It’s been a fascinating, and challenging journey, with never a dull moment. Here are a few of the major milestones along the way …
It all starts with a holiday trip to Bali. Drums for Schools founder Andy Gwatkin is overwhelmed by the richness, inclusivity and the sheer difference of the Balinese culture - here all generations live and work gracefully and harmoniously together, and magical Gamelan music is woven into the fabric of daily life.
Further inspired by the creativity of the local craftsmen, Andy imports his first batch of Balinese musical instruments to the UK.
Focusing on making accessible, easy-to-play instruments, and with help from Andy’s sisters, Angela and Hilary, and brother Paul, the business grows in the UK and expands overseas with a distribution centre in Australia.
A serendipitous collaboration with world music expert Andy Gleadhill, results in the creation of our revolutionary Class Teaching Packs, enabling non-musicians and class teachers to lead their classes from basics to performance level in just a term of lessons. The musical empowerment of class teachers has begun!
African Drumming and Indonesian Gamelan are first, and further packs follow for Brazilian Samba, World Percussion and Caribbean Steel Pans.
A ground-breaking new range of Early Years Music Kits is launched under the Sound Children brand. The instruments are created especially for little hands, and the approach is designed for non-specialists. Like our Class Teaching Packs, the approach is intuitive, collaborative and based on “learning by playing together”.
A distribution centre is opened in Singapore to service growing demand from International schools in the region.
The focus on inclusive and accessible music-making continues with the development of online teaching resources through 2019 and 2020, and with the launch of a new teaching support portal scheduled for launch in early 2021.