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The Drumsense Programme

Colin Woolway

Colin Woolway is a well known drummer, teacher and the author of Drumsense Volumes 1 & 2, which are rapidly becoming the standard books for teaching beginners to play the drum kit. As a professional drummer he toured the world for 20 years, including eight years as Suzi Quatro's drummer, and then hung up his touring boots to concentrate on teaching. This resulted in a very busy teaching studio, the aforementioned books, a percussion video and more recently, the Drumsense Teaching Programme. He also writes educational articles, "Teasers", and "Getting Started" each month for Rhythm magazine, the leading UK-produced drummer's magazine, to which he has been regularly contributing for ten years and counting!

What is the Drumsense tutor network?

Drumsense provides services to drum teachers to help them bring structure and professionalism to their teaching. We provide a teaching syllabus based around the Drumsense tuition books, but which also taps into a wide range of other teaching resources, and takes the complete novice through the basics of drum kit playing, like a foundation course. We also provide marketing support to help tutors present themselves professionally and reach more students. Finally, we provide access to the music industry, including significant discounts on tuition equipment and supplies from our partner organisations. These services are described in more detail below ...

The Drumsense programme

Probably the most important aspect of the programme to tutors is the teacher training which we provide. This is an ongoing programme of training for the tutor which gives them the skills and knowledge they need to deliver the Drumsense programme to their students. Many tutors in our network tell us that the training has also helped to improve their own playing significantly. As our tutors are spread all over the world, most of them take their training on DVD - the next in the series is automatically mailed out every two months (or quicker if you prefer). For a video sample, click here. Both PAL and NTSC video formats are available depending on where you live.

For those within travelling distance of Croydon, UK, face to face training or one-off sessions can be arranged with Colin. One off sessions are on a pay-as-you-go basis, and face-to-face training costs about £10 extra per month on the subscription cost. All tutors also receive a personal copy of the Drumsense Teaching Manual. For face-to-face teacher training, we aim to deliver around 24 hours of tutorials in the first year of membership, and 12 hours per year thereafter. The DVD route is designed to be roughly the same pace, which equates to one DVD in the series every two months. The DVDs are about one hour each in duration, but each represents about 4 hours of face-to-face tutorial time, as there is obviously no discussion time. To replace this, we have a private area in the forum on this website where tutors can ask questions of Colin and each other.

The Drumsense programme is designed to be supportive and constructive. We believe that enthusiasm and commitment are just as important to good tuition as technical ability. You do not have to pass a test or exam to be a Drumsense tutor - our view is that anyone committed to learning how to deliver the programme will be able to give great drum lessons. In terms of monitoring student progress, there are a number of options around exams and grades. One route is to use existing accredited grades, such as Rockschool or Trinity. The Drumsense programme complements these grading systems well. At a less formal level, we also have a set of Drumsense grades available to all tutors at no extra cost, which we believe are an even better way to mark progress for the student, especially at beginner level. We are working to enhance these grades and have them accredited.

Marketing Support

Publicising your services as a drum tutor can be a daunting task - we get you off to a flying start. The following services, all included in network membership, will help you to promote your services:

  • Personalised stationery, including business cards, compliment slips, headed paper, envelopes and flyers
  • Your own page in our tutor directory on www.drumsense.com
  • To drive traffic to your tutor profile on our website, we have constant adverts running on Google, and also advertise every month in the tutor directory section of Rhythm magazine
  • Your own drumsense email address which will forward to your real email address

Access to the Industry

We believe that we are the largest network of drum tutors in the world, which gives us some clout! We are proud to have relationships with some of the largest manufacturers in the industry, and our tutors are entitled to significant discounts from these providers, to reduce the cost of equipping their teaching facility. Our relationships include:

  • Zildjian cymbals
  • Sonor drums
  • Roland electronic drums and accessories
  • Gon Bops percussion
  • Aquarian drum heads
  • Vic Firth drum sticks
  • Protection Racket cases
  • Bill Sanders practice kits
  • Rhythm magazine
The discounts on offer vary over time, but are always better than a tutor would get on their own. Note that discounts are only available on equipment which is for the tutor's use, and not for resale.

We also have connections with many of the world's best-known drummers and percussionists. Some of our tutors have used these connections to put on masterclasses and other events in their local area to put their teaching service "on the map". Participants to date include Carl Palmer, Rick Latham, Mark Mondesir, Ian Thomas, Chuck Sabo, Neil Robinson, Chuck Silverman, Jonathan Mover, Darrin Mooney, Pete Lockett and Adrian Erlandssen.

This sounds great - what do I do now?

If you would like to know more, please fill in the short form below - we will then send you one of our information packs. If you haven't already, watch the video embedded on this page in which Colin Woolway talks more about Drumsense and how it works.

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