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Bachelor Degree: SUNY Empire State
Newport Jazz Festival
Blue Note NYC
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Jazz Cafe London
Cape Town Jazz Festival
Greetings! I am a very experienced teacher, and have been teaching for over 25 years. As a freelancer, I have played with many well-known artists in jazz, rock, and electronic music. For 9 years, I was a member of NEA Jazz Master Chico Hamilton's group, Euphoria, and he imparted drum wisdom to me that is invaluable. As a recording artist I have appeared on dozens of albums, and also lead my own group. My own recordings have received critical acclaim. Since I arrived in NYC, drums have taken me around the world. Some of my performance highlights include the Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Cape Town Jazz Festival, and more!
Because of my own amazing instructors, starting when I was about 12 years old, my knowledge of the instrument spans several different areas. As a jazz drummer, I am able to teach brushes, coordination, as well as styles throughout a wide range of jazz history. In addition, my stage and studio experience as a rock drummer gives me the means to teach that music in an authentic way. Also, what is most important is that the student enjoys learning, and I am especially good at being a patient teacher who also makes the lesson fun!
Although I teach beginners some fundamental concepts about the instrument, including holding the stick, reading, basic rudiments, and getting a good sound out of the drums, I try to customize the path for each student. This also applies to more advanced students. It is important that the student is able to learn things that they want to learn, and part of my job is to help steer them in the right direction. On a more advanced level, I like to teach students how to write down what they are hearing, because I feel that having this skill will allow the student to also play what they are hearing.
Drums have been a part of my life since I was 8 years old, and they are still amazingly fun to play. One of my happiest moments teaching is when a student discovers this joy for themselves. Giving students the tools to learn even when they are not in a lesson, is one way that momentum and interest can be sustained in my opinion. It is inspiring for them, and also for me when a student brings something to the lesson they heard and need help with. Sometimes it is something I can even learn from! Encouragement, listening, and being patient are essential to a positive teaching and learning experience.
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