I have been studying drum set for 13 years. In my senior year of high school I attended the Merit School of Music studying with percussionist Doug Brush. I went on to attend Roosevelt University’s Music Conservatory, studying classical percussion under percussionist Ed Harris and then transferred to Columbia College where I was able to study with drummer’s Frank Donaldson and Tom Hipskind, drummer/percussionist Ruben Alvarez, and drummer/vibraphonist Jarrett Hicks. Through my experiences and education I was able to hone my skills and solidify my musicianship. Studying with such a variety of drummers allowed me to pick up different perspectives and teaching styles which I have implemented into my own practice and teaching. I received my Bachelor of the Arts in Music degree Fall of 2009.
I have been performing professionally since the age of 17 all around the Chicagoland area and have played a variety of styles ranging from straight ahead and Latin jazz, to rock, pop, funk and R&B. I currently work as a jobbing musician and session artist working with several Chicago artists and ensembles. Some notable performance venues that I have performed in are: The taste of Chicago, The Harris Bank Theater, The Goodman theater, The Green Mill, and Andy's Jazz club, among many others.
As an educator I have taught privately for 5 years and almost 2 years through TakeLessons. I was the percussion instructor for the Pilsen School for the arts and have been working with education arts programs such as Enlace in Little Village, the Urban Gateways program as a touring artist, and the Gallery 37 program.
*** Lesson Details ***
I like to set specific goals for a student in order to help establish the foundations necessary to become proficient as a drummer or percussionist. However, I also like to cater lessons to the students specific goals. Whether the goal is playing in a garage band, working through concert band or drum line repertoire, or beginning the journey towards becoming a professional musician, I set lessons based on these goals and through the music styles the student prefers to focus on.
For every student I like to focus on creating a solid foundation of technique, coordination, independence, and musicianship. Creating an understanding of rhythm that should not only be physical, but mental as well. Reading music is key towards understanding rhythm, and towards continuing a students education while the teacher is not present. I do this through specific exercises that I have come across in my career that have helped me improve my own playing at different stages of my development. I also stress making practice fun through the use of simulated performance. Play along tracks help the student apply what they have learned in a performance setting without the fear and nervousness involved with a recital or concert.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Studio in the Basement containing:
A Tama Rockstar Fusion 5 piece kit
A Grestch Catalina Bop Kit 4 piece
DW practice pad drum set
An array of Snares in varied sizes
An Array of Cymbals in Varied sizes and models (K customs, etc)
LP Classic II series congas (Quinto and Conga)
LP Classic II series Bongos
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring a light practice pad drum set, practice pads, books and exercises. I can bring a snare, congas, bongos, and auxiliary percussion if the lesson requires. I can also bring a laptop with play-along tracks and 2 sets of noise reducing headphones. If a student is studying drum set, congas, or bongos, I would expect them to own their own instrument for practice purposes.
*** Specialties ***
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I specialize in teaching Funk, R&B, Jazz, and Afro-Cuban/Brazilian styles. However I can teach most main stream styles, such as Alternative Rock, Country, Pop, and Hip Hop.
Presenting "Hooked on Cuba", an educational tour of Cuban percussion through its music, history, and culture.