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About Us

Drums for Schools are specialists in Class Ensemble Teaching using accessible world music traditions.

Our goal is to enable schools to bring the life skills, social and academic benefits of a high quality music education to EVERY pupil and we do this by focussing on:

  • Music traditions that are inclusive and accessible, engaging all ability levels, cultural backgrounds and age groups
  • Transferring the essential expertise to your teachers and on supporting them every step of the way
  • Providing the materials and advice you need to help you embed your chosen music tradition in the classroom, in after-school and lunch time clubs and through cross-curricular, community and voluntary activities

We want to help create schools in which music-making is a natural part of daily life for ALL pupils; a school which is musically self-sufficient and one which plays an important cultural role in the community.

The Drums for Schools programme is educationally rigorous and progressive and includes:

  • Teaching materials that take teacher and class from basics through to performance level and which cover all the requirements of the music syllabus up to KS3
  • Downloadable Schemes of Work and lesson plans
  • CPD training and performance master classes to international standards
  • Online video and audio examples
  • Mentoring and direct access to experts
  • Top quality instruments and responsive customer service – guaranteed

Current musical traditions supported are African Drumming, Brazilian Samba, Indonesian Gamelan, Caribbean Steel Pans and World Percussion.

We don’t just supply schools

At Drums for Schools to help spread music-making by making it possible for anyone, whatever their age and ability, to get actively involved in music and to enjoy all the physical, mental and social benefits that go along with it. And although we specialise in Class Ensemble Teaching for primary and secondary schools, we also supply instruments and expertise to individuals, hospitals, clubs and prisons. We also have a specialist Early Years division, Sound Children, that makes music teaching Kits for young children of pre-school age and which follows a similarly open-ended, and inclusive approach.

We do supply internationally

Our main warehouse is in Gunthorpe in the UK but we also have warehouses in Singapore, Bali and in Sydney, Australia and we regularly supply schools and other customers in countries all over the world. We can ship to you by air or by sea, to your local shipping agent or direct to your door and we’ll confirm costs with you before dispatch. And our all-important teaching support is also available internationally, through a mix of hard copy teaching guides, online videos and audio tracks, Skype consultancy, expert email advice and CPD training in regional centres. For more about International Shipping, click here.

We try and do the above in as ethical and friendly a way as possible, namely:-

  • We use natural, sustainable and recycled materials wherever we can;
  • We try and reuse packaging and minimise wastage;
  • We make service and customer satisfaction our number one priority;
  • We put music-making, not money-making first.

About the people that make us tick . . .

Our world-class team of brilliant teachers, performers and education experts, who write our teaching guides and advise us on every aspect of our products, include Andy Gleadhill, Orly Zalel, annA rydeR, Craig Trafford and Richard McKerron.

On the business side, Andy Gwatkin focuses on instrument design and new developments and his sister Hilary looks after UK orders and deliveries with extra help from brother Paul, our logistics expert. The “family” has grown to include marketing expert Anna Ruddick, Bali manager Faye Tandio, Quality Control experts in Bali, Bella Turkalska and Joe, Sing Yee Chua, who manages Singapore distribution, and Putri and Guseri, who manage Australian distribution.

Andy Gwatkin discusses the merits of steel gamelan keys with a Balinese gamelan maker.

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