New Year Honours 2022: British Empire Medal for inspirational Harrogate Percussive Edge Drum Tuition Music Tutor - Ian Macpherson BEM
James Cassells - "Asking Alexandria" - Young Drummer of the Year finalist, Harrogate Music Festival winner,
I began taking lessons with Ian when I was 13. Looking back at that time I could barely hold the drum sticks let alone string together a groove. If I was completely honest I must have had some innate talent or else Ian would not have taken me on as a pupil and persevered with me. The Drummer I am today is a direct result of his ability as a teacher and his willingness to share his skills. Ian is a hard taskmaster and expects 100% commitment from his students. With me he found a willing pupil and within 2 years I had accomplished more than I could have imagined. Improved technique, Rudiments, Styles, Theory and Sight Reading. I would recommend Ian's books. They are very effective and produce real results!!
Achievements: Grade 8 - Distinction, Drummer for "Asking Alexandria" touring the world and living my dream, Thanks Ian!
I have been playing drums for almost 40 years, since I was 7. Although I have played in many bands in my time, I’ve never had a lesson. However, having recently started playing in a band again, I decided the time had come to see where formal lessons could lead me. Ian had been recommended to me by a friend of a friend and what caught my attention, was the ability of the person I knew Ian had taught. I genuinely didn’t know what to expect – nor I think, did Ian. A self-taught drummer with 40 years of muscle memory and very little conventional technique must be a teacher’s worst nightmare. However, when we first met, he put me through my paces, which was much more about whether I was prepared to do what it would take to learn rather than my ability to play. He made it clear that my stubborn attitude to reading wouldn’t work if I wanted to get the most from lessons (he was right of course). I really liked Ian from the moment we met and was blown away by his effortless playing and ability, but more importantly his ability to explain things really clearly. I thought that if he could teach me even a tiny percent of what he knows it would be amazing. I have been having an hour lesson every two weeks for almost a year now. I’ve learned more in that time than I could ever have imagined. He is building otherwise absent foundations under my rhythmic house and pushing me to places I’ve always wanted to go but had no clue how to get there. His lessons hit the spot perfectly, we’re not doing grades, just focusing on things I want to learn, not just what Ian wants to teach. However, I know there is so much I don’t know, so I really enjoy it when he throws something at me that I haven’t even thought about before. I thoroughly look forward to my lesson and the fact that he is able to teach an old dog new tricks is testament to his ability if ever it was needed.
Liam Wood age 10 Grade 4 - Distinction 98%
Liam came home from school at the tender age 6 and announced to our horror that he was taking up the drums!!! The influence was from a marimba band that was at school at the time giving the children an insight to music in general.
Thinking nothing would come of this, we tried to ignore the fact that this is what Liam wanted, but after six months of Liam’s persistence we started the arduous task of finding a percussion teacher.
To our luck and astonishment we soon found Ian and “A STAR WAS BORN”
And no, I don't mean our son Liam……….
If anybody would like to ask our family about Ian MacPherson we would only have praise and admiration for this man. Although Liam has achieved his grade 4 with distinction at the age of ten, it has all been due to Ian’s hard work, encouraging way and his firmness when needed - and yes, every young child needs this type of tuition in order to progress as our Liam has done.
Testimonial - Paul Barnard - Harrogate
The moment I met Ian, I knew it was going to work well, the impressively professional studio and a warm greeting couldn’t fail to make a positive first impression.
I’d been playing for about two years, Ian assessed my level, discussed what I wanted to achieve and we got started.
I particularly like the structure that Ian brings to the lesson, which blends beautifully with his creative guidance.
My progress from a clunky basher who couldn’t read drum music to someone who can now have a decent go at Back in Black by ACDC, has surprised me, but I don’t think it surprised Ian, he s done it before and he will certainly do it again.
I would recommend Percussive Edge unreservedly.
Happy drumming, Paul Barnard
Testimonial - Hannah Jefferies - Harrogate
I have wanted to play drums for a long time and so for my 26th birthday, 10 months ago, I thought I'd look for a teacher. I came across Ian's website and Ian soon got in touch about the first lesson.
It was quite an emotional experience to start to play some grooves along to familiar music. Ian's studio is amazing and he was so helpful in recommending sticks and equipment. He even sent me the links online, recommended the best music shop to get my drum kit and he gave me a huge book of grooves that he's composed himself.
I have lessons once a fortnight and it is something I really look forward to. I can depend on Ian to guide my drumming and I've every confidence I'm learning to a high quality in technical ability and style. Not only is he a great musician, he is an awesome teacher as he is really friendly and understanding. Nothing is ever too much. I love the homework because I always get a range of things to work on.
I'm moving away from Harrogate but I'm definitely keen to stay having lessons as I always come away on a high.
Testimonial, Adam Webster
If you are looking to learn to play for the first time as I was , or just brush up on the skills you already have , you will genuinely find no better teacher than Ian.
It’s not often in life you find someone that is passionate , dedicated and a true pleasure to learn from.
The vast experience Ian has throughout his career really does make him the most knowledgeable teacher I’ve ever met and his passion is infectious , his teaching style is tailored to each and every student and he has a knack of being able to explain things so it is easy , manageable and encouraging to learn , no matter your age or skill level you will look forward to each lesson, and seeing what you can learn next .
Take the step and fill in the contact form , I promise you won’t regret it .
Testimonial - Ela Gajda
My son started taking lessons with Ian 8 months ago when he was 8 years old. Ian is very easy going and has kept him very interested in his instrument. Ian is very easy to talk to and my son loves his drums lessons and always looking forward for another lesson. I highly recommend him as an instructor for anyone of any age!
Testimonial - David Sinton
What can I say? I was introduced a year ago to Ian when my daughter expressed an interest in playing drums. After finding Ian online and contacting him she started lessons. This pricked my interest as I wanted to play in my youth but never took that leap. What an eye opener! I had no musical experience and couldn't read a bit of music. Ian has changed all that. His patience is unlimited and helps us both learn at our individual paces, sometimes even encouraging some good nature father/daughter competition. We always come away with challenges every lesson and enthusiastically practice to get right. If all music teachers where like Ian maybe I would have started a lot sooner. Can't recommend him enough.
Testimonial - Sue Lawson
You will not find a better teacher of drums than Ian who not only has the amazing technical ability and discipline of a background as a military drummer/bandmaster himself but he also is a warm and kind person who is able to inspire and pass his love of drums onto his students. He somehow manages to teach complex and often repetitive musical theory things in a meaningful and interesting way and wow does he help the students get great results! My own son achieved 3 Distinctions in each of the exams he has sat whilst a student of Ian's and another drum teacher even contacted my son and asked him how Ian managed to get these results! A combination of high expectations of his students and the ability to break things down and make the lessons interesting meant that my son always looked forward to each lesson and independently did all his homework because he was motivated to. That says a lot about Percussive Edge tuition and I could not recommend it more to anybody wanting to improve their drumming. Whatever background or ability you have, Ian will go the extra mile in making sure you are making great progress. I am so pleased we found him.
Testimonial - David Smalley
I have been a student at Percussive Edge for the past five years and have loved every minute. As an adult who wishes he'd learned an instrument properly at a younger age, I find Ian's patient approach to learning very refreshing and adapted to me. Ian is a fantastic drummer and a renowned musician whose music skills go far beyond just drumming. If you are an adult who wishes they'd taken up drums when they were younger - you can do it now without your parents complaining about the noise! Go and learn with Ian at Percussive Edge!
Testimonial - Mick Phillips
Holly our daughter has been having drum lessons with Ian for around 5 years. She cannot wait to go to her lessons and totally loves going. Ian has so much patience and is so brilliant with Holly who is now 15. She works so hard playing her drums all the time, as she is so enthusiastic, all brought out by Ian.
Thank you Ian for everything you do for Holly she's now a great Drummer and has such motivation.
Testimonial - Freddie Palfreman
I started lessons with Ian about 7 or 8 years ago, and since then I have improved hugely as a player and grown in confidence on the drum kit!
Ian's lessons are highly enjoyable and tailored to each of his students so that he ensures anything you struggle with is addressed and not left as an ongoing problem. He's very understanding and keeps the work you do varied so that the lessons are fun as well as productive. In addition, he's happy to give advice on all aspects of playing the drums, and he even helped me in buying my first acoustic drum kit.
I would highly recommend Ian to anyone looking to have drum lessons!
Testimonial - Alision Aston
Ted's smile as he heads down the drive after his drum lesson says it all. He is so enthused that he practises as soon as we arrive home, then regularly throughout the week. Ian's teaching is organsied and structured, with clear expectations - and it's lots of fun too!
Testimonial. - Tony Gamble - harrogate
I first learnt to play the drums in the 1970s – enough to do okay in school bands and pub gigs. But by the mid-1980s, working life had taken over, and I’d more or less given up.
So when I decided to give it another go in the spring of 2014, I was very, very rusty. Fortunately, I found Ian.
He proved to be exactly the teacher I needed: encouraging, positive, keen to get results – and yet with the patience of a saint. He’s also really easy to get on with, and has a very personalised approach to teaching. This is perfect for a ‘mature student’ like me, as he adapts the lessons to suit the way I want to improve, and always has a handy tip to help overcome specific weaknesses.
Most importantly, Ian is a brilliant drummer, with vast musical knowledge spanning all styles and genres. It’s a real treat to hear him play. His set-up for lessons is impressive too. With excellent equipment and the latest technology, he can show you exactly how it’s done, while you learn and practise.
This is the way to learn the drums properly, and to have fun while you’re doing it. I’d definitely recommend Ian to anyone, of any age.
Gemma Langley - Harrogate.
I had always wanted to play the drums, so when I turned 30 I thought I would finally give it a try. I was very nervous, especially as it was something I had always wanted to do - what if I couldn't do it? Ian has been amazing, from my first lesson I felt instantly relaxed and knew I had made the right decision. Ian has supported and encouraged me, lessons are so much fun that they go by so fast, then everything just falls into place. Ian's studio is amazing and his professionalism and friendly attitude makes such a difference, I couldn't have gone from not being able to read music to being able to play some of my favourite songs and even start working towards grades without Ian! I would highly recommend having drum lessons with Ian, I look forward to each and every lesson.
Ghily Welby-Jenkins - Harrogate
I have been attending lessons with Ian at the Percussive Edge Drum Studio for almost 1 year now and I have improved so much from Ian’s beyond excellent tuition. Ian moves at a pace, which is most comfortable and tailored to your individual level of progress and fully makes sure that he is not overloading you with work. Ian gets the balance just right.
When I finish a lesson, Ian has the ability to really encourage me to practice at home which is something I have never really experienced from any other tutor before. Ian is incredibly committed to getting you where you want to be and will not ever give up on his students.
Ian has not only improved my technique, theory/sight-reading, styles, grooves, rudiments and literally everything you could mention, but has strongly improved my confidence when performing.
An hour lesson seems to go by in minutes, and I always look forward to the next one! Ian is the best and most down to earth instrumental tutor I have ever had. EVER!! And I am really going to miss him as a teacher when I go to university. I would definitely not be where I am today without Ian, and I cannot thank him enough. I would be insulted if you went anywhere else for drum tuition. Check Ian’s books out. They are fantastic and will improve every aspect of your playing. Cheers Ian!
Charles Inshaw - RiponC
"I have been drumming now for 10 years and am looking to take it further as my career, I strongly believe Ian played a huge role in creating the drummer I am today, and if I hadn't moved away, would still be guiding me. I started lessons with Ian at the age of 16 years old and his immediate friendliness, professionalism and capabilities instantly made me feel comfortable and confident to play to the best of my abilities. What sets Ian apart is his commitment to you. When you go home he is still thinking of ways to help you improve and carries on with ideas so when you come back to following lesson, you are always hooked, excited and quickly see results. He helped me through my grade 8 and plenty of other opportunities that wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for him. Ian's results to the right speak for themselves, very few tutors have a 100% pass rate, and for this and many facts I would never hesitate in recommending Ian to anyone and everyone. Thanks Ian.
I have been attending Ian's drum lessons since 2012, and I can confidently say that he has brought out the best in me. Ian has taught me everything that I needed to know, from all the simple things to the more complicated material. In just over a few months he had managed to get me to grade 2 standard; and even passed my very first drum exam with a result of 100% with distinction. His lessons are always really helpful and I always come out at the end of the lesson feeling very satisfied. He is very thorough with his teaching, and always creates a good learning atmosphere. I highly recommend Ian to anyone looking for a drum teacher. He is certainly the best around!
(Principal Bassoonist - Orchestra of Opera North)
"My son Dan was a complete beginner when he first commenced lessons with Ian. I have been very impressed as to the excellent structured tuition methods that Ian designed and adheres to. In addition to the actual teaching, Ian also continually passes on an excellent work ethic and enthusiasm which I am sure has contributed to Dan passing his grading examinations with Trinity Guildhall (3 & 5 & 8) with Distinctions in a relatively short time, and the wish to pursue his drum studies all the way. I would most definitely recommend "Percussive Edge" to anyone, Ian's results speak for themselves."
Joe Greenwood - Harrogate
Although I had had drum lessons for a number of years before commencing lessons with Ian, it was not until I made this switch that I began to notice a much larger improvement in my playing. Ian’s varying teaching styles cater for people of all ages, abilities and whether or not you want to pursue grades or just start a new hobby. Ian ensures that he will get the best out of you whilst keeping each lesson unique and exciting and introducing you to a broad range of musical styles. The studio set up provided is excellent and, along with Ian’s friendly, welcoming nature this creates a fantastic teaching environment perfect for anyone. I would not hesitate to recommend Ian to anyone and cannot thank him enough for his time and the memories. Thanks Ian!
Alex Boulton - Purple Mafia -
After having a few years break from drum lessons with different teachers i decided to start pushing myself again and took up tuition from Ian and immediately got passionate about drumming again Ian analysed my drumming from what i have been taught previously and showed me new and better techniques and we started building my drumming skills, now a year down the line i regret not going to Ian for lessons years ago as my drumming has never been stronger and continues to grow with every lesson and every piece of drum material. Ian's lessons really show in playing in my band Purple Mafia which has had much success recently county wide and LA record label thanks Ian!
Alex Bywater - Harrogate
"Ian has taught me drums from being a beginner through to grade 8 Trinity Guildhall and I have enjoyed every lesson with him. Ian has taught me in a very structured way from day one and has given me confidence with my playing as well as teaching me all the techniques required for each grade in a fun and enjoyable way. I would strongly recommend all his books 'Percussive Edge' to anyone wishing to be advance from a basic level to grade 8, as well as recommending his high class teaching which clearly produces excellent results. His results are there to see."
Ben Reynard - Harrogate
"I commenced lessons with Ian after trying out other teachers first... And I haven't looked back. I have progressed massivley and my love for the drums is continuously growing. Ian provides me with the materials to take my drumming to a whole new level (whether it be jazz, metal, rock etc...) and his teaching skills are the best I have come accross. I have just taken part in the districts largest "Battle of The Bands"competition at The Amp Awards 2011 in Harrogate and our Band "Summer City" won 1st prize. My current playing is a tribute to the work Ian puts in with me and has helped me to win best instrumentalist of the competition. Thanks a lot Ian!!"
Carl Rafferty - Harrogate
Ian is a fantastic man, he adds so much value to his lessons that he is obviously the most competitively priced.
I have studied with Ian for a number of years and would recommend him every time, he has the ability to access every aspect of your learning with true care and determination.
To me he is my drum partner, whenever I need information or regular lessons, for coaching and guidance, I go to Ian every time – no question.
Ian’s talent as a drummer is evident during his tutoring and he has a great skill for imparting his knowledge onto you as one of his students.
Steve Hutchinson - York
“I started playing drums some 6 months ago as a mature student with a keen musical desire but with no previous drumming experience. Ian was exceptionally welcoming and approachable from the very first lesson and put me at ease on the drum kit right away. Ian’s organized and diverse teaching style has lent itself to establishing my confidence as a new drummer, and provided me with a firm foundation in drum fundamentals. Ian maintains a positive & inspiring attitude and provides a great combination of musical knowledge, fun, and professionalism within his lessons. Each lesson is tailored to my specific needs as determined by Ian’s assessment of progress, which is proving to be a very effective teaching method in my rapid development. I look forward in anticipation of the next lesson and highly recommend Ian as a drum & music teacher.”
David Wilson – Harrogate
Thank you very much for the past 3 years of tuition. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me. Thanks to your masterful tuition and guidance I have been given a new feeling of much self-confidence.
I have enjoyed every single lesson and have always come out with a spring in my step and described my lessons to anyone I came into contact with as 'awesome'. I am moving to New Zealand for the next year but when I return I hope to resume lessons with you Ian. I wish you well. - David
Dan New - Harrogate
I started drum lessons with Ian when I was 9 years old, I was a complete beginner, knowing nothing about music let alone the drums. I can honestly say if it was not for Ian I would not have gained the essentials necessities which enabled me to achieve Distinctions in Grade 3, 5 and Grade 8 by the age of 15. My progress is all down to the excellence in Ian's teaching. His determination for my sucess, and fantastic methods provided me with the knowlegde, technique and skills vital for a drummer. I strongly recommend anyone interested in playing the drums to attend lessons with Ian. You will not find a better teacher!
Adam Cherry - Wetherby
I came to Ian having already had lessons for 18 months with a previous teacher. On my first lesson with Ian I was impressed with the equipment setup in his studio - it is a very professional setup. Secondly was how comfortable and relaxing Ian makes you feel during his lessons. What I can say about Ian as a teacher is that he is a true professional with a talent for getting the best out of you. I have learnt so much since having lessons with Ian and quickly realised that my previous teachings had not been of the same high quality that he produces. Ian has turned my playing around and developed me quickly. He has a real skill of explaining and demonstrating techniques to assist you as a student to improve your own playing. Ian's lessons are very well structured so I always leave with clear objectives and future goals. I cannot recommend Ian enough and only wish that I had started lessons with him from the very beginning. Ian has an obvious passion for teaching and playing drums which inspires you to want to improve all the time.
Thank you Ian for all you have taught me and I look foward to our future lessons.