Fairfield Drum Lessons

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John D.

Berkeley, CA

With over 10 years of experience with all ages. I use a combination of method books and real live jamming to give students the full picture of what it means to play drums. Students can learn their favorite music, and get a chance to perform it with professional musicians. Regarding hand drums: While living in Brazil or West Africa, I learned authentic hand drum techniques and have stacks of notebooks with materials for learning the music of Latin America, West Africa, and the Caribbean.

About John

*** Lesson Details ***
My students will develop a passion for music and a desire to play!

I like to get right to the experience of actually playing music. I start with learning songs, drum beats, and chord progressions and get to technique and music reading AFTER we have had some fun.

My key to successful teaching is to create a custom curriculum for each student. Some students are interested in the details of how to do it "right", and others just want to rock. I try to adapt to different learning styles and musical goals to give each student an ideal experience.

I want student
s to learn how to play, not just how to read or do drills. We will listen to music together, and talk about the function of each instrument. For drummers, I play bass lines on the piano and we lock into a groove. For piano students, I play along with drums or percussion. It's important for students to learn how to play with others, and to listen and get inspired by what's around them.

Students will have the option to perform in a student recital where you are backed by a band of professional musicians!

***John D.'s Biography***

I was born in Amsterdam, Holland, where my father worked as an opera singer. While listening to vocal warm-up arpeggios, my mother bounced me on her knee and taught me rhythms and rhymes.

In my family we beatbox, play piano, and sing together. The family moved to the States in 1995 where my parents worked as music teachers. My Dad is a voice professor at the University of Wisconsin, and my Mom runs an amazing music program at Country View Elementary School in Verona, WI.

I played in the band program throughout high-school and had an amazing and demanding music teacher and highly talented friends. The drumset became my passion and I played, blissfully and recklessly, as often possible. Our teacher took the high school band on a concert tour of Europe in 2002 in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy.

The band program led me to classical and contemporary music at the University of Wisconsin, where I honed my craft and discovered the profound breadth of music around the world. I paid my way through college as a member of the WI Army National Guard Band, a great wind ensemble with jazz and rock band components, and slowly built a career as a musician. I took every gig that came my way and created my own if nobody was calling. Pretty soon I became "œthe guy in, like, 8 different bands", including Funk, Rock, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African bands. I've been working as a musician ever since, performing several nights per week, and teaching during the day.

I began teaching drum lessons to my friends when I was about 18 and realized I was really good at it. I began taking on private students and teaching group lessons and classes. Students of mine have achieved the highest ranks at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival in Wisconsin, and auditioned into the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. I am on the annual faculty Wildcat Percussion Camp, was adjunct faculty at New York University, and directed the world percussion ensemble at the University of Wisconsin. I've worked as a teacher with the Madison Area School District, Wisconsin Youth Company, YMCA, Global Arts to Go, University Settlement, and in many different public schools in the New York metro area. I taught a high school class called "The Spirit of Jazz", and

I've learned how to be a real teacher, to put myself in your shoes to help you achieve your potential as a drummer, and as a musician. My teaching style is to de-mystify the art of percussion: getting great sounds out of the drums, being prepared for any style, practicing productively, and focusing your mind.

I have a Bachelor's degree in classical percussion from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from NYU, and have traveled to Africa, Europe, and Latin America to perform, record, and study. I have performed with Badal Roy (Miles Davis), Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Brad Shepik, Lenny Pickett, Chuchito Valdez, and many other great musicians. I was Adjunct Faculty at NYU'™s jazz program, and at the University of Wisconsin dance program. I've given masterclasses at Juilliard, University of Michigan, Lawrence Conservatory, and many other colleges. I played for 5 months in the Off-Broadway show "Fun Home", and toured and gigged with a wide variety of bands.

I've recorded on nearly 20 albums and have been involved in many other projects. Ask me anything you want in our music lessons!
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Reviews

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Mike T. September 22, 2014
Percussion · In studio
I have been a colleague of John's for 16 years and he has always impressed me with his constant dedication to the craft of music. Though he is incredibly talented, he has always been one that works hard and asks questions without fear. In my experience, this is the kind of person that makes the best teachers. He has always loved music, drums, all percussion and more recently has been learning so much about music technology and how to express yourself with any media available. It would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to study with him!
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Daniel P. August 24, 2014
Drum · In studio
I was pretty new to drumming when I first started taking lessons from John, and I could barely play a simple back beat. Long story short - within 6 months I was playing my first show!

I was looking for a teacher with both rock/jazz and classical background, so John fit the bill perfectly. He also knows a lot about Latin American percussion and other styles from around the world, and has a great understanding of how these different styles relate to each other and the various techniques which can be applied.

During the first few lessons, we discussed my background and aims, and came up with a solid plan for how I should proceed. John's broad experience was really helpful for this process. I had been playing guitar and piano for many years before I started on drums, so I already had a decent grounding in musicality and theory. We therefore focused mainly on technique during lessons. John has a real gift for explaining things in an easily understandable way, as well as going into detail when required. Whenever I had trouble with a particular technique, John's advice would help me overcome it. He is also very helpful in suggesting suitable exercises and repertoire. John also provides a private blog containing lesson notes and useful links, and he was also happy for me to record lessons, which I found very useful. With John's help, I was able to progress pretty quickly, and after 6 months I started playing in a band with some friends, which has been awesome fun.

John is super friendly and engaging, and this makes lessons with him great fun. As well as being a fantastic drummer, it is clear that he really cares about the quality of his lessons, and about his students. I'm sure he would make a great teacher for students of all ability/background. John, you rock! Thanks!
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Annie H. October 13, 2013
Drum
Verified Student
Great Musician & Great Teacher

My son started taking lessons with John when he was 7. During the past few months my son has become more aware of the music around him. He looks forward to drums every week. John has great patients and is amazing at connected with children. He is able to keep my son focused, which can be a hard task of itself. He offers instruction while still valuing the individual's personality and taste. John not only shares his knowledge and personal experiences, but his passion.

I would recommend John to anyone in a heartbeat.
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John D.

John D.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Colin G.

Fairfield, CA

About Colin

UCLA Herb Alpert School Of Music Grad

Music Outreach Scholar

Ascap Foundation Scholar

GLUCK Fellow

Colin James G. is one of the most decorated and progressive young music educators in California. He has taught hundreds of students in schools both public and private institutions all throughout California. He is now pleased to be offering private lessons to a limited number of students.

Colin recognizes the individuality in music and in musicians. Therefore, in order for a student to really absorb the most from his lessons, he forms highly structured lessons plans tailored sp
ecifically to the students needs, while still maintaining the basic curriculum that every musician needs to know. The skill level does not matter: from beginners to advanced levels, there are things Colin can teach a student to elevate their drumming to the next progression. Equally as important, Colin always maintains a very exciting and encouraging environment for the student to grow and become their best, because at the end of the day, a teacher is supposed to provide the inspiration so that the student can end up teaching themselves.
...

Reviews

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JenniferK3 May 10, 2011
Really enjoyed the lessons and feel happy with my progress every week. Colin obviously has the skills AND he knows how to teach them. A really nice person and instructor :)
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Colin G.

Colin G.

Fairfield, CA 94533
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Christian C.

Brentwood, CA

Ages 10 to adult, beginners (no experience) to advanced

(Exceptions can be made for younger students but they have to be able to reach the pedals on a full size drum set.)

About Christian

Christian has 20 years of teaching experience and 25 years of performance experience in a myriad of styles. He is currently enrolled at the Berklee School of Music (Boston, MA) through their online Music Production Degree Program.

Christian is also a member in the following organizations:

Vic Firth Education Team

Hudson Music Teacher Integration Program

Professional Drum Teachers Guild. He has studied privately with John Xepoleas, Steve Bowman (Counting Crows), Rob Hart, Alan Hall and currently with Mike Johnston.

Christian is also accepting a limited amount of students from the
age of 10 to adult, beginner to advance. He currently has openings at his Brentwood home studio on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The air-conditioned studio is equipped with 2 drum sets and professional digital recording equipment to capture each lesson. The latest educational DVD's and play-along/minus-drums CD's are also incorporated in the lessons.

Parents are encouraged to sit in on the lessons or they can relax or do some work in the internet ready waiting room. An annual recital is conducted for family and friends.

Prepare for school auditions, refine hand and foot technique, learn double bass grooves and fills improve reading and transcribing , sharpen your timing, incorporate linear playing, apply rudiments to the drum set.

Styles: Rock / Funk / Country / Blues / Jazz / Latin

*** Lesson Details ***
Sometimes the availability calendar is not updated in a timely manner.

Every student is different. Depending on their age and/or goals, this is the typical curriculum for a beginning (no experience) student.

Beginners (build the foundation)
Technique
- Hands: how to hold the sticks correctly
- Feet: heel up or heel down technique

Reading
- Explain note values
- Explain drum set notation

Coordination and Timing
- Learn basic beats to play music
- Understand how to practice with a metronome
- How to play along to music

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home room converted with sound absorbing materials with 2 drum sets, acoustic and electronic. Air conditioned living room seating for parents. Audio recordings are provided for every lesson and portions of each lesson are also video recorded. I have a very friendly Golden Retriever.
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Reviews

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rita W. January 30, 2014
Drum
Verified Student
Easy to sign up and Great customer service

My 12 yr old decided he wanted drums for Christmas and we knew that would include getting him lessons. Finding Christian through Take lessons was indeed lucky for my son. If you are looking for a teacher who is calm, level headed, knowledgeable and very easy to contact at anytime then Christian is who you are looking for. He has several students and they all come out happy and feeling good about their lessons. My son, even when not feeling great insist that he attend his drum lessons. compliments to the instructor.
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Christian C.

Christian C.

Brentwood, CA 94513
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Vir M.

Berkeley, CA

I have a Drumset at my studio and can get you started with the rudiments and basic drumming skills.

About Vir

I am a graduate of U.C. Berkeley.;I have been teaching and performing music for over 15 years. I have toured the United States and other countries playing many types of music. I play Guitar and Bass and Sing   I teach in a fun style that emphasizes the students creativity.  Styles range from Rock, Folk, Electronic, Jazz,  African, World, Hip Hop to Country.  I can give you the skills to go to the next level.  From 5-99 years old!

*** Lesson Details ***
A typical lesson would look like this:  Depending on your level we would first work on some new chords and/or a new scale and how to play them
.  We "jam" a little to get the feel.  I have a really great way of teaching theory that will get you playing what you want.  The second half we usually focus on learning a song of your choice or working on an original of yours. I am very personable and easygoing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Have guitars and amps, basses and amps, drum set, microphones and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Have equipment

*** Specialties ***
Rock, World, Hip Hop, Folk, Electronica, Classical, Jazz
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Reviews

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caroline S. April 23, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Vir is a gifted teacher. He has taught my son guitar for more than a year. He meets my son where ever he's at in his practice, attention and interests with calm, skilled focus and intention . Vir's background as performing musician infuses his teaching with an enthusiasm and creativity of practicing his teaching. We are truly grateful for Vir.
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Alexander S. March 6, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
A Guru

Vir is beyond your typical vocal coach. He was a huge help on things like pitch accuracy and phrasing, but more than anything, his focus on getting me to tap into and harness my inner power has already paid huge dividends in my recordings and performances. Further, Vir is an amazing person to know and his home-studio in Berkeley is magnificent!
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Vir M.

Vir M.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(2)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Jacob R.

Berkeley, CA

I have been drumming for the last 12 years. I have taught lessons in drumming from ages 7 to 20, so I can deal with a wide range of student ages as well as levels of proficiency. It is important to me to understand how the student learns, because teaching in a way that caters to the student's learning style will guarantee the best results, both creatively and technically.

About Jacob

I have tutored students of math and have given drum lessons since my second year of college. I've tutored students of all levels of math, from 6th grade mathematics to all college math subjects. I have given drum lessons to beginners and intermediate students, and I engage the students in ear training as well so that they can be more well-rounded musicians. I put an emphasis on catering my teaching to a student's method of learning, so that they feel comfortable and so that we get the best results!
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Reviews

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Christy M. June 22, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Jacob has been an awesome teacher for my teenage daughter, Quinn - who started very much from scratch with the drums. He is super patient, and brings an enthusiasm and clear love for music that is contagious and inspiring. He was able to weave in a lot of basic music foundation for her, and helped her progress at a pace that was appropriately challenging without being intimidating or discouraging. He helped her learn the fundamentals, but also let her apply them as patterns to songs and styles that interested her. If he wasn't moving away for school, we would love to continue with him, he's been a wonderful teacher. We'd recommend him in a heartbeat.
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Anya B. May 22, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Jacob does a great job teaching drums to my sons, 6 yrs and 8 yrs. He has a great ability to make the lessons both fun and instructional. He allows time for exploration and jamming, and also works in techniques and music reading instruction. He regularly checked in with me to see how I thought things were going, and was responsive to any requests I made. My kids love Jacob, and I would not hesitate to recommend him as an excellent teacher!
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Justin B. August 27, 2014
Drum · In studio
Jacob is teaching for his first time, but he knows how to guide his student as he had been a student of many different instructors. Jacob teaches the basics, the rudiments, and postures. I have taken drum lessons from different instructors, so I was confident that I was doing the right thing. However, Jacob helped me figure out bad habits that I've never doubted. Jacob not only understands the pros/cons of different drumming styles, but he also knows how to transition smoothly from one to another. He guides you through how improve your capabilities, because he has been through the same steps that you are about to go into. I am having a very pleasant time learning from Jacob.
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Jacob R.

Jacob R.

Berkeley, CA 94705
(3)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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