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MM, Manhattan School of Music, Jazz Composition. BM, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Jazz Studies - Percussion.
2018 - Performed in front of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter at the Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Audition. 2013-2017 - Indiana University Full Tuition Merit Scholarship. 2017 - B.M.I. David Baker Jazz Composition Award. 2016 - Downbeat Student Music Award - Best Instrumental Arrangement. 2016 - Hutton Honors College - Orchestral Composition Grant.
Hello! My name is Jake, and I am a jazz drummer and composer originally from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. I have studied both classical, jazz, and world percussion/drumming for over a decade, and have devoted my life to bringing joy to others through music. I received my Bachelors Degree from Indiana University on a full tuition merit based scholarship with a Major in Jazz Studies - Percussion, and a minor in Music Composition. I'm very fortunate to have played with luminaries such as Bobby McFerrin, Marquis Hill, Randy Brecker, and Walter Smith III, and to have studied with legendary educators Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, and Brent Wallarab. In the Fall of 2018 I will be starting at the Manhattan School of Music studying composition with Jim McNeely and drums with John Riley.
I have been teaching lessons for over a decade in: Drum set in all genres, Music Composition in all genres, Jazz Theory, Jazz Improvisation, Piano in all genres. Here are some testimonials from my former students: "As an older player who returned to drumming after a hiatus of many years, I found Jake's approach to teaching to be very effective. He is systematic, but not rigid, intellectual and very musical. You learn not just how to play the drums as a musical instrument, you learn how to experience music!" - Dan, drummer, age 59. "Studying with Jake absolutely changed my life. It was the most exciting thing that was happening for me during the two years I studied with him." - Michael, drummer and pianist, age 17. "My playing has benefitted greatly, both technically and musically, from his deep knowledge of the instrument, its history, and its changing role in jazz over the last century. However, no matter how complex certain topics seemed, Jake always came back to a more intuitive, relaxed, and feel-based way of playing that really appeals to me." - Cole, drummer, age 16. "Working with Jake left me constantly inspired, and excited about my own potential as a musician." Greg, composer, age 21.
As a music educator I offer unique perspectives into the intersection of jazz, classical, and pop music that allow my students an opportunity to explore their own sense of creativity in addition to learning about the master musicians that have come before us. Too many educators bog down their lessons with endless technical criticisms, rigidity, and an obsession with learning ancient repertoire that bores students to death! I focus on strong music fundamentals in rhythm, melody, and orchestration, which allows students to understand the essence how music works AND gives them to the tools to develop their own unique and contemporary musical voices.
My goal as a teacher is for my passion for music to rub off on my students! Lessons are highly individualized and primarily focus on the elements of music that each student enjoys the most, but without neglecting fundamental elements of technique and musicianship. I am always very clear with assignments: I tell students exactly what I want them to have prepared before the next lesson so that they are never unsure of what they should be practicing. I believe in positive reinforcement above all else, something I learned from one of the greatest music educators ever to live and one of my personal heroes, David Baker. The sense of accomplishment students feel after a job well done keeps them driven to reach new heights, and eventually to enjoy enriching the lives of others with the music they create!
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