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Bachelor Degree: Los Angeles Music Academy
Will is a graduate of the LA College of Music (formerly LA Music Academy) in Pasadena, CA where he studied with industry giants such as Ralph Humphrey (Frank Zappa, Dancing With the Stars, Family Guy) and Joe Porcaro (LA Studio legend). His professional career began at 14 and has been teaching privately since 2012 in the Los Angeles area prior to recently relocating to Maplewood, NJ. Outside of drums & music, Will is an avid fan of film/television, pop culture, & comic books, he enjoys cooking as well as spending time at home with his wife Sara and dog Rosie.
At 14, Will had his first paying professional gig playing a production of Little Shop of Horrors in SE Michigan, where a community theater scene provided work and experience leading up to studying at the LA Music Academy in 2007. Will spent the next several years in Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA working as a drummer playing many styles of music including top 40, jazz, funk, rock & roll, country, etc. It's this real world playing experience that Will utilizes in teaching and passing on knowledge as well preparing students for a potential career as a musician.
For beginner students, the typical groundwork begins with a straight ahead, simple rock groove to begin a sense of understanding around coordination as well as fundamental understanding of rhythm behind the kit. From there, any natural ability will begin to shine, and it's through those natural strengths that everything else will be based on. Lessons topics can then range from technique, groove/feel, listening to music and musicians, various exercises, learning different genres, etc- all built around the students individual interests! Above all, what's the most important for Will is passing on the love/passion for music & the arts that he has had his entire life. Potentially lost in the void of auto-tune, drum machines, and artificial instruments, the drum set is an art form that has direct roots in American history as well as western music overall; in addition to the 7 years of teaching experience and over 15 years real-world, practical gigging experience, it's this notion that makes it crucial to Will that this all gets passed on to keep music in our lives, both young and old!
First and foremost, Will believes that each student is different. Each student has different priorities and learns differently. Regardless of just starting on the drums as a kid or seeking some fine-tuning as a more seasoned player, Will allows the student to discover and foster their own strengths- it's this confidence that allows the student to dig into their weaknesses in a practical manor without feeling discouraged. Additionally, this allows the student to have specific focus on a topic when practicing on their own time and sets realistic expectations. Will doesn't believe to just pointing to a page in a drum book and telling a student to 'play this'. Instead, the 'page in the book' is a tool utilized to springboard into other topics, and vise versa. All students will learn basic music theory as it applies to the drumset, basic rudiments, stickings, hand technique/grip, foot technique, improvisation, etc. Ultimately, Will enjoys seeing the student taking any sort of interest in general, and while there's a lot one can learn, it's more important to him that the student is enjoying the time spent at the instrument, discovering their own interests with the instrument, and tapping into their creative side via the instrument!
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