Winnie Borgolte has taught a lot of students. After studying percussion at the Agostini Drum School in Paris during the 1980s, he returned home to his native Germany and opened his own teaching school. Since then, his school and the teaching structure he helped develop have grown into six separate schools spread across the country. “The Paris school was founded in1966 by Dante Agostini and Kenny Clarke,” said Borgolte. “There you can start playing drums from every age and every level. The advantage is that you learn systematically the different styles of music and their notation. You can develop your knowledge from the beginning until a professional player.” Understanding the importance of learning a variety of playing styles is what really sparked Borgolte’s interest in starting a similar teaching program back home. After all, any drummer attempting to make a career in music needs to be familiarized with several styles of music and their unique fundamentals. And at the time, a German school designed to ensure a well-rounded percussion education did not exist. “For me, I was surprised to discover the possibility of learning drums in Paris in 1985 with a good structure I’d never encountered before. Other schools or teachers were showing something in one or the other direction, but never with a real construction. After studying in France, I returned home and founded the first school here in Germany in 1990. We’ve now grown to six schools and are looking forward to getting more in Germany in the future.” Borgolte’s decision to pursue a career as a drum instructor came after a close examination of the music business and the stories he’d heard told by many musicians. “During my time as a student, I had had the pleasure to meet and to play with some famous and professional musicians,” he said. “While listening to their biographies and their experiences in music business and got the impression that making a go as a performer wasn’t going to be easy and wouldn’t always be predictable. That’s when I came to the decision to open a school as my platform to make my music.” At the Ecole de Batterie in Kassel, Borgolte oversees the instruction of approximately 120 students. “We have schools in Kassel, Rotenburg, Oldenburg, Osnabrück, Kaufungen, and Bremen. In Kassel and Osnabrück we have each about 120 pupils and the other schools have between 50-80 students.” With an eye for starting drummers at a young age, Borgolte’s schools follow a detailed curriculum that takes several years to complete. “We are presently working with a 10 year system,” he said. “Every year has a specialized program to follow. Each session includes specific techniques and exercises. As the summer draws nearer and the lesson season is coming closer to a close, students at every level are expected to prepare for an end of session examination to ensure they have learned all the necessary lessons and requirements for that particular year. “They each have the possibility to begin preparing their examination stuff between 4 and 6 weeks in advance. Then they can present there performance in front of a professional jury, which is invited specifically for the event.” While participation in the final examinations is not mandatory, Borgolte does his best to convince students to take part. His end goal is produce professional quality drummers who will have the skills and qualification necessary to pursue a career as a musician or instructor. Many of his students have gone on to become instructors themselves while other shave found themselves playing in symphonies and rock bands, and on festival stages and concert halls around all across Europe. (text from LosCabos.com)