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2019 - Matinee Musicale Scholarship
Hello! My name is Evan and I am a professional drummer and percussionist who is passionate about teaching music. I went to the University of Minnesota Duluth for my BA degree in Music Performance. During my time in Duluth, I played with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and was also able to get a lot of experience playing in live shows throughout the Duluth/Superior area as well as the Twin Cities area. I have experience performing in various professional settings like the one listed above as well as various paid gigs and a summer co writing/leading/teaching/playing drum shows and parades for two Cedar Fair amusement parks in Mason Ohio (King's Island) and Kansas City Missouri (Worlds of Fun).
My teaching experience is fairly recent. I have been teaching for 3 years as a percussion instructor at Park High School and private lesson instructor for several students. I also recently started a 6 week summer program with Minnesota Internship Center teaching bucket drumming to several groups of kids. As a student, I have always had a big interest in teaching but once I started teaching myself, that interest quickly grew into a passion. As a teacher, I've learned so much from my colleagues and peers, but likely not as much as I've learned from my students. I've found that some teaching practices are outdated and I think I can bring a fresh and modern perspective to teaching music. I like to base my lessons around the student's natural curiosity and desire for learning music. Whether that be trying to play in the school band or wanting to learn a Led Zeppelin song, I believe that giving my students this ability to make their own decisions, helps them become more confident, motivated, and passionate about succeeding as a musician as well as in their own personal lives. I'm always looking to bring on new students and am very passionate about creating a safe space for my students, and helping them develop their skills, confidence, and passion for music.
For beginning students, I typically start with the universal drum exercises every drummer should know, like the Ted Reed's book "syncopation" or the very classic "stick control". These exercises are mostly for warm ups, hand coordination, internalizing rhythm, and speed training. Depending on their musical background, I often like to introduce basic music theory concepts just so we are able to speak the same language. Once a foundation is set, I quickly move to what the student's interests are. Whatever type of music they are interested in playing, I find several examples to pull from that and use it as teaching material and relate it back to our foundational training. This keeps our lessons fun, engaging, and rewarding. For Drum set, I teach from Tommy Igoe's "Groove Essentials 1.0/2.0" and John Riley's "The Art of Bop Drumming". I encourage students to perform a recital but I like to stretch the definition of a "recital". For example, if a student is learning rock drums, it would make sense for their recital to be a rock show style performance.
My teaching style is very focused on the student's desire to learn what they want. Very early into taking on a new student, I try to find what/who inspires them. Doing so allows me to tailor my teaching to each individual student. I also like to have 3 main "small improvement" objectives for each lesson. There's improvement on what we did during our last lesson, improvement during the lesson with something new I will introduce, and improvement for our next lesson with something I will give to the students to work on themselves after our lesson. This, and acknowledgment of their accomplishments, creates small and attainable goals to keep the students engaged and nurtures their desire to progress.
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