Drum Set in the classroom



Drum Set in the Classroom (DSC) is a national Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) program developed and presented by Dr. Craig Woodson. With support from the NAMM Foundation, DSC presents teacher in-service workshops, school assemblies, classroom events and other public programs to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to play the drum set. Our sessions bring a variety of drum kit techniques to those who have little or no training on the instrument. Our primary goal in schools is to reach elementary and middle school teachers who will in turn teach hundreds of students in classes such as General Music. All presentations feature both acoustic and electronic drum sets, along with cymbals and drumsticks donated by PMC members.

The DSC program was first introduced in 2016 by Dr. Woodson in connection with his PMC program called Roots of Rhythm. As the success of the classroom kit instruction grew within ROR, PMC determined that Drum Set in the Classroom should be a standalone project.  The program was launched in July 2016 and since then has been experienced by over 1,500 teachers and many thousands of students.

Our events have taken place in cultural centers, elementary schools, universities and colleges, hospitals, state and national conferences, music stores, and aftercare locations. Typically we ask the partner venue to provide some instruments and donate advertising and the use of their facility.


Attendees learn the basics of four-way coordination including the styles of rock, jazz and Latin, and techniques of ride beats, fills and solos. The content is intended primarily for General Music teachers but can be adjusted to meet the needs of attendees. Our approach is to provide first time drum set experiences for all ages and include basic stick techniques, tuning and set up needs.  At times, DSC is taught in connection with a drum circle, hand drumming and/or instrument making. In the end, teachers leave the workshop with enough pedagogy to teach beginners, including a simple box notation for non-musically trained students.

Interested in hosting a Drum Set in the Classroom event? Fill out the form below to contact Dr. Craig Woodson for more information.

Name *


DSC programs use PMC member acoustic and electronic drum sets, cymbals, drumsticks, and publications.  Our workshops feature small kits for the very young learner and electronic kits as well as full size five-piece drum sets.  At times we make use of simple homemade drum sets when all attendees in a very large workshops are not able to play on a kit.


The DSC program works in partnership with many PMC members including Alfred Music, Cannon, Dream, Drum Workshop, Hal Leonard, Hudson Music, Remo, Inc., Sabian, Universal Percussion, Vater, Vic Firth, Wuhan, Yamaha and Zildjian. All of these industry members have generously contributed instruments, drum sticks and/or educational material to the DSC program.  

NAMM FOUNDATION. The DSC program has been made possible through the generous support of grants from the NAMM Foundation through the Percussion Marketing Council.


The price for taking a workshop begins at $35.00 per person, per session, but the sessions are also offered at no charge to certain partner school districts.  We also offer DSC workshops as a 26-hour summer graduate college course for two credits—fees are posted online.


Dr. Craig Woodson began playing drums at age nine and the drum set at thirteen. A student of Mel Lewis, Murray Spivack, and Tony Williams, he has taught drums for over 40 years and has performed on the kit in most types of music from jazz to rock and Latin, to classical and world music styles. Dr. Woodson did his M.A. thesis on the jazz solos of Tony Williams (2 volumes, UCLA, 1973). His Ph.D. dissertation (UCLA, 1983) was on African drumming and drum making in Ghana. A recording artist on Columbia Records and Fantasy Records, he has performed on radio and television, and in renowned concert halls across the U.S. and overseas.


For information on the next dates of DSC workshops go to www.RootsofRhythm.net/upcomingworkshops.html

July 30-August 2 DSC at Ethnomusic, Inc., graduate course, Chagrin Falls, OH
August 16 DSC at Cleveland Sight Center, drum circle, Cleveland, OH
October 2 DSC for ASALH Conference, booth, Charleston, South Carolina
October 17 DSC at Menlo Park Academy, assembly and workshops, Cleveland, OH
October 29 DSC at Hesby Oaks Leadership Academy, assembly and workshops, Los Angeles, CA
November 2 DSC at Motherland Music, workshop, Inglewood, CA
November 8 DSC at Very Special Arts Festival, workshop, Los Angeles, CA
December 14 DSC at Motherland Music, workshop, Inglewood, CA

January 18 DSC at NAMM Educator's Day, PMC presentation, Anaheim, CA
January TBD DSC at Woodland Elementary, assemblies and workshops, Cleveland, OH
February TBD DSC at OMEA, workshop, Cincinnati, OH
May 5-7 DSC at STEAM Center, assembies and workshops, Merced, CA
June 23-26 DSC at Ethnomusic Studio, graduate course, Chagrin Falls, OH
June 28 DSC at ComFest, drum circles, Columbus, OH

Dr. Craig Woodson Interviewed in the Fall 2019 Edition of DRUM! Magazine.

Read the full article here.



"We had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Woodson in action at our center for three days… Many selected students and teachers were able to play…the drum set…The students and teachers enjoyed these presentations and the opportunity to use the snare drum and drum set…Without your help, great moments like these would not be possible."
– Adrienne Nau, Coordinator STEAM Center, Merced, CA (May 2018)


"Our students and teachers greatly appreciated the demonstration about…the Yamaha electronic drum set and Remo snare drum…My thanks…for providing such an incredible and enriching experience for our students who may not otherwise ever have this type of exciting learning opportunity!"
– Terri Farley, Wiley Elementary School (June 2018)