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Happy New Year!

posted 3 Jan 2014, 03:47 by Chris Morris
Happy New Year to all!

I thought I'd give you a little update about Dundee Drum Academy; mainly our achievements from 2013, and a look to what 2014 will bring us.

What a year 2013 was for Dundee Drum Academy. Firstly, I'd like to say a massive congratulations and and even bigger thank you to the amazing pupils who sat drum kit exams in 2013. Each and every one of you passed your exams with at least a merit, and together you have given Dundee Drum Academy a 100% success rate across ALL exams for 2013! This also means that we have a 100% success rate altogether, as no Dundee Drum Academy pupil has failed an exam. This is fantastic stuff and I really do want to say thank you and well done! 

Many of our pupils are in primary school, and to have a qualification in music at that age is simply outstanding. In fact, our youngest student actually achieved the highest grade! One of our eight year old pupils gained a Grade 4 qualification, which is equivalent to passing a Higher drum kit exam at school! This means she is seven years ahead of the game! Makes one drum tutor wish he had started drumming before he was twelve...

We also have a 100% success rate in pupils auditioning for further education. Our most outstanding example is Alex Hammond, who was accepted into Tech Music School in London last summer. What a fantastic result for Alex, who has managed to save up enough money to go and study music in London. Huge congratulations, and I believe in a very bright future for the young man.

2013 was also a great year for myself as a drum tutor. Apart from seeing the Dundee Drum Academy pupils do extremely well I've also had a great year as part of Tayberry Enterprise. For those who don't know, very briefly Tayberry is a company part-funded by the NHS that I work for. Part of what I do is to provide music classes primarily for patients with mental illnesses, and recently we have worked with groups of individuals with disabilities. One of the biggest aims of these groups is to install confidence back into people. 2013 was a great year for our African drumming groups who have performed in public all over Dundee, which is an amazing accomplishment. Our next scheduled public performance will be in the city square as part of WRASAC Dundee's Reclaim the Night event on the 20th March. Look out for us!

On to 2014 then. I have a big year planned (which includes running an ultra marathon, yikes!), and most of it involves our amazing pupils. I have one pupil already preparing for a Grade 4 exam with Trinity Guildhall in the summer, and it would be great to see even more people take these exams, particularly our younger pupils. I'd like to make an effort this year to have our Dundee Drum Academy drummer earn qualifications for their hard work. If you are as interested in this as I am then please let me know and we can work towards a graded qualification together. 

Also, since the start of Dundee Drum Academy in 2011 I have wanted to run a public performance to showcase the talents of our brilliant pupils. I think finally, in 2014, it is time to get this sorted. I will be seeking out venues in the near future and we will prepare pieces in lessons to showcase to an audience of friends, family, and perhaps the general public. Of course, not everyone will want to take part and I'd like to make it clear that these kind of showcases would be entirely optional, however I would encourage all of you to show off!

And finally, most of you will have seen this photo collage in the waiting room:

These photos were taken from my solo venture to Rwanda in 2012, where I volunteered teaching music in a rural primary school in Rwamagana. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I learned so much as a tutor. 

I'm planning a return to Rwanda this summer, which unfortunately means that I will be absent for a couple of weeks, and the drum school will be closed. But please be assured that any DDA Unlimited subscriptions will be half price for that month, and I will be straight back in to Dundee Drum Academy to both teach you and bore you with all my stories about the amazing people in Rwanda!

One more thing before I go, since we are sharing photos here's a little look at the new Dundee Drum Academy teaching room:

As you can see I've shuffled things around a little and I am also planning on some much needed redecorating this year, so keep your eyes peeled for our new-look drum school!

Well, that's all for this blog folks. Hope you all had a drum-tastic Christmas and new year. We're hoping for a brilliant year for all the pupils at Dundee Drum Academy. Thank you to all for an amzing 2013, here's to 2014!


P.S (Can you "P.S" in a blog? I just did) there's still one week left to get yourself a Dundee Drum Academy Gift Card with 30% off the usual price. Check out more detail on our Gift Cards page.