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BM, University of Miami, Music Media Industry/ Jazz
I have loved playing drums and percussion since I was very young, and I enjoy teaching students who want to get out there and play. I played in band in grammar school and high school, and my high shool experience opened up opportunities to play for local cummunity theatre and local rock bands. In 1989 I graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelors degree in Music Business and a minor in Jazz Performance. Since that time I have been playing semi-professionally with local rock bands, and community ensembles.
I began teaching private lessons about 25 years ago, after I had been hired to work with the drumlines for two different high schools. My first student was in one of the drumlines that I taught, and my second student was referred to me by the band director of another school, after seeing my drumline in competition. Since then, I have taught more students than I can count. Most students have been middle and high school age, but I have had lots of fun teaching students as young as 5 years old, and adults who always wished they had learned to play the drums. I have found that the best way to motivate students is to start by teaching them to play the kind of music they like most, and then introduce them to other styles later. Lessons are always fun, and catered to the student's needs.
For beginning students that are in middle or high school, I typically start them out learning snare drum technique, and reading rhythms. For technique I will use standard exercises and rudiments, and for reading I will use "Syncopation for The Modern Drummer". If the student has a drumset then I will start them with some basic "Rock" beats as a tool to help them better understand the subdivision of time, and form some independence. Most of my students move into Gary Chester's "The New Breed" as their first drumset book. After teaching for 25 years, I have developed a lot of my own lesson meterials, and I try to cater the lesson plans to both challenge the students and keep them having fun learning.
I have had the privilage to teach many great students who have developed into fantastic percussionists. Nothing is more rewarding to me than to have been an influence in that development. My approach to teaching includes more than just instruction on how to do things right, I also focus a lot of instruction on how to practice. It doesn't matter who you are, in order to learn an insrument is takes practice, and improper practice can only get disouraging. In a lesson with me, we move at a pace where the student is comfortable, I encourage students to ask questions even if they think they might be dumb, and we always use mistakes as a learning opprtunity.
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