in which they’ll become brand ambassadors of Roland drums for online activities following their debut in November.

Roland marketing manager Shigeru Kimoto said he hoped the competition would encourage more young girls to take up drumming.

Supported by Roland, C the Drum Girls Season 2 is organized by C Channel Indonesia. The competition debuted in 2019 and produced five winners, namely Joyce Bellinda, Sherina Faiha, Cynthia Jazmeen, Naila Fahria and Febri Dyta. (wng)

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