All levels, All styles. Emphasis on how facilitate success for a band or ensemble from behind the drum set; in any style of music, from jazz to rock, Hiphop and more!
Thomas holds an associates degree in music performance from Nassau community college, and recently finished a bachelors degree in Music Education from Hofstra University. Thomas has also studied privately with many of the finest musicians New York City has to offer; including Martin Wind, Alan Hampton, Mike Frost, and many others. Thomas has extensive performance experience, from Orchestral music (Nassau Symphony Orchestra, Hofstra Symphony) to Jazz Combos and bigbands, as well as hard rock groups, Top 40/Dance, Salsa, Jambands, Reggae, and even Hiphop. Thomas has performed with and alongside
many notable acts and musicians, such as The Wailers, Fishbone, Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Rainbow) The Deep, Joe DeMaio (Rihanna, The Mystic) Martin Wind, Ken Talve, and many more! Teaching privately since 2008, Thomas has vast experience not only with a wide variety of students, but also of instruments; specializing in Strings and Percussion. He has helped students achieve excellent NYSSMA scores, as well as prepare for recitals and gigs of their own, and to equal merit has helped dozens of passionate hobbyists discover the delightful inner workings of the music they love. With such a wide variety of experience performing not only different styles of music, but also on several different instruments, he is well equipped to help any student grow to their fullest potential, from young beginners to adult professionals.
*** Lesson Details *** I take a great amount of pride in what I do, and I am very proud of the results I have achieved with every single student. Lessons are planned on an individual basis, in order to facilitate success for every student, based on their own needs, requirements, interests, and goals.
With me, students will learn Etudes, Scales, Pieces, and anything else they wish to know! (including instrument upkeep, music history, ext.)
*** Studio Equipment *** Piano, Two drum sets, electric basses, guitar and bass amplifiers, guitars, two double-basses, over a dozen music theory books and music encyclopedias, and a Mac book.
*** Travel Equipment *** students should have their own instrument for piano, guitar, bass lessons. I can provide a bass for double-bass lessons. I can provide an amplifier for all lessons, though I recommend the student have their own. I do own a travel drum set that can be transported to lessons upon request, but all drum students should own their own drum set to practice and perform on.
*** Specialties *** I am experienced with Strings, (orchestral as well as electric guitar and bass), piano, and percussion.
Ryan D. February 5, 2016
In studio Verified Student
My six year old son just started his lessons with Thomas, and so far it went very well. Thomas is very serious about music and uses his professionalism to take command of the lesson. My son tends to be hyper and may lose focus at times but Thomas was able to keep my son's attention and interest. So far so good!
Braydon W. January 21, 2016
In home Verified Student
Thomas was amazing with my 6 year old boys. He was enthusiastic,, and creative. He made learning piano fun!
Gurersad M. January 3, 2016
In home Verified Student
Thomas is a great instructor - and seems very knowledgeable in a number
of instruments. He seems comfortable with teaching kids and works with them
I would not be the person I am today if music wasn't the focal point in my life as it is. Not only do I absolutely love performing and studying music myself, but I adore teaching as well. Part of the musical experience is taking what you hear and what you learn from others and building on it to create your own musical contributions. I take the gifts other teachers and musicians have given me very seriously and subsequently feel the great importance of imparting my knowledge unto others.
Whether you want to be a professional, or just be competent enough to enjoy yourself, we all practice, st
udy technique and gain knowledge about music with really only one goal in mind: To have all the tools necessary to express ourselves adeptly through music. All the technique in the world will not make you a great musician. Similarly, you can be extremely creative and knowledgeable, but if you don't have the technique and vocabulary needed to express your ideas, you will find yourself very limited and suppressed musically.
My philosophy about teaching follows that I am here to provide you with those tools in a fun, exciting way. When I say "tools" I mean the whole toolbox. This includes giving you the technique, correcting bad habits, providing listening material, finding holes in your playing and much more. A good music teacher must be more than an instructor, but a mentor and an inspirational guide. My best teachers were the ones who could cultivate my playing not just through the physical aspects but ESPECIALLY through the cerebral. We ALL need encouragement and inspiration to get the best out of our natural talent. I love to encourage my students to do their best. To strive to not only complete exercises, but to execute them well. Every student is different, and therefore I will tailor their education with me on an individual basis. I expect a lot out of my students because I strongly believe in my teaching ability as well as their ability to learn and feel good about their progress.
My approach to providing all these things is modeled around my best experiences in learning and performing. I've studied under some of the absolute best players and teachers in the world. Here are just a couple:
World renowned drummer and educator
TOMMY IGOE from The Lion King on Broadway The Birdland Big Band Numerous instructional books and DVDs.
Highly sought after percussionist
TOM KOLOR Graduated from William Paterson as well as with a Masters from the Julliard School of Music Professor of Music at the University at Buffalo.
IAN FROMAN Professor of Drums at Berklee School of Music Professional, world renowned Drummer
I've also graduated Cum Laude from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Music Performance, Dean's List and Honor Roll awards.
Some of my experience includes being featured in Tommy Igoe's "Great Hands For a Lifetime" DVD which received 5 stars from Modern Drummer magazine in 2010. I've also played great venues like Gramercy Theatre and Central Park in NYC among others. I've played in Big Bands, Symphony Orchestras, Klesmer and Percussion ensembles, and more.
I really could go on forever talking about music, what it means to me, how I approach teaching, etc. When you love music and teaching as much as I do, you really can't help it. It's ingrained in you. Precisely as ingrained as I like to think being a fun, caring, disciplined, attentive teacher is in me. Whether it be for you or your child, I can easily promise that I will deliver the same success-bound mentoring that I have to my students for over 10 years running.
Can't wait to hear from you!
*** Lesson Details *** -I am here for you.
I would not teach if I wasn't very interested in the progress of my students. I want you to be the biggest, baddest, awe-inspiring drummer/percussionist possible. I want to ultimately end up at your shows and concerts and be able to say "That's MY student." You can always be guaranteed that when studying with me everything I assign has precisely that goal in mind.
-Strict or Laid Back?
Many people might ask if I'm strict, or laid back. My response is that I am excited and driven to help you reach success. I will never scold you because that sort of practice has no place in teaching. I also understand that learning isn't just a straight upwards incline of progression. We're all humans. Sometimes we progress astronomically in a short period of time and sometimes we have to fight hard to nail something. Sometimes we have a lot of time to practice, and sometimes we simply don't. My job is to make the most out of every situation and help you learn no matter what. That being said, I will still hound you to practice as much as healthily possible!
-What do you want out of music?
Probably the most important question I will undoubtedly ask you upon meeting you is why you are taking lessons. There is no way to formulate a tailored lesson plan if I don't know what it is you're working towards.
Like I said, I can't tell you very specifically what your lesson plan will be, but I CAN give you examples of what I almost always assign. Individually written out exercises, exercises from books, assigned reading/listening, song covers, chart writing/reading, improvisational exercises, rudiment study, warm-up routines, among others.
-Don't be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are part of the learning process! If you aren't making mistakes then I'm doing something wrong. Never be afraid to make mistakes.
-You Get What You Give
I promise I'll be there for you. I'll be there to give you the material and show you the path, but you're going to have to be there for yourself as well. The more prepared you are for our lessons, the more you will grow from the time we spend together.
Mastering an instrument takes time and effort both by student and teacher. The sooner we get started the sooner you get on that path. I'm ready whenever you are.
*** Studio Equipment *** detached studio 3 professional drum sets seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** Numerous practice pads and snare stands. I expect my students to only provide their own Drum Sticks and books.
*** Specialties *** I pride myself on being as versatile as I possibly can be. I can aptly teach most styles including Jazz, Rock, Funk, Latin, Hip Hop\R&B, Classical, and more.
Thomas L. October 9, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Eventhough it was just our first lesson, Asaf is a patient teacher and gave lots instruction.
Sophia P. September 15, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Very informative, we went over terminology, how important it is to have the proper sticks and the correct way to hold them. Reading the music and playing the proper beat. We did a lot for 1 lesson, my daughter loved it.
Bindia M. December 20, 2012 Verified Student
Flexible teaching methods!
Asaf is just brilliant. During the first session, my son was very distracted by the other things in the music room ie lights, instruments etc but Asaf managed to engage him by being extremely flexible in his teaching ie he is not wedded to any order and has a lesson plan in mind but goes with the flow and the interest of the child - this ensures that all that was intended on being covered is, and as a result of the flexibility, my son just loves these drum lesson and Asaf. Asaf makes him focus and has built a great teacher/student relationship in only 3 session. I would highly recommend Asaf.
I have been playing drums for 10 years. I teach drum set up to an intermediate level, covering fundamentals, music theory, reading, and performance.
I prefer to work out of method books that take instructional material from well known pieces of music, primarily from the broad scope of the rock and roll genre. This ensures introduction and reinforcement of music fundamentals while maintaining the ever-important fun factor!
My goal is to take a beginner and create a capable drum set player who knows music fundamentals, and has been given a strong foundation for performance technique and capability.
I am a songwriter, composer, and performer living in New York City. I am a formally trained musician with considerable real world performing experience. Teaching music is something I enjoy immensely and something I am extremely passionate about.
During my time as a college student studying music, I began teaching guitar lessons. I found the work to be extremely rewarding. I was happy to be spreading a bit of love for music around, and I believe I made some lasting impressions. I continued to teach music lessons after I graduated, expanding to teach piano as well.
The more I taug
ht, the more I found sincere joy in teaching. As I was was getting to know each of my students better, I realized that I was doing more than just teaching music lessons. I was acting as an example, a friend, and a counselor of sorts. I realized that each lesson was an opportunity to influence each of my students in a positive way, however small or large. To be granted that opportunity was truly thrilling.
I teach guitar from beginner to advanced levels of performance, in many styles. I teach piano up to an intermediate level. I specialize in Jazz, Folk, Blues, Rock, Funk, and pretty much any contemporary style a student might be interested in learning. Although not my specialty, I am capable of teaching classical styles as well.
I am very excited to teach anyone interested in learning about the wonders of music, and I love to work with all ages.
*** Lesson Details *** In my lessons, students can expect to have lots of fun, and learn a lot. I like to think that my students always enjoy their lessons with me. I am friendly, warm, personable, caring, and fun. I strive to find the perfect balance between learning the important fundamentals of music, and just plain enjoying music. Music takes hard work, but music is supposed to be fun!
I consider myself to be a laid back person, and I do not expect any strict formalities when interacting with students. I feel that the more comfortable a student is, the more easily that student can learn and have fun doing so. However, I do expect my students to thoroughly practice, to focus, and to strive to improve.
I tailor each lesson to a student's particular needs. Everyone learns and interprets music in different ways, so I strive to serve each of my students uniquely. From basic fundamentals to advanced techniques, I cover everything. I also give each student an opportunity to choose some music that they would enjoy learning.
My curriculum changes depending on the student's ability level, age, and instrument of choice. I typically use a method book for reinforcement of musical fundamentals, and a supplementary "project" piece of music that the student enjoys playing and learning. I do this so that my students can see direct connections between music fundamentals and playing music that they enjoy. My own personal knowledge and experience as a musician is always added to each lesson as well.
*** Travel Equipment *** For guitar lessons, I provide my guitar and any equipment that the student may not have initially, like for example, their own guitar, or music stand. Piano students will need their own keyboard for the very first lesson. The student should eventually provide their own instrument and equipment, such as their own guitar, music stand, and copy of the selected method book; all of which are things that they will need in order to pursue practicing on their own time.
*** Specialties *** I am capable of teaching using many methods, styles, and genres, depending on the student and their particular needs. However, I specialize in jazz, folk, and rock styles, as well as improvisation.
Mindy L. October 28, 2015
In home Verified Student
He is a great instructor. I'm thoroughly enjoying each and every lesson and feel I'm learning exactly as I need to be. Also, he's quite affable in general.
Mark S. May 14, 2014 Verified Student
Tim is a knowledgeable, competent, teacher who cares about his student's progress and puts good effort into each lesson. He is also pleasant to deal with, and communicates very well with the student.
Mark S. January 9, 2014
Guitar Verified Student
Tim is outstanding in all qualities that matter in a music teacher. He knowledgeable, patient, and communicates very well with the student. His genuine appreciation of music comes through clearly, and that makes for an inspiring lesson. My son studies both guitar and piano with Tim, and anticipates each lesson with excitement. You can't go wrong with Tim.
Depending of the student's level, I am able to give the appropriate tips and information and customize the lessons for each particular case. My lessons are very dynamic and are oriented to keep the students very motivated.
I have been teaching by more than 30 years, and with this experience,and the knowledge accumulated in those years plus my playing experience, I am able to teach my students in a very good way.
My lessons will be very dynamic by the interaction with my students, giving them the tools they will need to play in real situations. "Playing, listening, reading, and writing".
Always looking forward, never looking back, music is passion and joy.
*** Lesson Details *** Each lesson consists in six sections that can vary depending on the duration of the lesson. 1- Warming up 2- Review of home
work 3- Rudiments 4- Rhythm 5- Reading and writing 6- Analyisis of different Video and audio recordings 6- New homework
*** Studio Equipment *** I have one drum set fully equipped, plus cajon and some folkloric drums from Colombia. I write the examples using Finale. I have a complete collection of books and videos to support the lessons.
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide my books, metronome, sticks, etc. I expect the student provide the drum set
*** Specialties *** Rock, Jazz, Pop, Latin, Brazilian, Caribbean, Andean, Latin American , Colombian, etc
victor B. February 27, 2015
im 23, been playing drums for 14 years,I had different teachers all growing up, but I realized that I had no real good knowledge of theory and '' why things works''.
iI've been taking classes with Rafael Leal for six months. During these six months there has been a lot of progress with the knowledge of music theory and my drums skills. There are a lot of music teachers out there, but Rafael's combination of knowledge and skills can not only craft you into a great drummer, but a great musician as well!I highly recommend you contact Rafael leal and pursue taking your music education to a new level.
RichardS March 6, 2014
Drum lesson review
Very respectful and punctual teacher. He is very easy going and my daughter really enjoys her lessons.
Jeffrey March 6, 2014
Professional and competent...
I am a fellow musician, a piano/keyboard player. I first played with Rafael at jam sessions, where we met up several times before getting together privaetly for rehearsing and recording. Rafael is an easy going person who plays both comfortably and with conviction behind the drums. Literate in music notation, specializing in rhythms and patterns, Rafael plays many grooves from Jazz, Rock and Funk to Cumbia, Salsa and Brazillian rhythms for a nice, eclectic mix. Whether improvising or playing more in a tradition, exploring musical territory is a pleasure with Rafael, students can only benefit from his knowledge and experience. Enjoy the journey...
Hi my name is Dennis L.,I've been playing music for many years as a child in my local church, also volunteering for other non for profit ministries such as Brooklyn Christian Center, Christian Cultural Center and Full Gospel Assembly. Music first came to me by ear, just learning how to play sounds that I heard. Eventually my ear developed into playing music. It's fun playing by ear it seems there are no rules to adhere to, and it appears to be more natural coming from the heart. I am currently finishing my Bachelor's in Music and Arts at Nyack college in Manhattan. The opportunity to study mu
sic has allowed me to understand the different arts such as Jazz, and Classical music. It has given me the opportunity to read music, techniques in teaching, and understanding music theory. As an instructor I will exposed students to both world's as far ear training and reading.
*** Lesson Details *** In taking lesson as an instructor, my style tends to be very laid back. It depends on the student. I believe in trying to create an environment that is conducive towards learning, and sometimes I will also function in a strict style to push students abilities. My curriculum would be based on books geared towards practicing music, theory and learning techniques such as hand positions, posture and ear training. After 3 or 6 months learning music a goal will be set for students to confidently be able to play music with little to no assistance at all.
*** Travel Equipment *** I expect students to provide their own music equipment.
*** Specialties *** The genres I specialize in are Gospel through church. And I have studied through college Jazz and Classical music.
Jerry S. June 3, 2015
Bass Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
Great guy! Great teacher! He's very patient. Makes sure you understand before he moves on.
Fanny Z. February 11, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Dennis is an excellent teacher! He's very devoted and positive. My daughter is always looking forward to her lessons with Dennis, she loves him! I would recommend Dennis to everyone!
Students are raving about their Drum instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Juanita
"Drum lessons by Brett R.
I have been thoroughly impressed with Brett. He has so much patience, knowledge and such an excellent instructor! I have told my
friends and family how happy we have been with his teaching style. We will hopefully get my son to also start up piano lessons under his wings."
Seattle, WA teacher:
Review by Eric
"Derrick is everything a Teacher should be.
I have known Derrick for several years and can attest to his playing and teaching prowess. He is a well school
ed percussionist, drum set player and teacher. Even though I have played professionally for over 40 years, I still come to Derrick to get a different perspective and guidance in my playing. Derrick is the perfect blend of technician and musician all rolled into one! While he can improve a beginning to advanced player's technique, he also stresses the need to play musically. This is an important aspect to anyone wanting to 'up their game'. The fact that he is a truly nice person only adds to his other attributes. You can't find a better teacher in the Chicagoland area. Period!"
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by jeanne
"Henri is a gem. He is the perfect combination of cool and a serious musician. He is able to win over the respect of kids and truly teach them! There is no
need to look any further for a music teacher!"
Phoenix, AZ teacher:
Review by Divya
"Sheri is an awesome teacher!
Sheri is a natural and amazing teacher. She is so positive and encouraging and I always look forward to her lessons. It is e
vident that she gets a lot of joy out of teaching music and working with students and that enthusiasm transfer to you and makes you enjoy the lessons and motivates you to learn. She is patient and she understand your strengths and weaknesses and breaks down complex pieces such that you can pick it up easily. I was probably her last student for the day and yet she has always been bubbling with energy and enthusiasm every single time I walk in for my lessons."
San Jose, CA teacher:
Review by Katrina
"Over the years I've had the opportunity to study and play with some of the best drum instructors in the business, but my first and without question, best
teacher, was and still is Nana. Not only did he give me a solid foundation in West African drum song, but he made certain I understood and respected the traditions and history of the drums, which is equally important to the process of becoming a djembefola of any skill.
Nana's patience, vast knowledge, skills, good humor and genuine care for his students make lessons more than simply absorbing a skill. You learn to be a part of the songs and traditions, and that's a powerful thing.
One of the most magical moments of learning with Nana was the day he allowed me to sit in with some other extremely skilled djembefola and discover that a perfectly played poly-rhythm made my beautiful little drum sound as if she were singing along with hundreds of beautiful African voices, literally. I was so startled by the sound of village women singing joyfully in multi-part harmony that my eyes went straight to Nana in surprise. I'll never EVER forget his delighted smile when he nodded at me to say he heard it too. But then. to Nana, this beautiful sound is a familiar friend.
If you want the best, most skilled and knowledgeable teacher in the San Diego area, then there is no other better than Nana. More than that, he'll teach you some mystery and magic as well.
I am Katrina Kiefer and you can find me on facebook if you'd like to ask me any questions about Nana Yaw Obrafo Asiedu"
San Diego, CA teacher:
Nana Yaw Obrafo A.
Review by Vince
"My son has been taking lessons with Ed since he was 5. Ed was very patient dealing with a high energy child who had a limited attention span. Eight years
later, we are still seeing Ed weekly for lessons and my son has turned into a well-rounded musician. Ed tailors the lessons to my son's musical interests and takes an interest in what is going on in his life.
We have gone to see Ed perform in several venues and he always takes the time to talk to us during his break. I highly recommend Drum Lessons with Ed for those at any skill level."
Philadelphia, PA teacher:
Review by Brogan
"A Fantastic Instructor!!!
I have known Derek for many years, and can say what an excellent young man he is in character and helpfulness, As a mother of 1
0 children, I am concerned that their teachers be well qualified and have a positive influence on my kids. Derek is a wonderful teacher, encouaging, talented, and able to help even the most basic drummer. If he ever plays for you, his giftedness will shine! He is truely an fantastic instructor and my son enjoyed every lesson with him. I would HIGHLY recommend him as your choice to learn and improve in percussion."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Christopher
"Great first lesson."
Baltimore, MD teacher:
Review by John C
"Rich is a great instructor...he really knows how to communicate and makes you feel comfortable....I would highly recommend taking lessons with him!"
Gettysburg, PA teacher:
5,2015-Star Student Reviews in