The Seattle Drum School of Music began in 1986 with a handful of drum students in one 12’ by 12’ room at our original location in North Seattle. We now fill all 8300 square feet and in 2004 built a 100 seat all-ages performance venue/recording studio, The L.A.B. (Little Auditorium in the Back) where hundreds of aspiring young musicians have had the opportunity to play their first show! In 2007 we opened a 6000 square foot second branch with an all-ages venue, the Slab (it used to be a funeral home) in Georgetown where we currently host our schools’ bi-monthly student showcases. We now have a total enrollment of over 500 students from 3 through 73 years of age studying not only percussion, but voice, guitar, ukulele, banjo, piano, bass, woodwinds, trumpet, trombone, and recording technology. We employ four office administrators and over 40 instructors who are not only considered to be a sample of Seattle’s most revered performers, but who are also extremely passionate and inspired music educators. Some of the most notable would be Jason McGerr (former student), who still teaches here occasionally when he’s not touring with Death Cab for Cutie, and former student Bill Reiflin (R.E.M., King Crimson), who is offering band performance coaching, recording pre-production classes, and drumming Master classes.
Over the years we’ve hosted dozens of drum clinics, master classes, and music industry seminars featuring such renowned artists as David Garibaldi, Billy Kilson, Jim Chapin, Freddy Gruber, Dom Famularo, Mike Clark, Stanton Moore, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Martin Atkins, Will Kennedy, Chris Johnson, and many others.
We are in our seventh year of offering our “One Year Certificate Program for Drummers”. It’s a 20 hour per week professional drumming curriculum that includes technical training, percussion ensemble, Latin ensemble, rhythm section workshops, master classes, piano/theory class, and private lessons. The tuition, at $14000 per year, makes this program one of the most affordable of its kind in the country. A recent graduate chose to continue his education at Berklee College of Music where he qualified for an $18,000/year scholarship and tested out of three semesters of curriculum towards his degree.
In the spring of 2010 we launched a Scottish drum corps program that continues to gain momentum and is performing regularly in the area at music festivals, parades, regional Scottish Highland Games and Scottish Heritage events. Four time world champion Scottish snare drummer, John Scullion, visits at least twice a year from Ireland to teach and perform with us. John, along with Scott Robertson ( from Vancouver, B.C.) are participating in a grade 1 elite drum corps we officially launched in October, 2011, that we call the “National Drum Corps”.
The Seattle Drum School has evolved into much more than just a center for music education. It has become an institution in the greater Seattle area. It is a musical culture and performing arts center providing community and support for not only what is now two generations of continuing students, but for many of Seattle’s finest and most prolific professional musicians, composers, and music teachers.