Tate Kids


Michael Sandle, Der Trommler, 1985

This sculpture by the artist Michael Sandle is called ‘Der Trommler’, which means ‘The Drummer’. The sculpture is made out of bronze and shows a striding figure beating a drum.

Michael Sandler spent some time living in Germany and was fascinated by the parades that he saw there. He described one parade he saw in Basle:

‘I went to Basle to see the celebrated procession which starts at four o’clock in the morning, God knows how many drummers… And I saw a man dressed in black wearing a gas mask in the procession, playing a drum. It was very exciting, the sound was amazing.’

Have you ever watched a parade or a group of drummers? Do you like the sound of drumming? What does the sculpture remind you of?

© Michael Sandle

11 stories about “Michael Sandle, Der Trommler, 1985”

  1. Elizabeth, age 11, from Sweden, Stockholm

    Amazing ! The sculpture is so clear on what it is. The idea of a drummer I wouldn’t of ever thought of it! Well Done Der trommle for creating such an outstanding piece of art work. I personally would give this 5 STARS obviously on such good technique and everything about it. WONDERFUL !

  2. Georgia, age 8, from Australia

    Down on one of the city roads, the road was blocked for a parrade. Three drummers were making adults laugh and children smile. Next, you could here horns beeping in the backround and that didn’t go well with the chior. Lastly, you could see 4 acro dancers peforming a routine. At the end of the parrade, you could here more horns beeping aswell as more of the drums. One of the unpatient people got two sick and tired of waiting and………………… went pass the line, through the parrade and killed a drummer. He was taken to heaven and Michael Sandle made a sculpture of him when he was in the parrade. For memories.

  3. lia c, age 8, from philippines

    Leanna stared up at the drummer. He looked more like a soldier than a drummer. She remembered her little brother, Tyler, who loved to play “soldier”, which was wearing a chocolate tin hat and pretending to be on a dangerous mission. He’d stayed at the house with Dad to have a playdate with his friend, Kevin. Kevin’s older sister, Katie, had gone to the museum with Leanna and her Mom.
    Leanna looked closer. She really liked how he look. He seemed so brave and courageous.
    Maybe this drummer died during a war and Michael Sandle sculpted him as a reward for being brave?
    “LE-AN-NA,” Katie loudly called. “Let’s grab a snack at the snack bar!”

    Half an hour later…
    Katie and Leanna sat across each other, sharing a banana split.
    “Let’s be friends,” Katie said, suddenly.
    Leanna looked at Katie. She’d really like her for a friend.
    So then and there they became friends. Leanna told Katie what she thought about the sculpture. Katie said, “I agree with you. I’ll tell Kevin about that.”

  4. Phoebe southard, age 12, from England

    Amazing ! The sculpture is so clear on what it is. The idea of a drummer I wouldn’t of ever thought of it! Well Done Der trommle for creating such an outstanding piece of art work. I personally would give this 5 STARS obviously on such good technique and everything about it. WONDERFUL !

  5. Jessica Aston, age 11, from the u.k

    “hey,” Lottie echoed down the dank tunnels “where did you go?” What Lottie had saw was a little boy drummer made from stone statue, and as she turned away she heard a noise which sound like a drumming tin. she turned back and the little drummer had gone from it’s place she followed the noise which led her to where she is now.
    A door closed and a shadow moved behind her. Her torch glimmered in the darkness. Lottie was now starting to feel a bit startled and she was unsure on what to do. She started to turn back to the museum when a thing dropped on her golden mop of hair. she took it of her head shaking in fear. She unwrapped it. It was a clue to find something. Lottie read out,” Find the broken drum stick and you’ll have your next clue.”
    So she walked down the ally way in the tunnel and soon after she found the broken drum stick and opened it up. a piece of old paper it said, ” look for a pair of scissors the red torn strap and find the blue cap then you’ll have your next clue.”
    So Lottie walked more until she found the pair of scissors a red torn strap and a blue cap attached. She picked the old cap up and looked in side the note that she found said, “Put this strap on and the cap too then follow your nose to find the shoe.”
    “follow your nose to find the shoe, how do i do that?” Lottie questioned to her self. suddenly her phone rang ” ring,ring you’ve got a message ring,ring!” she answered her phone and read the message ” i’m Hubert Albert Boyd and i can help just go forward 6 steps and turn right carry on 11 steps and you be in for a flight.”
    “OK, I don’t know you but i’m going to do what you say so go forward 6 steps. 1,2,3,4,5,6 so I’ve gone six steps so i need to turn right,but which way is the right. aha that right so lets go this way 11 steps. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11…… WOW!” Lottie had arrived at a glimmering stage with a shadow behind the stage. A sign told her to put the drum stick on the stage with the scissors in a pot. so she did and she found the shoes. They were marching shoes. She picked up the shoes and found a note which said,” you have found me now watch this but first put on the marching shoe’s and the strap and cap and march along with me.” so she put them on and stood up to watch. the drummer got the scissors and cut through some strands of rope he was stuck behind then he came forward and started to march and Lottie marched too then the drums boomed.
    “hello Lottie, are you there?” a voice seemed to say . suddenly it went all white and she felt dizzy. What was happening? she blacked out.
    “hello Lottie to Earth, Lottie to Earth. Are you still here?” Dave her boss said. Lottie awoke she was in the same room and the statue was there to. “whats happened? i was marching with the little drummer while he played!” she knew what really and we do too.

  6. Aimee Aston, age 9, from the u.k

    Katie was out in the museum doing her nightly job. First she was looking in the statue room.She had a look by the army drummer. Then she walked away from the drummer.Suddenly she heard a clanking noise.Then she ran back to the glass of the statue. When she looked it had dissapeared. Then when she turned around she caught a glimpse of the drummer. She said “come back it’s not safe”.So off she ran after him.

    Then she got her torch out and switched it on.When she looked around she could see him hiding behind a wide pole.So she sprinted after him.Then her phone went beep beep you have a message beep beep.So she got her phone and readed the message.It said find a doll made from china and inside a smashed part there should be a clue.Then she thought were could the doll of china be.Then she started look for it as well as she looked for that drummer.

    then she heard a door close “SLAM!”.So she ran as fast as she could.When she got to the door she tried to open it but she could not there was a code to open the door.Then she got anther message so she readed it.The code is something between 34 and 1 if you add 10 then take away seven what is the answer
    What could the number katie thought.Then she got the answer 18 so she typed it down.Then the door opened so she walked in. when all of a sudden the doll made of china was glistning in the light .So katie went to get the doll made out from china.then she picked it up then inside she saw a clue it said find a pair of drumming sticks and by the side there will be another clue.

    so off she went to find the drumming sticks.10 minuets later she saw a pair of drumming sticks and the clue by the side said turn left and you will see a stage then put the drumming sticks in the pot and let the music play. So she did what the clue said. Then she saw a army drummer drumming.Then all of a sudden her mind went blank.When she awoken she saw the drummer back were it belonged and she was let FREE!

  7. Ella, age 9, from England

    George went to a shop. Not just any shop, it was a shop with a transporter in it. When you went into the shop, you got taken any where. However, lets not worry about that. Well, George accidently stepped into that shop and he went to the land of knights. From the lands’ name you can guess what the land would look like, full of knights the knights chassed him and guess what, they took him away. He found a knight statue on the bench. He used it to open the barriers to escape from the cell. He squeezed through the gap and silently went back through the door and ran home. He told his Mum and Dad the story but they never believed him!

  8. Charlotte, age 11, from United Kingdom

    Darkness swirled around the drummer as Skye pushed it away to the edge of the table top, making the body of the statue tilt… ever so slightly. Suddenly there was an ear-splitting concussion, scattered debris from the artwork span on the unyielding ground. On the floor lay a boy, a Spartan helmet sat neatly on his sweat-beaded hair. With a rattling breath, the first one he had ever taken, he stood and whispered, “Ouch, I thought only boys were aggressive.”
    Skye screamed, okay she had braced herself for an enormous row with Valerian, her boss if it broke, but this? Did she need to visit an Asylum? She poked the being with her shoe, his body felt freezing, hard… stone-hard. He rolled his cold, black eyes and stuck out his sooty hand. She reached out hesitantly for it, a shock of cool panic shot through her as his fingers closed around her trembling ones. He was up with a bound, and with a mocking salute, he was gone…

  9. jack, age 6, from wv

    onece upone a time ther was alex



  11. Alina Khan, age 8, from United Kingdom (UK)

    once upon a time there lived an artist called Claude Monet. he lived with his family in France when suddenly news came that they had to move due to war. so his family moved . There he had to live with the changes. One rainy day he went walking and met a man. He looked like an artist as he was carrying a pallet with the colours of nature on them . Accidentally they bumped into each other. All of the other mans pictures fell to the ground and were swept away by the rain. Claude rushed as fast as he could and scooped up all the photos he came back and the artist was gone!

    Claude searched far and wide for him but could not find him. Still he took it home and gazed at them day till night until finally he decided his future. Years passed. When Claude was old enough he went to an art school and created hundreds of beautiful pictures. He , most of the time would draw a bridge on top of it. Soon he became quite old and died leaving a generation of art behind him.