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Drum, Music Theory
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, I have been playing the drums since I was 10 years old. It all started with my elementary school band and as soon as I enrolled in middle school I began studying at the Baltimore School for Drumming. While studying here for the next 7 years I performed in a variety of bands including: All Country Jazz Band, All County Symphonic Band, a number of local theater productions, and for a local metal band titled MTKB.
After I graduated high school I was accepted with scholarship into Berklee College of Music located in Boston, Massachuetts. During my time at Berklee, I was able to study with many notable drummers for extended periods of time. These included Tony “Thunder” Smith (Loud Reed, Jeff Beck, John McGlaughlin), John Ramsay (Art Blakely’s Jazz Messengers), and Steve Wilkes (Blue Man Group).
Of all my teachers, however, the one I was most influenced by and studied with most extensively was Mike Mangini (Dream Theater, Steve Vai, Extreme). It was Mike Mangini that helped me develop my own identity on the instrument and who inspired me in believing that anything I wanted to accomplish, no matter what my background, level, age, or experience, could be accomplished with the proper information, discipline, and application. It is this lesson that I have been passing on to my students for the past three years, and it has stood to be the pivotal turning point in my drumming career.
I have now relocated to the Florida Space Coast where I am developing ways to apply the knowledge that I have gained from my experiences. I am currently employed by Holland America Cruise Line where I serve as a drummer for their on-board band “The HALCats.” We provide the backing music to the ships top 40’s band, to all guest entertainment, and to all the ships on-board productions. I also have been recording and performing with local artists and bands since I began attending Berklee in 2007. It is now my goal to take this experience and knowledge and pass it on to you, my students!
*** Lesson Details ***
"The first instrument was the drum, and the first drum was the heart beat". Music and drumming is about expression, and that's what my lessons are about. Taking the thoughts, experiences, and knowledge you have accumulated, building upon them, and creating something that only you could have done. We will be accomplishing this by introducing a wide variety of styles, techniques, history, and of course fun into our lessons!
Some topics that may be covered include:
stylistic approaches to music (rock, blues, country, funk, R&B, jazz, latin, and even hip-hop)
music notation, reading
rudiments, other drumming concepts
recording techniques Ostinato soloing
drumming history from the beginning to contemporary
electronic percussion theory and application
Lessons will be fun, energetic, and customized to each individual's abilities, interests, and desires. Most of the material will be provided to you free of charge and will be drawn from a wealth of knowledge and resources I have accumulated from my time at Berklee College of Music. Lessons can take place in the comfort of your home or with me on a Yamaha electronic drum set. Working on an electronic set will allow us to utilize teaching resources that have been unavailable in the past decades and will help excel your playing abilities in all situations as well as your understanding and knowledge of where the future of this instrument is progressing.
You can expect results. My lessons are not over strenuous nor are they lackadaisical. My interest’s lie where yours do and we will work together to bring yourself to the place you want to be with your drumming!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the den, electronic drum kit and practice pad, desk
*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide practice pads (hands and feet) for particular exercises and play along with students. I also provide a majority of the practice material. I expect the student to provide a drum set to play on and sticks.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in rock, R&B, and blues, but can teach up to an intermediate level in Jazz, Latin (Cuban and Brazilian), and various dance styles.
I have been playing the drums for 15 years, and was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where I graduated with a B.A. in drumset performance in May 2013. I have gigged professionally with many different bands and have played venues in New York, Boston, New Jersey, London, and Holland including the Bitter End (NYC), Club Rebel (NYC), Connolly's Klub 45 (NYC), HardRock Cafe (Boston), The Red Room (Boston) , Middle East (Boston), Berklee Performance Center (Boston), Stone Pony (New Jersey), Boiler Room (UK) , Bad Habits (NL), among others. In May 2013 I performed with Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson) at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. I was the house drummer in the Sun Princess Orchestra for Princess Cruises from August-December 2013. I have recorded in many different studios including Ocean Studios (Burbank, CA) , Cove City Sound (Glen Cove, NY) , Perfection Studios (Boston, MA) , Q Division Studios (Boston, MA) , and The Record Company (Boston) just to name a few. I have studied with Grammy award winning drummer/band leader Terri Lyne Carrington, Stanton Moore, and Kim Thompson (Beyonce, Alicia Keys).
I can teach students technique, rudiments, stylistic repertoire in jazz, rock, R&B, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and funk drumming. I can also teach students advanced rhythmic concepts, how to read snare/drumset music, and practice methods. The first lesson will incorporate a discussion of what the student's goals are, what they are interested in musically, and what level they are at. No matter what level/what your musical goals are, I can help you and will be your biggest fan along the way!
*** Lesson Details ***
First lesson will incorporate a discussion on the student's level of experience with music/the drums, their musical interests, and their immediate/ long term goals. Students will be given specific material to prepare each lesson, depending on what we cover. Students will be exposed to different types of music, so I will also be giving them listening assignments. I also frequently use some popular drum books in my teaching depending on the material the student is focusing on. I would encourage my students to practice each week, and I understand that some students have busy lives/schedules outside of drum lessons, so I am understanding with my expectations.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Gretsch Renown Maple drumset, Zildjian A Custom/Constaninople Cymbals, Pearl Masterworks snare drum, Chad Smith signature snare drum, Gretsch Catalina Club drumset, Sabian AA cymbals. Harbinger PA system with powered mixer/ speaker.
*** Travel Equipment ***
Can travel with stickbag and cymbals. I own a car as well.
*** Specialties ***
Can teach students technique, rudiments, repertoire in jazz, rock, fusion, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, R&B, and funk drumming. Can teach students how to read snare drum/drumset music, as well as develop advanced rhythmic concepts.
Audition Prep, Drum, Ear Training, Music Theory, Percussion
Whether you're looking to polish up your skills or wanting to pick up a new hobby, I'd love to help you meet your goals! I have a life's worth of experience and knowledge in drumming and music, including a degree from Berklee College of Music. I have an in-home rehearsal studio, but am also willing to travel to you! If you want to dramatically improve your playing and have fun doing so, get a hold of me and let's get started!
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."