In 2005, The Drum Lab became Sacramento’s first and only school of drumming. Since then, the Rocklin destination hasn’t skipped a beat in its mission to elevate the standards of musical education. Voted one of the Best Places to Learn to Play Music by CBS Sacramento and the 2012 winner of Best Music Instruction from the KCRA 3 A-List, the school fuels students with the technical know-how and confidence to master their favorite songs, then instills them with the desire to expand their musical horizons.
Based upon stylistic preference, students are paired with one of The Drum Lab’s gifted instructors, who specialize in genres that include rock, jazz, R & B, hip-hop, Latin, and gospel. Once a week, in 30-minute sessions, future John Bonhams and lil’ Gene Krupas learn to play in synchronicity with their instructor in acoustically crisp lab rooms fitted with two drum kits and a playback system with headphones. The school encourages students to beat their way out of comfort zones by periodically switching genres and instructors, helping them develop a comprehensive knowledge of drumming techniques and easing the nerves of insomniac rock drummers who fear waking up in a jazz quartet.
McLaughlin Studios employs a team of professional performing artists to teach private and group lessons in instrumental music, dance, and musical theater. Private music lessons further an individual's proficiency in pop, jazz, rock, classical, and show-tunes styles, whereas group sessions encourage cohesive learning for bands and ensembles prepping for three annual recitals. Adept dancers help protégés progress at their own pace as they learn complex steps and how to dodge tossed rose bouquets with creative movement, ballet, strength training, and modern dance-fusion styles.
Started just a year ago, the McLaughlin Theatre Company gathers youth performers for independent productions at the MTC Playhouse. Young thespians hone their on-stage and auditioning skills in acting classes, which serve as more secure steps toward performing in Broadway musicals than thumb-wrestling matches with Andrew Lloyd Weber.
When Zachary Diebels teaches the skills needed to be a performing artist, he's speaking from experience. The 17-year music-industry veteran has had major-label and independent recording contracts with Hollywood Records and Spunout Records, and has toured with acts such as Foo Fighters, Filter, Limp Bizkit, Beck, and Kid Rock. A music producer by trade, Zach establishes a custom curriculum for each student that helps students build technical skills and learn music theory at a realistic pace. Every 90 days, students assess where they are and where they're headed as they deepen their musical pursuits in a supportive environment. As students sharpen their fretwork or rhythm skills, Rock Inc. can connect them with performance opportunities through the school’s ensemble and band program. Zach also teaches the production side of music in a recording studio tricked out with all the bells and whistles: microphones, compressors, MIDI capabilities, and analog bells and whistles.
While singer demand the most attention and guitar players plug into the biggest amps, music aficionados understand that with a competent drummer, songs quickly lose their swagger. At The Drum School, a team of trained instructors champions the rhythm section staple with lessons for full-grown percussionists and the city's youngest drummers alike. In addition to learning basic beats and fills, students also engaging with pop music from across the decades; recent practice songs include tracks from AC/DC, The Beatles, Jay-Z, and One Direction.