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Sam W In HomeHome In StudioStudio
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Instruments: Drums, Conga, Latin Percussion
Styles: Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, R&b, Gospel, Musical Theater, Latin, Funk, Hip Hop, Electronic, Flamenco, Salsa, Showtunes, Spirituals, Reggae, Merengue, Latin Jazz, Swing, New Age, Samba, Bossa Nova, Soul, Marching Band, Punk, Avant-Garde

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Sam W In Home In Studio
Instruments: Drums, Conga, Latin Percussion
Styles: Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, R&b, Gospel, Musical Theater, Latin, Funk, Hip Hop, Electronic, Flamenco, Salsa, Showtunes, Spirituals, Reggae, Merengue, Latin Jazz, Swing, New Age, Samba, Bossa Nova, Soul, Marching Band, Punk, Avant-Garde

Where I Teach:
In Your Home My Studio Online
Ages Taught: 10-80
Levels Taught:

EMAIL US OR CALL 877-687-4524

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ABOUT
Degrees / Training / Special Info:

BA, Berklee College of Music, Drum Set Performance

Awards:

2007 - Started teaching private drum instruction out of home studio in Ipswich, MA

2008 - Won Performing Arts Award during my junior year at Pingree High School

2009 - Won the Senior Performing Arts award upon graduation from Pingree High. with academic distinction

2009 - Was accepted with a merit based scholarship to the Berklee College of Music

2010 - Performed alongside good friends and fellow Berklee alumni, Jake Pardee and Joe Cardoza at the renowned Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA; opening for well known songwriter and Berklee professor, Livingston Taylor.

2011-2012 - Recorded drums for Melissa Fielding's debut album, Hide & Seek Me, which was nominated on the first ballot for the 57th Grammy Awards - Album available on Itunes, Spotify, etc.

2012 - Formed original funk/fusion band Naughty Octopus with good friend and fellow Berklee student, Erik Jalajas

2012 - Performed with the Berklee P-Funk Ensemble at the Berklee Performance Center at both the Berklee Funk night and the Berklee Freshmen Convocation

2012 - 2013 - Toured the Northeast and Canada with original band, Goosepimp Orchestra

2013 - Performed for a nearly sold out crowd at the Middle East Downstairs with both Goosepimp Orchestra and Naughty Octopus

2013 - Was hired as the private drum instructor at Shore Country Day School in Beverly, MA

2013 - Joined and became a core member of up and coming Boston funk/soul band The New Review

2014 - Opened private studio in Brighton, MA for private drum instruction and performance rehearsals

2014 - 2015 - Played 200+ shows with acclaimed Boston wedding/corporate function band Goodwill and Them Apples

March, 2015 - Released debut, self titled album with The New Review - Now available on Itunes, Bandcamp, and soon Spotify!

May 2015 - Residency at Club Church in Boston with The New Review to support debut album

 

 

Overview:

  Most importantly, I love to play drums. The feeling that I’ve come to realize I can achieve through rhythm is unlike any other. A transcendental and indescribable feeling.   I started playing seriously at age twelve after I’d been bangin’ on tables and such for much of my childhood (Corny? Yes, but true… There seems to be a pattern with kids who bang on kitchenware becoming drummers, huh?). Due to all the table banging, I was given a lil’ junior kit for Christmas at age five and starting taking private lessons. Although I knew from the get go that there was a certain level of intimacy between me and the drum set, the private lessons only lasted a few weeks. My five year old mind was a bit too scattered to maintain focus, although I continued to mess around on the kit sporadically over the course of the following seven years.   When I returned to the drums at age twelve, the grooves and rhythms that had been developing in my subconscious took little time to translate to my limbs, and I knew from that point on that this was my thing – this was something that I would never be able to get enough of. Looking back on the initial stages of my drumming career, it’s wild to think about just how quickly music and the drums consumed my thoughts. When I was not at home playing or jamming with friends, I was sitting in class tapping out rhythms on my legs to the point that teachers would become irritated with me. I just couldn’t stop. I knew I had ideas within me that needed to be expressed, so I worked tirelessly to develop the vocabulary that I would need in order to express them. Just about two months later, I found myself sitting in with a reggae band while vacationing with my family on the British Virgin Island, Anguilla. I distinctly remember playing “No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley with these guys, a tune I had dreamt about playing for as long as I could remember. I was in heaven. Although my facility on the drums was quite limited at the time, I could definitely groove. I remember sitting there with these older musicians, lost in the feeling and movement of the music as though I had transcended this plane of existence. In the following four months or so,  I joined two bands and began playing live at every possible opportunity: Teen centers, town halls, art spaces, motorcycle rides, homecoming festivals, you name it.   The ride that began over a decade ago continues to this day, and the roller coaster just seems to be climbing higher and higher all the time. I can foresee that this ride will never end – there may be ups and downs but it’s all part of the ride, and I have learned that the most crucial skill to have as a musician is to be able to enjoy every minute of it, to be in the moment, and to just do it. Nowadays, I still spend almost every waking moment either playing, studying, teaching or simply just thinking about what I could do to be a better musician. I have had the opportunity to share the stage with many incredible artists such as Livingston Taylor, James Montgomery, Turkuaz, Spiritual Rez, Goosepimp Orchestra, the New Mastersounds, Tauk, Naughty Octopus, the New Review, Nicole Alexandra, Goodwill and Them Apples Band, Liz Longley, Ayla Brown, Jake Pardee, Steven Feifke, Melissa Fielding, Rachel Gambiza and Derek Teichert, among many others. The only difference now is that there are no teachers left to tell me to stop tapping.   Check out some recordings of mine and feel free to contact me if you need a drummer/percussionist for whatever kind of project you’ve got. I vow to always bring my immense passion for what I do to the table.

EXPERIENCE

  In my ongoing experience as a student I have learned that drum lessons, or any formal instruction on something artistic, must be representative of the art itself. To sit a young/beginning drummer down at a practice pad all day and force him/her to learn the “basics”, is to stifle that person’s passion and desire to play the instrument. Of course, technique and basic drumming knowledge is of utmost importance, but it doesn’t mean that real music can’t be involved in a first lesson. No matter how much technical skill one can acquire, it means nothing if it hasn’t been learned and applied in conjunction with music. A student’s own personal voice on the instrument must be allowed to develop, and his/her creative intuition must not be smothered. Playing an instrument is fun, and is an outlet for personal expression. As a teacher, I vow to treat it as such and to convey every ounce of my own passion to my students. In every lesson, I will do my very best to touch on technique, music reading, music listening, creativity and most importantly music playing.      

METHODS USED

In nearly a decade of private drum instruction, I have begun to develop a methodology that I use in getting a student on the path toward success and efficient learning as a drummer and a musician. There are four basic steps in my methodology, and they are listed as follows: 1. Find your own personal voice as an artist/musician. What style of music attracts you the most? What artists/albums can you listen to on repeat? What genre of music and style of drumming are you most naturally drawn to. We will find an answer to these questions over a short period of just 2-4 weeks, so long as my instructions are followed. Listening to music is just as important as playing when it comes to being a musician. 2. Study basic technique/rudiments/coordination and independence exercises to build endurance, fluency and facility on the instrument. This will allow the student’s voice to develop and grow. 3. Practice 3-4 way coordination, by working through a series of books and exercises of my choice, focusing primarily on the “core” of the drum set: Bass drum, snare drum, and hi hat. This is my study of the “groove” element of the instrument; the portion of the art that is dedicated to the music, and not to the instrument itself. In this section, we will apply a series of “beats” and “grooves” to music of the students choice – learning how to flow with other musicians, listen, and have an overall awareness of song form and shape. 4. This is the step where we apply our study of technicalities. This is where we study soloing, improvisation, and alertness as an improvising musician. This is the last step because it is applied in conjunction with all of the other steps, and cannot be achieved without at least a fundamental understanding and application of the previous steps. This is where the student learns how to express him/herself as an individual musician, but in an appropriate and tasteful fashion. These steps are not really to be “completed” per say, but my guarantee is that if a student follows these steps, takes at least weekly lessons with me and follows my instructions as closely as possible, I will have them playing confidently with other musicians within a month.

LESSON STYLE

  I believe I am unique musically, in the sense that my passion for performing is rivaled equally by my passion for teaching. I love to share what it is that I have spent the majority of my life honing, and working on; in fact I feel that it is my responsibility as a contemporary musician to relay all the good things I have learned on to others within mine and the next generation of musicians. My first priority when I meet a student is to nurture and begin to stoke their own fire and love for rhythm, music and the drums. I want the student to be happy, and to have fun. Progress is obviously one of my primary goals as well, however I don't believe a student can begin to make valid musical progress if they are not enjoying themselves. I belive I have crafted a perfectly balanced approach to teaching - I know exactly how to tailor to the needs of each student, and exactly how to work at their rate of learning. I don't believe in the phrase, "I have no rhythm!" - I think the understanding and feel for rhythm can be created and developed over time, no matter the person!      

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