Drum kits are every parents worse nightmare – but this 12-year-old could be on his way to becoming a rockstar after passing one of the toughest exams.

Sam Branch, who lives in Whetstone, started learning the drums when he was seven and has sailed through every exam with the flair and ease usually associated with more senior musicians.

And this week, Trinity College confirmed he is the youngest person in England to have passed the Grade 8 exam with a distinction.

Sam first picked up the sticks when he saw his guitar playing brother, Joe, now 15, perform at a gig and was mesmerised by the music.

He begged his mother, Natalie Branch, for a drum set and after much pleading, she finally gave in.

She said: “Sam had been talking about learning an instrument. He was in awe of it all when he saw his brother play, and he decided he wanted to do the drums.

“We had our reservations though because drums are every parent’s worst nightmare.

“But he had an electric kit for a couple of years so because we could turn the sound down, we were quite popular with the neighbours.

“He now has a full drums kit and bashes to his heart’s content. We built a soundproof room in the garden for the boys to play as loud as they like without annoying anyone now.”

“We are incredibly proud of his distinction.”

Sam, who goes to Southgate School, has been trained by teacher Gareth Siggins, who lives in Drayton Road, Borehamwood.

Mr Siggins, 30, said: “Seeing Sam score the highest honours in Grade 8 expert level at 12-years-old is a sensational achievement for me.

“It is certainly one of my key achievements as a teacher. I want the whole country to know that Sam is a unique and gifted musician and it is a testament to his very hard work, dedication and sheer tenacity.

“I am very proud of Sam – he has listened to me every step of the way on our journey and his exceptional talent means he deserves the highest mark possible.”