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BA in Music, California State University Long Beach; Private student of Murray Spivack; Private student of Richard Wilson
I’ve enjoyed a distinguished career in Los Angeles as a player and a teacher since the 1970s.I hold a BA in Music from California State University Long Beach and trained extensively under both Murrary Spivack and Richard Wilson, two masters of drum technique with hundreds of successful pupils worldwide. I've worked or recorded with such artists as Bill Cunliffe, Bob Sheppard, John Patitucci, Eddie Harris, Tony Malaby, Putter Smith, Eric Marienthal, Larry Koonse, Darek Oles, Steve Cardenas, Scott Colley, Alan Broadbent, Gary Foster, and Alan Pasqua to name just a few. I'm a frequent clinician and have presented workshops and master classes at dozens of music schools and universities including the Musician's Institute in Hollywood, Cal Arts in Valencia, Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA) in Pasadena, The Jazz School in Berkeley, and Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. I've maintained an active private teaching schedule my entire career.
I've taught privately for over 30 years and have been teaching from my home studio in South Pasadena since 1994. Everyone who studies with me deserves as thorough a musical education as I can give them. I discuss both short and long term objectives with all new students (or their parents) before the first lesson. While it’s important for the teacher – not the student – to establish the course of study, I believe that sticking to a rigid ideology is a mistake. I always consider each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning style and tailor my lessons accordingly. Some people are visual learners, some auditory, others kinesthetic or experiential. Everyone processes information in his or her own way, and an experienced teacher understands exactly what a student needs when they need it. It takes many years of teaching to learn this, by the way.
I primarily use original material when I teach, but occasionally I’ll work from standard method books such as Stick Control, Master Studies, and Syncopation, or assign pages from more recent books like John Riley’s The Art of Bop Drumming. I’ll also pull out books specifically for sight reading such as Anthony Cirone’s Portraits in Rhythm. For beginning and intermediate students I focus on fundamental technique, basic sight reading skills, and drum set playing (independence/coordination of the limbs, relaxation and balance, time and groove, fills and solos, introduction of musical styles, etc.) For advanced students I get into more conceptual and creative aspects of playing the drums, but I also introduce the Spivack/Wilson technique which I learned during my studies with Murray Spivack and Richard Wilson in the 1980s [check out the 4-part series featured in Modern Drummer magazine in 2011-2012]. This technique focuses on mechanics and involves such concepts as the wrist turn, rebound, upstroke, downstroke, fulcrum, guide, balancing point, and floor of the stroke.
Combine equal parts listening, observing, evaluating, communicating, and demonstrating. Season with patience, encouragement, and a dash of empathy. Let simmer. Serve with enthusiasm and praise!
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