Mike Arturi

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HomeArtistsMike Arturi

From his unique vantage point on thousands of stages as a lifelong professional drummer Mike has witnessed the power of rhythm and its ability to connect with hearts and souls. Mike shares the power of rhythm through hand drums and Drum Circles to spark learning and create a sense of community with all who participate. Drum Circles are a fascinating and powerful learning tool as they are capable of producing unlimited outcomes such as self-control, empathy, self-realization, increased confidence, teamwork and much more while technically requiring only a willingness to participate.

Mike Arturi is a lifelong professional drummer, educator and entrepreneur. Mike is currently drumming with the Rock and Roll Hall of fame band The Lovin’ Spoonful and has toured with over a dozen national and world acclaimed artists. Additionally he is the Executive Director and Founder of Universal Music Center, a non-profit music school located in Red Wing MN. Mike is also a national artist for the John F. Kennedy Center Turnaround Arts program and works extensively with underserved populations, at risk youth, juvenile offenders and County and State penal system inmates.

Program Offerings

Virtual and Remote Programs

See what an example virtual residency from Mike looks like to find out if it’s the right choice for you!

Fun With Drumming and Rhythm

In this virtual residency, everyone will participate to learn the basics of playing percussion, starting with three kinds of percussion instruments: stuff to bang, stuff to shake, and stuff to rattle. We will learn how to play the two basic tones of low and high along with a simple alternating right hand left hand pattern. From this starting point a world of rhythm unfolds. Games, hand held percussion instruments and easy to follow Drum Circle facilitation moves are all a part of the experience. You don’t need any drumming or music skills to join in, only a willingness to participate!

Spark to Learning: Drum Circle 

Participants share in a traditional Drum Circle experience. Mike begins by showing how to play the two basic tones of ‘low and high’ on the drum along with the basic hand pattern of alternating right and left. This is followed by an introduction to the ‘START & STOP’, ‘I PLAY – YOU PLAY’ (call and response), ‘RUMBLE’ (drum roll) and some basic hand directions. These simple techniques are a Spark to Learning as participants express themselves, play together, support each other in various rhythm games and realize success in learning and asense of accomplishment all while “having fun with the drum!” 


Spark to Learning: Drum Circle

Spark to Learning: Drum Circle: Participants share in a traditional Drum Circle experience. Mike begins by showing how to play the two main drum tones of ‘low and high’ along with the basic hand pattern of alternating right and left strokes on the drum. This is followed by an introduction to the simple, easy to achieve techniques of: ‘START & STOP’, ‘I PLAY -YOU PLAY’ (call and response), ‘RUMBLE’ (drum roll) and some additional hand signal directions. These simple techniques are a Spark to Learning as participants quickly and effortlessly gain the ability to express themselves, play together and support each other in various rhythm games while achieving success in learning and a sense of accomplishment all while “having fun with the drum!”

Complete Concert Creation

Complete Concert Creation is a course designed to give participants insight into the commerce of music. The natural interest people have in music is a common connection for all as the history of Rock and Roll and live performance is traced through a video series. Four key elements of the live concert industry are studied: Artists, Production, Marketing and Hospitality. The course culminates in a live show staged, produced, marketed, hosted by and – starring the course participants. The course’s video presentation can be modified to include Hip-Hop and Rap by request.

Performance | Presentation

Spoonful by Spoonful: The Ingredients of Greatness and the Music of The Lovin’ Spoonful

Long standing Lovin’ Spoonful drummer, Mike Arturi presents a unique look at the importance of the Lovin’ Spoonful in their ability to bring a wide variety of American music styles to the forefront of public awareness as a result of their incredible fame in the mid 1960’s. Styles including American Railroad songs, Folk, Delta Blues, Jug Band music, original 50’s era Rock and Roll and more are all ingredients that went into the sound and spirit of The Lovin’ Spoonful.

The show features a 30-minute spoken presentation accompanied by visuals and music samples exploring the musical influences and diverse backgrounds of each band member and the incredible path that led to creation of Folk Rock! ‘Inside stories’ are also shared from Mike’s unique perspective as a long-standing member of the band!

The Lovin’ Spoonful was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Their first seven consecutive releases were top ten hits and include:

  • Do You Believe in Magic
  • Summer In the City
  • What A Day for A Daydream
  • You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice
  • Nashville Cats
  • Did You Ever Have To make Up Your Mind
  • Rain On the Roof

Learn Music Learn Life

The presentation starts with Mike playing drum set along with a prerecorded track of a Frank Zappa instrumental called ‘Peaches en Regalia’. This song literally changed Mike’s life in his late teens. Following the drumming, he shares his journey through music, the life changing events ‘Peaches en Regalia’ put into motion and, how motivated by the desire to play drums, he gained life skills that guided him through a lifelong and continuing career in music. Audience participation and question and answer segments are a feature throughout the presentation.

Learn Music Learn Life is a stand-alone 30 -45min presentation designed to illustrate how pursuing a personal area of interest can lead to a lifelong career.


“Mike has been a great partner and supporter of Turnaround Arts Schools. Every school that has worked with him as a residency artist wants him to come back. He has experience working with a diverse range of young people, and does well in many different settings. In addition to being a music educator, he really understands the social and emotional learning that is supported by the arts. He helps kids shine when he works with them.”

Alina Campana, Program Director at Turnaround

COMPAS Home Studio: Hand Drumming and Percussion from COMPAS on Vimeo.


COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.