Chris Quinlan Curriculum Vitae

Creator/Producer of the weekly TV show "Melbourne Musos"

Author of the Melbourne Musos Drumset Curriculum

Endorsee of DW Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Evans Heads and ProMark Sticks

Composer, Drummer, Guitarist


Chris Quinlan f.dip.a began teaching Drums and Guitar in 1978 and is the creator of the Melbourne Musos Drumset Curriculum (MMDC) Drumset Examination Syllabus and Books which have been used in Australia, New Zealand and throughout South-East Asia. It was the first syllabus of its kind in Australasia when written in 1995. The syllabus has had testimonials by Jazz Drumming icon, Billy Cobham and Dom Famularo, international clinician and curriculum advisor for Vic Firth Sticks and Sabian Cymbals.

Chris Quinlan is also an endorsee of DW Drums, Meinl cymbals, Evans Heads and ProMark sticks and performed at the 1996 and 1998 International Ultimate Drummer's Day Expo, as well as being invited to other drum camps and exhibitions throughout the country and abroad, with appearances in Europe in the late 1990's.

During 1995, Mr Quinlan saw the need for an easily accessable forum which dealt with giving musical encouragement and advice to those who couldn't normally afford or get to music lessons; this started as Dial a Drum Lesson, using the 0055 telephone technology; the first service of this kind.

This evolved into the TV show "Melbourne Musos ... The DRUM Show". Melbourne Musos has been one of the most popular and consistent TV shows on Channel 31. Using a unique style of teaching the Drumset, the show won the 2000 award "Most Popular Educational Program" on Australian Community Television and was nominated for a "Special Achievement Award in 2004. Melbourne Musos is now one of the longest running television shows on Australian free to air television, celebrating its 500th episode and 15th year on free to air TV in 2010, and has now exceeded the 600 show mark.

This show along with his band "The Instrumentaale" playing all things Frank Zappa (1994-1999) gave Mr. Quinlan the opportunity to interview, film and (sometimes play) with some of the world's leading musicians, including Frank Zappa veterans Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio, Chad Wackerman and Alan Zavod; Drumming legend Billy Cobham; The Ensemble Modern, Dom Famularo, Trilok Gurtu, David Jones, Virgil Donati, ex-Jethro Tull members Dave Pegg and Martin Allcock, Fairport Convention, Bob Sedergreen, Tony Gould, and many other fine local and international musicians.

Chris Quinlan composes and plays all styles of music, from Contemporary Music, Jazz excursions, to Modern Percussion Music through to his return in 2006 to writing for Orchestra with the completion of his First Symphony as well as "The Inner Child", a ballet in three movements. He has also written various Orchestral pieces for Piano, Flute, Wind Ensemble and String Quartets.

He has also played in musicals such as Little Shop of Horrors, Godspell, Kismet, The Flower Drum Song, The Wiz and others. His music has been used on SBS-TV and has been featured on the Melbourne Composer Series on 3PBS FM Radio, and has had his music played on ABC-Radio National and used for art exhibitions and Short Film Scores.

As well as this, Chris, is a specialist in playing the complex music of Frank Zappa, regarded as some of the most difficult pieces in the current idiom; because of this, he has visited Europe guesting and filming European bands playing the music of Frank Zappa. Chris also led the percussion section of the Essendon City Band for five years (1989-1994) travelling and touring, performing in numerous festivals, tours and Australian Band Championships.

Mr Quinlan has also written for Beat, Mixdown Monthly and DRUMMER magazines; as regular Drum specialist he provided monthly articles dealing with various aspects of percussion; from playing tips to overviews of Percussion music from around the world.

Chris Quinlan's website ( was selected for preservation by the "PANDORA" Archive of the State Library of Victoria in 2001 as a "Website of National Significance".

Chris received a nomination for "Australian of the Year" in 2013 and from July 2017 is currently playing with the Riff Raiders.