Roland and USC Thornton School of Music Create Drumlab

USC’s drumlab is one of the first in the nation, leading to a requirement for drum set proficiency as part of its newly-created Popular Music Performance program.

Los Angeles, CA, April 1, 2009 — Roland Corporation, U.S. is pleased to announce a new partnership with The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music to create the Roland Drumlab, one of the first of its kind in the nation.

Although many music schools require its students to take courses in keyboard proficiency, the Roland Drumlab now makes it possible for USC Thornton to also be the first to require drum set proficiency as part of its newly-created Popular Music Performance program debuting in the fall.

Associate dean and program director Christopher Sampson explains, “In order for popular music students to understand and be proficient in rhythm, time awareness and groove, USC Thornton is applying the keyboard lab concept to the drum set.”

Thornton faculty member and Roland artist Peter Erskine was instrumental in the creation of the Roland Drumlab. Erskine explains, “The purpose of the class is not only to instruct students how to play the drums, but also to provide a historical overview of the instrument, to explain its role in the development of popular music, and to enable developing musicians and songwriters to understand the role of drumming from both sides of the kit. What better way for a songwriter to effectively communicate song requirements than by having had the first-hand experience of sitting behind the kit.”

The Roland Drumlab was made possible with the support of Roland Corporation, U.S. which provided 10 TD-9SX V-Tour Series V-Drums® sets and their teaching lab conferencing system. Roland development manager Steve Fisher remarks, “We’re proud and honored that USC chose to partner with Roland for this innovative program. It’s just one of the many cutting-edge endeavors that continue to make USC one of the nation’s leaders in music education.”

Erskine asserts, “This system enables simultaneous instruction as well as practice capabilities for an entire classroom of students. We are now able to offer our jazz drumming students a place where they can practice at most any time, day or night.”

Sampson adds, “The Roland V-Drums provides the traditional feel and sound of an acoustic experience, but in an electronic environment.”

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