MEET THE TEACHERS - JON
I'm Jon Lodge - a British session drummer and educator with a passion for two things; drumming and exploring the world! I teach at DRUMCADEMY and have taught drums for 15 years. I'm also an accomplished live and studio session drummer/drum programmer with over 20 years' playing experience - please contact me with any enquiries and for competitive, negotiable rates for touring or recording and see the Session Drumming section of the site for details.
Born in the sunny town of Doncaster in Yorkshire (UK) in 1989, I first picked up a pair of drumsticks at the tender age of 18 months, that my dad had left lying around. From then on, it was all I knew! I'd hit anything with drumsticks; pots, pans, the sofa, even my dad. My poor parents were forced to have their carpet replaced due to the hours I spent destroying the same spot, as I learned to play by copying great rock drummers.
I remember the first song I ever learned to play on a full size drum kit; the Iron Maiden classic "Aces High" (although looking back, being 4 years old, it probably sounded terrible!). After a few years, I was fortunate enough to have my musical horizons broadened when at the age of 10, I was first introduced to Kevin Edwards. Kevin was a teacher with the Doncaster Music Service and man who would open my eyes to other genres and playing styles - an experience that would lead me to where I find myself today.
Kevin taught me all about understanding the drums and not just how to hit things hard! Playing jazz, reggae, latin, funk, military and other styles of music was a huge departure from the 80s metal I'd been brought up on (don't get me wrong, I still love it!). I instantly became entranced by great players from all over the world; Buddy Rich, Earl Palmer, Akira Jimbo, Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd and Tito Puente just to name a few!
It was at that point that I began thinking I wonder what the story is behind these amazing musicians? What influenced them when they were learning
and growing up? Those questions encouraged me to broaden my playing as I grew older and (ever so slightly) wiser.
So at this point you're probably thinking this is where it all begins, right? ...wrong! After leaving school, I briefly encountered career success, being head-hunted for British progressive-thrash-metal band 'Biomechanical' and touring Europe and other continents with them. Following that, I was fortunate enough to have sessions with Paul Di'Anno (Iron Maiden), The BBC, Catrin Finch (Royal Harpist), John Parr (80s legend) and dance industry behemoths Ministry of Sound & Hed Kandi, just to name a few. The latter two had me living in Egypt for a while, which is where I discovered my love of travel and exploring the world!
Unfortunately that was a little short-lived, as the only problem with session work is that unless you break through, it's tough to make a living! After a few years of scraping for work and teaching privately here and there, I eventually gave in and got a 'proper job' - a financial contractor if you must know, training banks' new employees. Fortunately, I was able to transfer the skills I had developed teaching drums privately and in workshops. It's strange how a room full of bankers have so much in common with a room full of kids behind drum kits, each one trying to be louder than the next!
Without going into too much detail, 6 or 7 years of that is enough to dampen anyone's spirits. I longed to see the world and to play drums again. I did play on occasions - the odd wedding band gig here and there, a tribute band every so often (but it wasn't enough to quench my thirst!). I found myself again having that same passion, drive and thirst for musical knowledge that I'd had years before ...and one day it hit me like a gong (drum puns...excellent)! I knew what I wanted to do.
So, for the subsequent few years, I saved every penny I could to turn that dream into a reality. I set myself the goal of making a career from it, and if that goal came to fruition, it would be beyond my wildest expectations! At the end of the day, I'm just a down-to-earth guy who loves drumming and has an incurable wonder about the world. All I really want to do in life is enjoy the short time I've been given on this earth, don't you think we all should?
Bit by bit, I travelled the globe over 18 long months, meeting incredible people and experiencing cultures I didn't even know existed. I encountered some insanely talented musicians and learned what their cultures' music meant to them, as well as learning their techniques directly from the horse's mouth!
Having now returned to the UK, I've settled on the Wirral in the North-West and set up my new drum school - DRUMCADEMY. I've been able to use my newly-acquired knowledge to create some amazing lesson packages drawing inspiration from around the world. I've also been able to improve my own playing, both in the studio and on stage - introducing brand new styles to my repertoire and discovering how well other genres can work together.
On this website you can find information on booking drum lessons from absolute beginner to advanced (and everything in between). If you want to improve your technique, learn to read music, progress your way through drumming grades, discover drumming from different walks of life or simply play for fun - you can book a tailored lesson with me at the DRUMCADEMY. I want to pass on to you the same passion I had as a kid and have again today, and if I help to bring some other musical styles into your playing...even better!
I am, of course, always available for live and studio session drumming and drum programming - please contact me with any enquiries and for competitive, negotiable rates for touring or recording and view the Session Drumming section of the site for more details.
For now, I'll leave it there - hopefully I'll see you soon somewhere over the horizon!
MEET THE TEACHERS - JADE
Hey there - I would like to introduce myself to you all I’m Jade Marvel and I'm a Drum Teacher at Drumcademy!
Please do not let my southern twang mislead you. I do actually hail from the Wirral area I promise, but I did grow up down south in a place called Reading. Therefore you will just have to ignore the occasional “ars” in words such as “clarss“ (class), “Larf” (Laugh) and “Parss” (Pass)!
I was a shy, quiet child who blended into the background. So you can only imagine the shock when 11-year-old me asked for a nice quiet present for Christmas…a drum kit!! I was very lucky to unwrap this magical gift on Christmas morning and years of silence came flooding out to the sound of a booming bass drum and a smash of a crash cymbal! I remained shy in school but attended private drum lessons every weekend which definitely helped me to build my confidence.
For obvious reasons, when I attended university, the drum kit was put to one side; however, my love and passion for music remained the backdrop to my life. It was always there to heighten the good times making me want to celebrate further and was great to rock out to with any frustrations I had.
Whilst my career headed into a digital marketing management arena, my love for all things musical never wavered. One of my favourite pastimes is anything live music related, be it the local folk club with an audience of a few, to rock festivals with over 100,000 people, the common unifying thread being a love for music!
Following some health issues, a family member who had read about the health benefits of drumming and who had also seen nothing but great reviews about a place called ‘Drumcademy’ and a person called ‘Jon’, signed me up for a free taster session and its fair to say I have never looked back.
After the free taster session, I was buzzing and immediately signed up to the 30 min lessons for the rest of the term. That was over a year ago and I genuinely don’t know where I would be without that push in the right direction, especially during these crazy times. It has been great for both my mental and physical health and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a boost of adrenaline to get them through the week!
Somehow, the Drumcademy way of teaching has managed to get me to learn and play more in these 30 min lessons than I had over years of 1hr long lessons when I was younger! It’s about listening to what the student wants to achieve, what they like and don’t like about music, and working together on little methods to upskill the students' playing ability bit by bit. It has gifted me with confidence in a way that I did not think was possible allowing me to let loose more on the kit and experiment with different rhythms, styles and techniques.
I have gone from strength to strength and now….drum roll please… I am happy to announce that I am the new drum tutor at the Drumcademy, trained under Jon ready to share the academy’s ethos that anyone can play the drums! I'll be be specialising in the drum school's fantastic beginner students.
I can't wait to start your drumming journey with you!
MEET THE TEACHERS - ANDY
Hi, I'm Andy! Here's a little bit about me and my love for all things drums!
My parents sent me to a summer taster camp for music and sport when I was 7 in a desperate attempt to get me interested in something. As soon as I had a go on the drumkit I didn’t look back. I had a full sized kit at the age of 8 and drumming has been a big part of my life ever since!
Since then, I’ve been in bands in the Liverpool music scene, including with Bill Ryder Jones and in By the Sea, gigging in the UK and Europe, playing festivals and weddings with covers bands. I also worked as a session drummer for Island, Universal and Domino Records.
I have had many different jobs – from landscape gardening to complementary therapies and sports therapy, but I have always had music in my life. So, a few years ago I decided to do my grade 8 in drums and then to focus on teaching. I find that teaching has been the most satisfying thing I have done. Watching students develop their skills and go on their musical journey –achieving grades, gaining confidence, joining bands, even going to LIPA, is very rewarding. I notice that the quietest students are often the loudest on the drums. I know I was!
Drumming really is for everyone – it’s never too late to start. I work at a student’s own pace with their own taste in music, whether that’s rock, pop, jazz or anything but, most importantly, having fun along the way!