Drummer John Macaluso (ARK, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, TNT, JAMES LABRIE, UNION RADIO, RIOT, POWERMAD, DELMAR BROWN, GEORGE LYNCH, STARBREAKER) has returned to his hometown of Commack, New York to open a new music instruction school, where he hopes to share his legacy with aspiring drummers. The Music Lab, located on Commack Road just south of Jericho Turnpike, will open in December of 2008 with a wealth of offerings that appeal to all musicians, including private drum, guitar, bass, vocal, and keyboard lessons, rhythm and reading programs for young students, drum circles, group jams, rehearsal space, musician's referrals, and master classes/clinics with special guests.
The school's goal is to strike a unique chord with aspiring musicians by capitalizing on the experience of seasoned music industry professionals who have a solid touring and recording background. Macaluso explains, "The lessons are individually designed by a teaching staff who is highly experienced with both their instrument AND the music business. We realize that although some people take up playing simply to engage in a relaxing hobby, most students have the end goal of actually performing in front of an audience or recording in the studio. We're the only music school on Long Island that can help students with that, in addition to music theory and technique." The lineup of instructors includes Randy Coven (bass), Mike DiMeo (vocals), Tommy Hellbent (guitar), Larry Meyer (guitar), Ray West (vocals) and of course, John Macaluso (drums), whose combined playing/recording credits read like a who's who list of the music industry.
The Music Lab plans to bolster Long Island's music community by hosting group events, such as jams organized by experience level and weekly drum circles. According to Macaluso, these events are intended to be a fun and valuable way to network, but they're also inspired by interesting research that shows the benefits group drumming and music-playing can have on health and well-being. For younger age groups, there's the Rhythm Safari program: A twelve-week course that teaches children the basics of reading, rhythm, and group performance in a drum circle-like setting. The Music Lab also intends to expand its reach by offering online lessons via webcam to anyone who has an instrument and an Internet connection.