Nine Beats founder, drummer, educator, and entrepreneur Li Hongyu has been playing, performing and teaching drums for more than 30 years. In 2003, he founded the Nine Beats Music and Technology Group, headquartered in Tianjin, China. As of June 2019, Nine Beats has grown to include more than 1,000 campuses in 565 cities in 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China, with over 230,000 students and 7,000 highly qualified music teachers.
Based on years of teaching and playing experience, Hongyu has authored six multi-volume series of music method books for a total of 18 instructional texts, and his groundbreaking approach to education and teaching methods have been proven to be incredibly successful alternatives to traditional methodology. His "Nine Beats Drumset Course©" series of books and educational materials have been endorsed by some of the world’s most renowned and respected drummers and educators, including Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, Rick Latham, and Dom Famularo. This system has been praised as "the most logical drumset course in the world."
In 2017, the Nine Beats educational book series was expanded to include the "Electric Guitar Course©," "Electric Bass Course©," "Marching Snare Drum Course©," and "Marimba Course©.” The multi-volume teaching system, authored by Hongyu, is already changing the development and direction of China's modern music education and training industry.
Also in 2017, Nine Beats launched the “Nine Beats Cloud Teaching System©" mobile app. This exciting new technology was integrated into each Nine Beats classroom allowing teachers and students to learn, engage, and access lesson material remotely with an ease and fluidity unsurpassed by any other teaching method.
In 2019, Li Hongyu partnered with world-renowned drummer and educator Thomas Lang to found Nine Beats USA, LLC headquartered in Oak Park, near Los Angeles, California. This marks the first-ever Nine Beats location outside mainland China.
Li Hongyu's outstanding contribution to the development of modern Chinese music and his teaching achievements have been widely recognized and respected by percussionists, educators, and music industry practitioners at home and abroad, and have attracted the attention of many domestic and foreign media including segments on Reuters, NBC, Al Jazeera, dozens of domestic and foreign TV media outlets in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, including segments on such noted international news programs as China Central Television’s “Fortune Story,” "Oriental Time and Space," "The Story," "People and Society," "Encyclopedia Exploring," and "Newsroom Living Room.” He was also featured in the Chinese documentary film "Drums Speaker."
Hongyu serves as chairman of the board of the Tianjin Nine Beats Education and Technology Group and is a member of the Percussion Expert Committee of the Cultural Talents Center for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for the People's Republic of China. He is also the Modern Percussion teacher at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music; Director of the China Percussion Association, and Director of the Shanghai Percussion Association.
In addition, he serves as Vice Chairman of the Tianjin Federation of Industry and Commerce Education and Training Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Youth League of Tianjin Heping District.
Drummer, producer, songwriter and educator Thomas Lang, a native of Stockerau, Austria and took up drumming at the age of 5. In addition to lessons at local music schools and years of private tuition, he was classically trained at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. After leaving the conservatory in 1985, Lang began working professionally, working his way through the European pop, rock and jazz scenes.
As a session musician he has played for artists such as Falco, Paul Gilbert (Racer X/Mr. Big), John Wetton (Asia/King Crimson), Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Peter Gabriel, Asia, Tina Turner, Robbie Wiliams, Kelly Clarkson, Sugababes, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Ronan Keating, Steve Hackett (Genesis), 911, Boyzone, Nina Hagen, Steve Jones, The Commodores, George Michael, Gianna Nannini, Kyle Minogue, Page Hamilton (Helmet), Bonnie Tyler and Marc Bonilla (Montrose) among others.
In 1995, Lang released his debut solo project, Mediator, which topped the charts in Europe and garnered positive reviews. He has since released multiple solo albums and collaborations including Save The Robots, Something Along Those Lines (2002), Yumaflex(2008), stOrk (2009), stOrk “Broken Pieces” (2013).
Lang’s original practice-regime eventually became the basis for his debut instructional videos Ultimatives Schlagzeug I & II which were originally released in 1995. These videos were re-released in 2004 by Hudson Music. In 2003, Lang released the best-selling instructional DVD and book “Creative Control” which received numerous awards.
In November 2006 Lang released the award-winning DVD and book “Creative Coordination & Advanced Foot Techniques.” The DVD and book are based around multi-pedal orchestrations, independence, sheer power and advanced foot technique.
In 2007, Lang launched the Thomas Lang Drumming Boot Camp, a multi-day touring, educational drumming experience that he has hosted in various locations around the world including London, Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Austria, Australia, and Finland, among others. Lang has since taken this award-winning educational concept to 35 countries and has hosted more than 120 of these camps worldwide.
In 2011, Lang launched the annual Los Angeles-based camp “The Big Drum Bonanza” and started the “Big Drum Bonanza Theme Song Play-Along Contest”. "The Big Drum Bonanza" is a five-day, multi-drummer festival that has featured superstar guest artists including, Virgil Donati, Kenny Aronoff, Stanton Moore, Chris Coleman, Jeff Hamilton, Dave Elitch and George Kollias among others.
Thomas is a frequent guest tutor at universities, drum seminars and drum camps all over the world. Lang also owns an online drum school Thomas Lang's Drum Universe and is the president of the International Percussion Association (IPA) and co-founder of Nine Beats USA drum school which is set to launch in late 2019. Lang also plays keyboards, bass and guitar.
In 2004, Lang completed the largest drum clinic tour the world had ever seen (220 clinics in 48 countries). Lang has appeared multiple times at the most prestigious drum festivals on the planet over the past 20 years, including the Modern Drummer Festival, Australia’s Ultimate Drummer’s Weekend, PASIC, DRUM Night, Laguna Beach Drum Fest, La Roja Drum Festival, The Meinl Drum Festival, The Ultimate Drum Experience, Seoul Drum Fest, Sacheon Drum Fest, Opole Drum Festival and in 2018, he was the first-ever drumset to headline the Vienna Conzerthaus.
Headquartered in Oak Park, California Nine Beats USA is scheduled to launch in Spring of 2020. Utilizing the proven teaching methods and exciting technology of the Nine Beats global brand, Nine Beats USA brings the experience, insight, passion -- and most importantly the fun and positivity to music education.