Drum Works

Drum Works uses drumming as a tool to inspire young people creatively, give them confidence in their ideas and empower them to direct their own futures.

Drum Works has been running in east London secondary schools since 2007, and now reaches around 350 young people every week in six schools. Participants have weekly sessions with professional musicians where they create their own material and work towards high-profile performances. There are opportunities to progress into two senior ensembles, who meet fortnightly at the Barbican and perform regularly around London and further afield. The Drum Works Assistant programme offers some of the older, more advanced players the opportunity to develop their music leadership skills through taking paid placements in schools and receiving mentoring from Drum Works Leaders.

'The impact [of Drum Works] within the school is immense. Students have a real sense of purpose and pride in the work they do with drumming and a clear sense of enjoyment. Seeing students engaged in this type of learning, working together in teams across year groups is a shining example of what is possible when expectations are set at a high level and students are surrounded by excellence.  One of the most rewarding projects I've been involved in, in my 17 years at Morpeth.' – Peter Romhany, Head of Music, Morpeth School

The primary aim of Drum Works is to achieve social change through tackling some of the key issues facing young people in east London today. It confronts disengagement within schools and youth culture by using fast-paced, high-energy teaching processes and culturally relevant material to engage and inspire all young people from any background. Once engaged, participants then begin to develop their musical, technical and leadership skills through sustained involvement. Drum Works performances are of a very high standard, demonstrating that positive action, hard work and commitment can achieve amazing results.  Regular large-scale performances bring together young people from a variety of cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds to meet on an equal footing and work together, building a community for the future.

Forthcoming performances include:
• Roman Road Festival, Sunday 6 July
• People’s Day Lewisham, Saturday 12 July
• Dance Nations Dalston, Saturday 19 July
• Walthamstow Garden Party, Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 July

In addition to the core activity in schools, Drum Works can also deliver a range of bespoke workshops to suit your needs, for example:
• corporate training workshops
• one-off school workshops
• adult workshops

If you would like to find out more, email creative.learning@barbican.org.uk.