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MM, Rutgers University, Jazz Studies
BM, Baylor University, Percussion Performance
2015 - Released debut record 'Opening Statement' as a drummer with re: Groove.
2009 - Received the Johns Hopkins Diversity Award for my work with
As a teacher, I have a great passion for helping students of all ages reach their musical goals and expand their potential. In 2014 I graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance. At Baylor I had the opportunity to study all areas of orchestral, solo, and contemporary percussion with world renowned percussionist and teacher Dr. Todd Meehan. In 2016 I graduated from Rutgers University with my Master of Music in Jazz Studies. At Rutgers I had the great opportunity to study with jazz drumming great Victor Lewis, world renowned saxophonist Ralph Bowen, and many others. Through the mentoring of my teachers and the many performance experiences I have had around the country I have developed my methods for passing on knowledge to my students.
During my undergraduate education at Baylor University I began teaching drum set and percussion to middle and high school aged students. During my time at Rutgers I took on many students of all ages on drum set and piano and I have been teaching consistently ever since. For all my students my focus is on listening, reading, and experimentation. Listening to all kinds of music helps develop your musical ear and your intuition. Being able to read music well allows you to pursue any type of written music you want to learn. Daily experimentation on your instrument can teach you more about the instrument and yourself than any book or teacher. These are the three main aspects that I focus in my own development (I'm still learning too!).
For my piano students, I encourage them to search out opportunities to perform the music they work on every week. For my drum students, I am constantly encouraging them to make friends with other musicians and play together and form a band (pianists can do this too). Playing for an audience or getting together with friends to play and experiment reveal some of the greatest musical lessons to you. It is a must for my students!
For beginner students on drums I use Ted Reed's Syncopation and Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone. These books provide a great foundation for every drummer and once we put together a great foundation our potential greatly increases. I also assign a great deal of listening for my students from all areas of music. For more advanced students we do use Syncopation and Stick Control as well but there are a number of other great resources such as The New Breed by Gary Chester or Creative Coordination by Keith Copeland.
For beginner and intermediate piano students I use the Bastien series to develop a foundation and other supplementary music resources.
Overall, my main focus is to help my students make music as quickly as possible without cutting corners.
For my younger students who may not have musical goals I keep the instruction very easy going and well rounded. For my advanced and more focused students I let them set their own goals and then help them in every way I can. I want my students to learn how to play like themselves and not like me so if a certain aspect of the lessons does not work for them I make adjustments and we keep moving forward. I am most focused on developing great music fundamentals, consistent practice, and daily listening. A great foundation is our launching point to greater improvement.
Ben is awesome. He has patience for the younger students like Henry. He takes his time to teach Henry the right way. Henry looks forward to seeing him every week. I am so happy that we found him. Ben is a great drum teacher for my little rocker. Thanks Ben.
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