The Top 5 Drum Schools

Have you ever thought about studying the drums full-time? Would you like to immerse yourself in a school with great teachers, a focus on playing (not academics) and a network of students who are all commited to achieving their goals, having fun and helping each other out. If yes, then you probably want to know where you should go – here are The Drum Ninja’s Top 5 Drum Schools:

1) Berklee
If you haven’t heard of Berklee by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last 50 years. Berklee is one of the most esteemed institutions for studying the drums and has such luminaries as Kenwood Dennard, Rod Morgenstein and Terri Lynn Carrington on faculty. Located in Boston, MA the school offers a great melting pot of learning and playing opportunities. www.berklee.edu

2) Musicians Institute
The Musicians Institute, located in the heart of Hollywood is another top-flight school in a town filled with great music and great musicians. You can take private lessons, short-courses or study full-time towards a Bachelors In Music. Teachers include Ed Roscetti, David Salinas and Chuck Silverman. www.mi.edu

3) Drummers Collective
NYC’s Drummers Collective boasts a strong roster of teachers including Frank Katz, Kim Plainfield, Nathaniel Townsley and Pat Petrillo. Courses include 5 day intensives, 4 week intensives and their more in-depth Performance Musicianship Program. If New York is the city for you then the collective, with it’s strong faculty and well-designed curriculum may be a good choice. www.thecollective.edu

4) LA Music Academy
Ralph Humphrey and Joe Porcaro head up the team at LAMA providing superb summer programs, diplomas and degree programs. The school is located in the vibrant city of Pasadena, CA and offers an intimate learning environment that will really support your goals. The facilities are great and the instruction second to none. www.lamusicacademy.com

5) Drumtech (London)
Located in the west of London, Drumtech is one of the UK’s leading drum schools. It was founded in 1983 by french drummer Francis Seriau and boasts an incredible alumni that have performed with some of the UK’s biggest acts – KT Tunstell, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, Estelle, Chipmunk and Basement Jaxx. Drumtech offers private lessons, 3 month courses and a full BMus degree. www.drum-tech.co.uk

How To Choose A Good School
These schools are just the tip of the iceberg. There are literally hundreds of good music schools worth attending so there really are no limits to which city you go and who you learn from. You might want to consider some of the following points before making your final decision:

What are your goals? Think about what you want to achieve in the long-term as a drummer. Where would you like to live? How will you make your money? Who would you like to play with and have access to? Which school and which city will best serve these goals?

Who are your heroes? Many good music schools have a superstar faculty. You have the opportunity to study with drummers you grew up listening to so if this is important to you then it should play a part in your decision.

Style? What style of music do you most want to be involved in? Does the school you are thinking about cater to this style and does the city you will be in have a good scene?

Budget? How much can you reasonably afford to invest in your education? If you combine savings, student loans, scholarship money and part-time income will you be able to get through the course comfortably?

Location? Are you willing to travel/live in another city or country for the duration of your studies? This is a big commitment and requires some serious thought. Would you be better closer to home or do you need to make the move to make the most of your drumming career?

Whatever school you decide on make sure to plan well and follow through. If you really want this then you’ve got to do it, no matter what. Don’t make excuses or put it off because in the end you will never go.


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