Ladies-First Drumming School Wants to “Challenge the Notion That Girls Can’t Play”

by BUST Magazine

As a female drummer, New Yorker Mindy Abovitz felt like her abilities were constantly being questioned and she “wanted to do [her] best to challenge the notion that girls can’t play.” That’s why she started the stellar music mag Tom Tom to celebrate lady drummers in 2009. And now, the 35-year-old has gone a step further by creating the Tom Tom Academy in Brooklyn, a network of drum schools run entirely by women.

“I’ve wanted to start a drum school for a long time,” she says. “The right people with the right energy came along and that is what finally brought the idea to fruition.” What separates Tom Tom from all other music programs is that female experts are the norm there, not the exception. “That aspect allows for a different perspective,” explains Abovitz. “It’s still shocking for some people to recognize women drummers as technically adept.” Tom Tom Academy is definitely every riot grrrl’s dream, but its classes are open to anyone who wants to rock. Find out more at

By Madison Nunes

Photo by Brad Heck

Above, Tom Tom Academy instructors, left to right: Kristin Mueller, Sean Desiree, Mindy Abovitz, Ashley “Say Wut” Moyer, Chloe Saavedra, Linnea LaMon, Kate Ryan, and Kiran Gandhi

This article originally appeared in the print version of our June/July 2015 issue. Subscribe here.

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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