Here’s the history of Tech Music School from the very beginning
Francis Seriau starts teaching locally in the Harrow area. He decides to put a name to his teaching service and Drumtech was born. It was a small part-time venture, offering private lessons. Later in same year, Francis moves to No. 10 Stanley Gardens, Acton in London W3. Drumtech numbers around 10 students and two small timber booths with two practice kits serve as the first “studio”.
1984 – 1986
Offering a unique new approach to drum and percussion tuition, Francis’ teaching methods for performance, unique concepts and techniques soon draw attention from the drum community and Drumtech quickly attracts many established pro players, as well as others, for private lessons. Bill Bruford (Yes/King Crimson), Pick Whithers (Dire Straits), Hugo Burnham (The Gang Of Four) have regular weekly lessons with Francis and Tonna Punn joins to share the teaching. Drumtech now numbers around 35 students.
Paiste cymbals give Drumtech its first endorsement, soon followed by Simmons Electronic Drums and Ludwig.
1984 is also the year of Drumtech’s first drum clinics and master classes, at The Donmar Warehouse Theatre in Covent Garden and The Kenilworth Hotel in London. Francis and Co play in to packed houses demonstrating the techniques that are making Drumtech famous.
Master classes players include Nicko McBrain, Charlie Morgan, Bill Bruford, Ed Thigpen and Ricky Lawson plus numerous clinics and demonstrations for companies such as Paiste, Ludwig, Celestion, Gibson, Remo and Simmons in the UK and Europe.
Drumtech numbers around 80 students, amongst them Mark Roberts, who went on to play with Massive Attack. Tony Muschamp transfers his existing BassSchool from the Bass Centre in East London to join Francis.
Drumtech moves upstairs at No.10 offering two new purpose-built teaching studios with an office and waiting area. Tony and Francis decide to bring in a guitarist, to set up a guitar school alongside them and Alan Limbrick is invited to join them. The guitar school will provide private lessons as well as part-time courses. Pearl Drums and Roland endorse Drumtech and Rhythm magazine publishes an interview and review of the school.
The first part-time courses are run and Drumtech students attend Rhythm Section classes with bassist Rob Burns. Drummers such as Neil Wilkinson and Charlie Morgan teach on some of the courses and Paul Elliott also joins the teaching team.
A small performance room is added to the two drum studios and Three Month and One Year full time courses are being planned. This year sees the creation of Percussion Tech, the percussion branch of Drumtech, endorsed by LP (Latin Percussion). The school is set up with the help of Marc Nohr.
14 full-time students join Drumtech’s first One Year full-time Course. They study different modules with several teachers. Drumtech now has around 100 full and part-time students. Ashley Soan is a student on this very first intake. He went on to become a great session player, drumming with Del Amitri, Faithless and Squeeze.
Drumtech signs new endorsement deals with Yamaha and Zildjian and celebrates its 10th anniversary: “An evening with Manu Katche” ( Peter Gabriel and Sting’s drummer).
The faculties commence discussions with Thames Valley University (TVU), who recognise the schools experience and expertise in modern music education, and by 1995 the first Higher Education course in Popular Music Performance is launched (Diploma in Higher Education in Pop Music Performance). For the first time, career-minded players can study full time specialising in drums, guitar or bass performance and gain a recognised University qualification.. Gary Husband (Level 42 and Alan Holdsworth) gives regular master classes and the teaching team grows from strength to strength.
The schools move to a large new building, called The Powerhouse in the same street at No.74. Classrooms, teaching booths and offices now provide full facilities to the full time and part time students. Two new schools are added in the form of Vocaltech and Keyboardtech. Many visiting artists come to Drumtech including Dennis Chambers, Peter Erskine, Steve Smith and Dave Weckl.
1997 – 1999
The One Year Diploma course is validated by Thames Regional Accrediting Consortium (TRAC) as an accredited programme for entry onto degree courses.
TVU grants approval for a Bachelor of Music Degree marking yet another pioneering phase in the schools history. Facilities are extended to include a new building at 41 Warple Way, just around the corner from the main building.
Drumtech extends its facilities still further by moving next door into what was known as the ‘”Brilliant” building. Drumtech opens a new Tech Suite for teaching programming and music technology. A new association is forged with Hammersmith and West London College.
Drumtech now boasts a great team of 20 very talented teachers and around 300 drummers from around the world, who benefit each year from it’s unique tuition.
Drumtech celebrates it’s 20th anniversary!!!
The school is complete as Guitar-X is launched giving guitarists and bass players the exciting opportunity to develop their skills in the same unique and highly successful way that the drum and vocal students have done over the years.
Due to the ever growing number of students from around the world, an additional new teaching unit at 29 Warple Way is purchased. This new unit houses two all-purpose classrooms, a Technology Suite and a Keyboard Lab.
The schools win the bid to deliver a new BMus Degree accredited by Thames Valley University.
The group of schools team up with more major equipment and software manufacturers. The list of endorsers now includes Marshall, Peavey, Ashdown, Fender , Line 6, Peavey, Korg, Technics, Sibelius, Pearl, Zildjian, LP, Vater, Evans, Shure, Roland, Yamaha and Apple.
As student numbers continue to increase some major refurbishment and investment in the facilities is implemented. In unit 29, an additional all-purpose classroom is added and the Technology Suite is completely re-equipped with the very latest gear including fully networked Apple G5’s, Steinberg Cubase SX, Wavelab 5, Nuendo 3, Logic, Protools, Propellerhead Reason/Recycle and Behringer.
A major new microphone sponsorship agreement is signed with Shure. Shure Distribution UK is honoured to be supporting Vocaltech, Drumtech and Guitar-X, recognised both nationally and internationally as the most dynamic and academically rigorous music schools in the world.
The new corporate name: Tech Music Schools is introduced.
Sunday 25th June 2006. Tech Music Schools’ Summer Graduation Show Live, is held for the very first time at one of London’s most prestigious venues- Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
It’s a case of onwards and upwards as the schools expand into two additional floors. The new floors give our students a further two dedicated band performance spaces, four additional classrooms and new relaxation areas to network and hang out.
Keyboardtech is re-launched to increase the capacity of the schools in order to bring the best possible music training to an even larger number of musicians.
A very special year for Tech Music Schools as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. Now teaching students from over 60 countries around the world, the schools have trained some of the biggest names in the industry.
TMS announce that Mapex and Gibson are two of their newest endorsers, adding these two huge industry names to an ever-growing list of sponsors ensures students can work with exceptional, state of the art equipment.
The beginning of the year saw the schools awarded with excellence through the BAC accreditation inspection. Tech Music Schools was awarded accreditation in April 2009.
TMS extend their high end educational facilities. Now working in partnership with Hammond Organs, Tech Music Schools newest facilities house a specialised Hammond Organ Lab which was officially opened on November 28th by the highly acclaimed James Taylor. The facilities also include a new Apple iMac computer tech suite.
As well as this, the schools are proud to add Rick Wakeman, James Taylor and Paul Conroy to their great list of Patrons.
Graduate, Ed Drewett who performed on Professor Green’s hit single ‘I Need You Tonight’, returned to TMS to show graduating students why he is going to be the next big thing! Singing his debut single, Champagne Lemonade, at the historic Shepherds Bush Empire, for TMS’s Graduation Live 2010 gig.
After 27 years of running TMS, Founder and Managing Director Francis Seriau, sells the company to BIMM Group LTD (Brighton and Bristol Institute of Modern Music). The BIMM Group LTD work closely with TMS to enhance the facilities and to create a musical environment that is second to none.