The drums have been a huge part of Lee Murray’s life. They gave him confidence when he was growing up, helped him enjoy chart success and he now wants to use the instrument to help improve the wellbeing of others.

The Watford musician, who experienced the highs and lows of fame as one third of 1990’s band Let Loose, has set up a drum school and is particularly keen to help young people with mental health issues.

Lee said: “There’s been studies from the Royal College of Music and other universities across the world that drill down into the positive outcomes of learning the drums. It’s the physicality of doing it and the dexterity that you have to learn.

“I’m now teaching neuro-typical school kids and adults who want to learn the drums but I’m also really keen to teach people with depression, ADHD and autism.”

Watford Observer: Lee Murray is continuing to make music.Lee Murray is continuing to make music.

Lee is already teaching drums to some children with autism after passing an exam, is working with a school in High Wycombe and a studio in Amersham, and is keen to build relationships with special educational needs departments in schools.

The 52-year-old is able to draw on first-hand experience of the benefits of learning to play the drums.

He explained: “I was crippled by shyness when I was a young boy and I had a lot of trouble at school. I wouldn’t get into trouble but I found the whole process overwhelming. I was a typical loner, I wasn’t very good at making friends, so my salvage was that I picked up a set of drum sticks.

“Something drew me towards drumming – I think it was the bands I was listening to – and it was my thing. It helped me with my confidence, brought me out of my shell and I became obsessive with learning the drums. I’d play hours and hours every day. I wanted to the be the best drummer I could.”

Watford Observer: Lee, left, on the front cover of Smash Hits in 1993.Lee, left, on the front cover of Smash Hits in 1993.

Lee's determination to succeed would be rewarded in chart terms with seven UK top-40 hits with Let Loose, the biggest of which – Crazy for You – reached number two and was the eighth biggest-selling single of 1994.

The journey to reach that peak was long though – and life after it was also hard on Lee.

“The music business is completely different now to where it was then,” he reflected. “I was 16, 17 when I met the singer Richie [Wermerling] and we worked for six years before we even got a record deal. We were just touring everywhere trying to get a record deal and it really affected our mental health because it was just drudgery.

“We got signed to Virgin and then we got dropped, then we got signed again, we released lots of records that didn’t chart so we had to go back to the beginning. It took us years and years.

“Then eventually Crazy for You happened, that was on its second release, it sold really well and we were on a bit of a roll. We had six or seven songs that were charting, we did a lot of big tours and big festivals, Radio 1 shows and got gold discs and it was lovely.

“We started to have a real positive experience, but it was always a difficult relationship I had with the singer, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, and the whole conveyor belt and the stress of it got to me and I was the first one to leave.

“I had a very difficult time when I left. You go from being incredibly busy and the phone just stops, it absolutely stops, so you’re left thinking ‘what on earth do I do now?’ That is the nature of the music industry. If you’ve got any kind of fragility, it will expose that so you have to be thick skinned and very, very tough. “

Lee subsequently went into management – he worked with former Neighbours star Holly Valance among others – and did session and TV work. “I started releasing my own little bits and pieces mainly over social media," he said. "I never think it’s going to set the charts alight. It’s mainly for fun. But I’ve kept my hand in song writing and run studios, so I’ve always been in and around music.”

Describing his relationship with music as “almost like an itch I need to scratch all the time”, Lee is considering putting out another song or two this year “to see if it connects with anyone”, but his main focus is the drum school.

He said: “I spent the last six months getting to know what this weird connection is with drumming and mental health and I really want to spread the word.

“I’m now teaching people that absolutely love it. It’s almost like driving a car. You’re getting your leg to do one thing and your arms are doing something else. It takes time but once they nail their first rhythm you can see the elation of doing it on their faces. I don’t think you get that with a lot of other instruments. I play a bit of guitar and run studios but there’s something special about learning the drums and I want to extend that to as many young people as possible.”

To find out more about Lee’s drum school, visit