There are plenty of drum schools in New York City. One school that stands above many of them is BANG The Drum School. With a busy onsite and online presence BANG is supporting students on two platforms. BANG also caters to all stages from beginner children to adults. Group classes and Private classes are available depending on the student’s comfort zone. Most impressive is the exceptional faculty teaching at the school: Daryl Cozzi (UNC music graduate), Steve Picataggio (Blue Note regular), Poyraz Aldemir (student of Mark Guiliana) and Mark Feldman (founder of the school and winner of Modern Drummer’s very first drum solo contest). In addition to teaching lessons, additional learning material is available online such as their Free! “5 Killer Drum Licks” E-Book. BANG’s website also features an active blog that provides useful information for all drummers: https://www.bangthedrumschool.com/blog/.
Mark Feldman took some time in between students to discuss the background and vision of BANG The Drum School.
MA: Mark, tell us how your school came about? (Note: There’s a great story about how Mark sold Neil Peart’s drum kit that he won in order to fund the school. Read Here)
MF: BANG came about very naturally. From 2006 through 2009, I was in a “deep shedding” mode. I had just quit a corporate job at Columbia Records and was excited about returning to drumming professionally. So, I rented a drum studio in Williamsburg Brooklyn and made it my job to practice. I was doing that–about 7 hours per day–for that entire 4 year period. During that time, people started asking me if I was available to teach. After all, they figured that whoever was crazy enough to practice that much might actually have some knowledge to share. That was really the beginning. I started teaching and more and more students started coming so I began to hire teachers to help. In 2012, I moved the school from Brooklyn to NYC and that’s where we are today.
MA: What makes BANG The Drum School unique?
MF: The most important thing is that we have a very friendly, very welcoming philosophy and vibe. I think that’s what our brand means. We make beginners feel very comfortable and we also have made it our mission to make everyone, regardless of sex, age, race or ability, feel comfortable beginning to study the drums. One of my favorite sayings is “every expert was once a beginner.” I remember playing drums for the first time, so I make sure that every teacher here is encouraging, friendly and helpful. No egos allowed.
One other exciting things is that we’re bringing what we do to the online world so that anyone can study with us from around the world. These video lessons are going to start with our well attended “Absolute Beginners Group Class” and then take it a bit further than that.
Anyone who thinks they might be interested in the video version of that class can sign up to be alerted when it’s available here: https://www.bangthedrumschool.com/online-drum-lessons-2/
MA: What can a student expect when coming to your school?
MF: Our teachers are all top-notch pros with lots of teaching experience, so students are going to get really great instruction that will put them on the right path with their drumming. Our studio is also really nice physically. We have a very professional, clean, cheery looking space with great equipment.
MA: Tell us about your project LEVEL5.
MF: LEVEL5 is the band I’ve always wanted to play in. When I was a teenager, two of my favorite records were Jeff Beck’s “Wired” and “Blow by Blow.” Those albums were rock, funk and jazz combined — the performances were accessible and all the musicianship was stellar. That was my model. I wanted to create a groove oriented instrumental project that allowed me to step out if I wanted to, and that would put me in a position to work with any musicians I wanted to. The EP just came out and so far the press has compared us to Medeski, Martin and Wood, Galactic, The Meters and the JBs. So, to say that I’m excited would be an understatement.
BANG The Drum School website: https://www.bangthedrumschool.com/
LEVEL5, (Mark Feldman, Oz Noy, Will Lee): https://youtu.be/ohklZdphlVA
LEVEL5 EP is available at Spotify and on all the streaming services.