Best Music Schools For Drummers

Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by

If you want to study drums in a tertiary institution, you may be wondering what your options are. Picking a college for drummers can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to look.

So, I’ve put together a list of some of the best drum colleges for you to consider. Every one of these drum schools has had successful drummers graduate through their systems and join the professional music world.

Things to Know Before Going to Music School for Drums

Qualification vs Experience

A question that often gets asked with this topic is whether you actually have to study drums to become successful in the music industry. Unless you’re playing in a pit orchestra or applying to be a drum teacher somewhere, you’re most probably never going to be asked for your drumming diploma certificate.

However, the best thing about going to study drums at a tertiary institution is the networking that can be done. You get to meet so many like-minded people that are also trying to rise through the ranks in the music industry.

You’ll meet loads of drummers, but it’s more important that you meet other musicians so that you can potentially form bands and make connections that will help you later on in life.

You can make it to the top of the music industry without ever studying the drums at a drum college. However, it will arguably be easier to make it if you study thanks to all the networking opportunities that are offered to you.

I’d even suggest studying drums online with an online drum school like Drumeo, which has some of the world’s best drummers and instructors like Larnell Lewis, Bruce Becker, Todd Sucherman, and many more guiding you through thousands of high-quality lessons.

Playing Other Instruments

Something that you should be aware of is that you’re most likely going to be playing a second instrument. This is especially true if you want to get a music degree.

Drums don’t have any melodic background, so music students who study drums typically need to play a bit of piano in order to understand what’s happening in their music theory and composition classes.

You won’t need to worry about this if you plan on doing a drum performance diploma. But it will definitely come up when studying jazz or any other intensive music degree program.

Some degree programs even require you to know about melodic theory before you do the audition to get into the program. If you can play the drums incredibly well, but can’t do sight-singing or write a few scales out, you may not get in.

So, it can be very helpful to learn a few basics of playing piano before you apply to study drums at any of these institutions!

Best Music Schools For Drummers

Musician’s Institute

Musicians Institute

Musician’s Institute is one of the leading music colleges in North America. Based in Hollywood, they have excellent programs tailored for all musicians, including drummers. You can sign up to do a full music degree or a few short courses.

A few of the drum teachers there are Jeff Bowders, Gianluca Palmieri, and Gorden Campbell. Some notable names of drummers who have graduated through the systems are Ray Luzier, Ralph Alexander, and Andres Torres.

One of the best things about MI is that they often get popular artists to come to perform and do workshops for all the students.

Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music

Many people will argue that Berklee College of Music is the top music college in the world. Students from all over the world go there to study music as it has highly extensive music programs. The college is located in Boston and boasts being the largest music college in the world. Hundreds of drummers study there every year.

You can be taught drum lessons by famous names such as Dave DiCenso, Henrique De Almeida, and Kenwood Dennard. Some of the most recent successful names to come through Berklee are Matt Gartska, David Cola, and Sean Wright.

University of North Texas

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas is another highly regarded music school that boasts many drummer success stories. They put a big emphasis on jazz studies, so it’s a drum school to go to if you want to learn jazz drums.

You’ll be taught by drummers such as Quincy Davis, Jose Aponte, and Stockton Helbing. UNT is famously known as the institution where the band, Snarky Puppy, first started. They’re one of the leading jazz/fusion bands in the world at the moment. The drummer, Robert ‘Sput’ Searight, was a dedicated student at the college.

Drummer’s Collective

Drummers Collective

If you want to attend a dedicated drum school, you should check out Drummer’s Collective in New York. They have an extensive music program where they teach you how to play every style of music and to survive in the music career world. This comes in the form of a 2-year diploma.

However, their most popular thing is their short courses. They make it incredibly easy to sign up for a short amount of time to follow a particular topic and nail it by the end of the course.

Some of the drum teachers are Dave Previ, John Longstreth, and Leroy Clouden.

Los Angeles College of Music

Los Angeles College of Music

The Los Angeles College of Music is another popular drum school to consider signing up for. The college is in the heart of LA which is a booming area for performing musicians.

They offer performance diplomas for varying instruments, and they have a popular drum set program. The program is highly focused on drumming and how to build a career around it.

Some of the drum instructors are Ralph Humphrey, Dave Beyer, and Tim Curle. Some established drummers who graduated from LACM are Shaun Horton, Nate Wood, and Paul Kaiser.

Leeds Conservatoire

Leeds Conservatoire

If you want to study drums somewhere in the UK, one of the best drum colleges to go to is Leeds Conservatoire. They’re an industry-focused music school that will give you a complete drum education that will prepare you for everything in the music business. They offer several different BA degrees where you can choose drums as your instrument of choice.

Some of the drum instructors there are Caroline Boaden, Pete Flood, Joshua Blackmore, and Tim Giles.

The Royal Academy of Music

Royal Academy of Music

Another excellent UK drum school, the Royal Academy of Music is located in the heart of London. This is arguably one of the most popular places for musicians to be in England if you’re looking for performing opportunities.

If you want to study drums here, you’ll need to sign up to do a jazz degree. Your teachers will be accomplished drummers such as Martin France, James Maddren, and Ian Thomas.

BIMM Institute

BIMM Drum School

The BIMM Institute has several campuses scattered around the UK. It’s a popular school for drummers as the college provides a holistic approach to drum education. They originally started as a drumming school but branched into other instruments over time.

They offer a diploma and an undergraduate degree for drumming, and both of those courses involve learning how to survive and thrive as a drummer in the music industry.

There are dozens of drum lecturers across all the campuses, so you’ll need to research which ones will teach you depending on which campus you plan on going to.

This is the list of the best music colleges in the world:

1.       The Juilliard School

2.        Yale School of Music  

3.       Berklee College of Music

4.       New England Conservatory of Music

5.       Conservatoire de Paris

6.        The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

7.       Curtis Institute of Music

8.       The Royal Academy of Music

9.       Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory

10.   Manhattan School of Music

1. The Juilliard School

Juilliard is located in the Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, and it’s considered one of the best music schools in the world. The name of the school is always synonymous with musical excellence.

The school offers a Bachelor of Music, a Master’s of Music, and a Doctorate of Music Art, as well as a combination of those programs.

It’s competitive and diverse with an acceptance rate under 7%. It has a student body of around 600 from 40 different countries, student to faculty ratio of 3 to 1 which means that each student musician has direct access to instructions.

The college has alumni that constitute more than 50 % of Lincoln Center’s established orchestras, and around 20% of the members of America’s “big five”, ensembles.    

2. Yale School of Music

Yale School of Music is the only school dedicated to music among the Ivy Leagues Schools, located in Long Island Sound, New Haven, Connecticut.

This school is dedicated to the study of acoustic music and offers programs such as Master of Music, Master of Music Arts, and Doctor of Music Arts. This college also confers the Artist Diploma and Certificate in Performance.

The admission is very competitive, and only 8-10% of applicants are accepted to join the approximately 200 students that comprise the Yale School body.

The school has a collegiate and collaborative atmosphere, where students can choose the teachers with whom they want to study. The alumni network includes names such as Marco Beltrami, Michael Daugherty, and Matt Brubeck.

3. Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The focus of this college is on contemporary music, and the philosophy of the school is that music should be best taught through the music of the time. If temporary arts are exclusively considered, the Berklee College of Music ranks as number one.

Berklee offers undergraduate and graduate programs such as Composition, Music Therapy, Film Scoring, Jazz Composition, and Music Business/Management. Berklee provides accessibility to non-traditional students through an online program, which allows students to get a degree or a certificate at a distance.

The school has around 4200 students and an acceptance rate of around 35%. The college has a long list of successful alumni such as composer Quincy Jones, guitarist John Mayer, and singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge.    

4. New England Conservatory of Music         

The oldest independent school of music in the US, the New England Conservatory of Music is also located in Boston, Massachusetts. The college has programs for classical, but also contemporary music.

Students can study early and contemporary music. There are programs for contemporary improvisation, jazz, and classical music. The conservatory offers programs for people of all ages. It has around 750 students, with an acceptance rate of around 28% and students to faculty ratio of 5 to 1.

Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra has some connections with the school. The college has successful alumni such as Conrad Pope and Ralph Burns.

5. Conservatoire de Paris

One of the oldest schools of music in the world, the Conservatoire de Paris, is located in the capital of France and offers different undergraduate and graduate programs.

This school has a student body of around 1300 and around 400 instructors. The admission is very competitive and it has around a 3% of acceptance rate (only around 30 students per year).

Conservatoire de Paris has a big musical heritage, and many well-known names are connected to the school, such as Claude Debussy, Pierre Boulez, and Olivier Messiaen.  

6. The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is one of the biggest music schools in the world. It offers many programs for bachelor, master, and doctoral studies.

It has around 3000 students, but still has a high level of students to faculty ratio of around 4,5. Many famous composers and musicians took their education from this school, like Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler.

7. Curtis Institute of Music

Curtis Institute of Music is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is one of the best music schools in the US. Curtis offers several programs of study: A diploma for post-secondary-school students, a Bachelor of Music, a Professional Studies Certificate, and a Master of Music Tracks.

The admission is very competitive and only 5% of the candidates become part of the very small student body of around 165.   In this school, tuition is always free of charge, which is not common.

The school’s specialty is opera, and its alumni have names such as Leonard Bernstein, David Brooks, and Lang Lang.

8. The Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music is Britain’s oldest music school and it’s located in London. This school has programs for classical and popular musicians. This institution offers instruction in performance and research tasks.

The Royal Academy has a 10% acceptance rate, and almost a 2 to 1 students to faculty ratio, which means that all the students have close attention and instruction.

The academy has a big list of successful alumni including Sir Simon Rattle, Annie Lenox, and Sir Elton John.  

9. Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Located in the Russian capital, Moscow Conservatory offers Bachelor, Master, and Specialist degrees. It’s one of the two oldest music schools in Russia.

The conservatory has around 1300 students and still produces great musicians to this day.  Tchaikovsky was a professor of theory and harmony, and many famous musicians studied here like Dmitry Kabalevsky, Sergey Rachmaninoff, and Sviatislov Richter.

10. Manhattan School of Music

Located in the West side of New York, the Manhattan School of Music started as a community school bringing musical instructions to the immigrants of New York. This school offers programs such as Jazz Art, Classical Programs, Musical Theatre, and Contemporary and Orchestral Performances.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *