Upstate Beat: Bang on the drum all day

DRUM Percussion Studio Finds Their Rhythm In Education

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Mac Rebennack

The staff at DRUM Percussion Studio on Laurens Rd. in Greenville LOVE playing all manner of drums and percussion. Their studio has rooms and rooms full of drum kits, congas, hand drums and all manner of smaller percussion instruments.

However, the focus for the percussion lovers isn’t on amassing more gear, but rather crafting lesson plans because the real purpose of DRUM is to teach.

Studio owner Jason Currin, Assistant Director Cassidy Reynolds and instructors Layne Mauldin and Troy Jones have painstakingly created programs for small children, teenagers, adults and virtually anyone who wants to learn, not just about percussion but about the life skills it can impart.

Their Wee Drum classes teach children age 2-4 lessons about patience, sharing and focus through playing percussion instruments. Their Explorations in Rhythm classes introduce children to rhythms and instruments from all over the world, and therefore to other cultures. Their Drum Set Experience classes give people who have always wanted to sit behind a kit and learn to play an opportunity to check that item off the bucket list. And those are just a few of the programs they offer.

In an average week, more than 125 children and adults pass through the studio, which began in Currin’s garage 3 ½ years ago. A lifelong educator and percussionist, Currin left the clubs and tours behind when he became a parent and focused more on teaching.

Currin and his wife Leslie, with whom he co-founded the studio, moved to Greenville seven years ago after being hired to create a World Percussion & Performing Arts program at the Legacy Charter School, and he felt like his dream of creating his own instructional studio, which had been in the back of his mind for a couple of decades, was possible in the Upstate.

DRUM Percussion Studio
DRUM Percussion studio offers a variety of classes for children and adults. Photo provided

“I’d already made some contacts throughout the city and had students and families I was familiar with,” he says. “And I had people who were looking for lessons, so I started in my garage with one student.”

One day Currin realized that he had so many students that his daughter’s school bus couldn’t get through all the cars parked on his street, so a move, and an expansion of his staff, were both in order.

“I wanted a school,” he says. “I wanted every student who comes here to have access to all the facilities, including the faculty. So it was really important to find the right people to do the job.”

DRUM Percussion Studio
There are multiple classrooms/studio spaces at DRUM Percussion Studio. Photo provided

Now fully staffed, Currin’s studio is preparing for their summer programs, including Orchestral Percussion & Audition Prep, which helps prepare high-school aged musicians for auditions with state bands or colleges. DRUM will also have their bi-annual “Discover DRUM” event from May 27-31, which allows people to come tour the studio, meet the staff, learn about their programs and even sign up for trial classes.

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