Not only do I love chess and running marathons, but I also have three degrees in drums and percussion (Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate). I have ten years experience as a performer (including playing drums on a Grammy nominated album) with orchestras, touring big bands (Jimmy Dorsey, Five-By-Design), professional productions (Carnival Cruise Lines, amusement parks), jazz artists, and rock bands. I have also toured solo as a classical marimbist. Although I have a strong foundation in rudimental and jazz drumming, I also have roots in West African drumming, Cuban and Brazilian styles, and polka.
I have taught percussion lessons, percussion classes for band directors, jazz ensembles, percussion ensembles, and drum lines at Kansas State University, The University of Southern Mississippi, The University of Wisconsin Stout, San Diego State University, San Diego Christian College, and the University of California at San Diego, as well as dozens of high schools. I love all things percussion related, including the history of the instruments and their performance techniques.
Although I was raised in Wisconsin, I relocated to my city of birth (San Diego) in September of 2010.
*** Lesson Details ***
As a teacher, my goal is to provide a positive hands-on experience. Each lesson experience is tailored to the unique goals of the student. I strive to create an environment where percussion is enjoyed and explored, teaching in an exciting, fun, and passionate mode. I am not strict, and have a strong sense of humor - although I do expect the students to practice. I have an extremely optimistic and energetic disposition! This has always served me very well in working with beginners, and my expertise can turn an advanced and experienced drummer into a true artist.
Required books and materials will vary based on the students goals and area of study. A beginner might be expected to purchase Alfred's Beginner Drum Method, a practice pad, and a pair of sticks. Depending on the student there may be no books at all!
While a high school drummer looking to advance in drum line or make drum corps tryouts might be working on more advanced stick control, rudimental combination, or solo literature, a beginning drum student will start with the fundamentals of stroke, rhythm, and rudiments. If the student is part of a school music program, or is beginning on mallet percussion, they will develop a strong foundation of scales, key signatures, and reading ability. After 6 months they will, among other things, be able to sight read beginner music, properly execute at least a handful of drum rudiments, properly execute a roll, and understand a little about the history of their instrument.
A student interested in jazz drum set might develop a highly advanced level of coordination, advanced concepts of soloing and timekeeping, or their understanding of the fundamentals of jazz music (or all of the above!). Often this occurs through guided transcription and listening.
Students looking to prepare for a potential college audition, or who are looking to become better well-rounded percussionists will be offered guidance on vibraphone, marimba, orchestral excerpts, solo literature, drum set, marching percussion, and hand percussion. These students are very welcome in my studio, and will find studying with me to be challenging, rewarding, and fun. Having auditioned students into college percussion studios and assisted in recommending scholarships, I know just what the folks on the other side of the table will want.
I consider it my responsibility to help encourage, motivate, and inspire as well!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Equipment at my studio includes marimba, xylophone, two drum sets, small percussion instruments, timbales, tambourine (orchestral), triangles, drum pads, snare drum, shakers, tabla, vibraslaps, cowbells, jam-blocks, bongos, cajon, and more!
*** Travel Equipment ***
If I travel to the home of a student, I expect them to have all necessary equipment (i.e. drum set, snare drum, drum pad, vibraphone, marimba. . . whatever the lesson calls for based on their goals and interests).
*** Specialties ***
Excellent drum set instruction, excellent marching percussion/drum line instruction, all classical percussion (including solo marimba, solo vibraphone, orchestral percussion), jazz drum set, jazz vibes, and solo multiple percussion. I have a fun and practical approach for young students, and I emphasize strong foundations in rudiments, stick and mallet technique, and music reading - although I adapt to suit the needs of every individual student. Advanced drummers will also find studying with me to be challenging and rewarding.