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Darrell worked at the primary, secondary/preparatory, and tertiary levels at some of the top-rated private schools in New York, conducting and directing since 1986. He has been a professional producer, director, performer and private instructor/mentor in Austin, Texas since 2009. Performing since 1980, Darrell has worked with all levels of musicians, from beginners to professionals in a wide variety of genres in many facets of music production, from center stage to backstage and in the recording studio.
I grew up in Stephens City, VA, where I started playing drum set professionally at age 16. Piano, guitar, and songwriting came soon after, and in 2005 I was awarded the Jazz Studies Scholarship from the University of North Texas to study drum set with the world-renowned educator, Ed Soph. At North Texas, I participated in the 6 O'Clock Lab Band, Advanced AfroCuban Ensemble, Chamber Brass Band and Brazilian Ensemble, and soon after, was commissioned to compose original music for the computer game Wriggle Words.. In early 2008, I began touring nationally with a Denton-based band, and now tour nationally with several Austin-based groups. While not on the road, I play with numerous groups in Austin, write and record original music in my home studio, and teach.. I bring my extensive music industry experience into each lesson. While teaching my students their primary instruments, I also strive to make the lessons well-rounded, incorporating theory, ear training, music culture and history.
I began teaching private lessons and ensemble rehearsals in 1999, having since taught everything from elementary music and concert band to marching band and college-level drum corps. I love it all, as it's all about sharing the positive experience of performance and excellence with the next generation of musicians. In addition to teaching instrumental skills and technique, I also enjoy coaching music theory and composition, and often encourage students to bring in their own compositions to review or perform. As a performer, I have played bass guitar, drum set, hand drums, marching percussion and orchestral percussion with a multitude of bands/ensembles over the years, from cover bands and church groups to jazz trios and orchestras, and all points in between.
I am a public school teacher here in Austin and I have done my best to incorporate music in the classroom. I have taught instruments to my students, recorded an album with student written songs, hosted school wide performances, and visited students at home for personalized music education. I have also introduced and taught adults to instruments they now play professionally. I am currently a music mentor with a local non-profit that brings music to foster care children. I love nothing more than teaching someone to play their favorite song or helping him/her discover new songs within themselves.
I like to teach with books but also with songs. It's all about having fun!
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Background checks available on instructors. Instructor can opt to have a background check on file. You can request to only be connected with teachers that have a check. The choice is yours.
Adult drum lessons are tailor-made for your own needs and skill level. We have many adult students taking drum lessons for the first time. Drums will help you increase your level of coordination and help you achieve your musical goals.
Most students would ideally start with a 5 piece drum kit in addition to a high-hat, crash, and ride cymbal, but any student can start with as little as a drum practice pad and a pair of drum sticks. A student can learn to read and play rhythms using both hands on any type of drum, including snare, bongos, conga, or djembe.
In home lessons are a great choice for busy families and students. The only thing necessary for in home lessons is the instrument! Teachers can travel to students homes usually once a week for lessons, and students should practice their drums every day to make the most progress.
The teachers in our network create a customized lesson plan for every student. Topics covered during Musika's drum lessons may include, but are not limited to: how to hold drum sticks, traditional or matched grip, where to strike the drums and cymbals, how to read music, including rhythms and drum/percussion notation, how to assemble a drum kit, how to change and tune drum heads, both traditional and modern marching band drum rudiments, music theory, basic form and analysis, and most importantly, how to have fun playing the drums!
Our recommended starting age for drums is around 8 for students wishing to play a drum kit. For the snare drum, the youngest recommended age is 5 or 6, as playing can prove tiresome on younger hands. The drum is an instrument that is great for all ages and skill levels, whether it's a complete beginner at age 5 or an experienced musician who wishes to study rhythm firsthand.
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
Review by Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
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