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.
Gabriella July 9, 2015
In home Verified Student
Gabriella felt very comfortable with Thomas. He was patient and jumped right in without wasting time. She can't wait for her next lesson.
Zade S. June 17, 2015
In home Verified Student
Our son had his first lesson with Thomas last night. Thomas is extremely patient and was able to keep him engaged throughout the entire lesson. That's HUGE because our son is autistic and has trouble focusing. It's only been one lesson but I recommend Thomas! Very fun and professional.
Matteo P. May 25, 2015
In home Verified Student
Very pleased with Thomas and his creative ways to get our son to play the piano again .
Take private drum lessons with Matt miller. 25 years experience. beginner to advanced
My father, Al Miller, was a prominent drum teacher on Long Island who taught hundreds of people throughout his career. My musical background began in the early 70's. From the time I was five, I would go on almost every gig my father played and sit right behind his floor tom. I began sitting in as much as possible and played my first paying job at nine years old. He entered me in the drum corps where I learned a lot about playing with other drummers and also entered me in various drum competitions. I came in first place in the state for the Louie Bellson National Drum Contest when I was 11, b
ut failed miserably when my sight reading was not good enough to get me to the next level. I worked real hard to get my reading up to par after that.
I received full scholarships to Berklee College of Music in Boston, North Texas State University and Miami University. I chose to attend North Texas. After school, I began studying in New York with Robbie Ameen, a truly great teacher. His instruction was so meaningful to me. I later took lessons with Kenwood Dennard which was a priceless experience. I studied with many of the greats in New York, including Joe Ascione, Joel Rosenblatt, John Riley, Kim Plainfield, Chris Parker, Jim Chapin, and, of course, my dad. Frank Bellucci was very helpful when I was experiencing pain in my right hand. There were many others including Mark Hymes for piano and Joe Cavallaro for vibraphone.
I have made a living playing various original, cover gigs and club-dates (Weddings) and in 1996 I joined Blood, Sweat and Tears and toured the U.S., Canada and South America. Playing with BS&T was a great experience for me, and certainly taught me how to deal with different personalities.
I've always worked - playing (both club-dates and music that I enjoy), teaching and producing. I run a recording studio now, which is perhaps my favorite place to be. I'm in there as much as possible.
Most recently, I spent three years touring Europe with The Healers!, a hard hitting blues band from New York.
Since 2006, I've been producing music for the Oprah Winfrey Show. While her show was on the air, you would often hear my drumming during the "Bumper Music" section in between commercial breaks or during guest introductions. I've also played on some film scores including The Christopher Walken movie, 5 Dollars a Day.
Ed P. April 24, 2015
In home Verified Student
Met with Matthew at my home for my first lesson after an earlier phone chat to
discuss my background and goals.
Matthew is well spoken, motivated, friendly, and experienced in playing jazz, blues, and rock.
Lesson was a good sign of things to come. Matthew helped right away with a few tips on playing styles, kit setup, and hand grip to improve my speed and articulation.
Next few lessons will be addressing hand- foot independence and perhaps even a little jazz improve, or more advanced rock beats.
It was great to have a teacher like Matthew with both music education and field experience observe my playing and suggest improvements that work for max
effect! He's quite a drummer himself, and briefly sat on my set and illustrated a few concepts.
Brian C. February 20, 2013
Drum Verified Student
Often an accomplished musician might not make the best teacher. Matthew, however, is both an outstanding teacher and musician. The son of a well known drummer/teacher, Matt has clearly learned what it takes to be a successful teacher himself. Coupled with his personal accomplishments as a drummer, Matt has what it takes to teach drummers at any level...novice to expert. I really enjoy my lessons with Matt and know that if I stick with his instructions, I will reach my goals.
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. At the same time, 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.
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 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 5 years.
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 2 professional drum sets seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** I have two full DW Jazz Series drum sets. 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.
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.
Petra V. August 23, 2012
Drum Verified Student
The Consummate Professional
Asaf has trained my son initially on a practice pad. Taught my son Quater notes, Eighth notes and moved on to the Snare Durm and worked his way up to 16th notes. He taught my son how to use wrist action, rather then his arms. The fact that ASAF travels to my home and instructs my son is definitely a plus. He is highly commmunicative and flexible.
PetraV April 9, 2012
My son has been showing excitement and interest in practicing and looks forward to Asaf coming on Saturdays. We look forward to seeing our son's progress and working with Asaf.
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...
Nicholas Hall (b. 1991) is an active composer, percussionist, educator, and arranger. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Composition at New York University, Steinhardt with private compositional studies under Justin Dello Joio and private percussive studies under Sean Statser. As an undergraduate at LIU Post, he received a BS degree in music where he studied percussion performance in the studio of Frank Cassara, orchestration under Carl Strommen and theory under Dr. Matt Vandegriff. Before attending LIU Post, Nicholas studied percussion with teachers Frank Mediate, John Micelli, a
nd Jules Radino. Nicholas is endorsed by Vic Firth sticks and mallets in association with the Young Artists Program.
Students are raving about their Drum instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Tim
"I had the pleasure of being one of Perry's first students back in the olden days. I took 4-5 years of private lessons with Perry during my middle school
and high school years. Perry opened my eyes to all genres of music and stressed the importance of being familiar with all styles. His instruction helped me land professional gigs in jazz, funk, blues, rock and world fusion. I will forever be in debt to Perry for his passion and knowledge of music he bestowed on me. Perry teaches from a different perspective and I always felt like he was a friend too. This review should have been written over 20 years ago, but you know.....Thanks Perry!"
Phoenix, AZ teacher:
Review by Daxton
"Mike is an amazing teacher and all around person.
Mike is an awesome drum teacher. I have been taking lessons from him for a couple months now and he has
made me able to do much more than I expected. He is very organized with an endless amount of different worksheets and charts to work on that challenge you just enough. He is a nice person and is fun to be around, I wouldn't take drum lessons from anyone other than mike."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by luisa
"Mr. John is a great teacher. He has been teaching our son Elias with great passion and commitment. We can truly see he loves music and teaching. Elias is
so happy to be learning drums. He looks forward to every class."
Orlando, FL teacher:
Review by Michelle
"Eric is my son's drum instructor. He just barely turned 7, and struggles with focus and attention. To help him with this, I thought learning to read music
and play an instrument would be quite beneficial. We first tried violin: He cried every time driving to lessons, so that ended fast. Then I thought piano, in our home. That idea didn't work either. Now we are with Eric, and my little guy is progressing. He likes Eric, which is (more than) half the battle. Eric really does customize his lessons based on progress. He's great with my son, and makes it fun for him. He encourages him to practice at home every day, and pays close attention to the progress he makes each week. Eric also pays close attention to form, such as foot placement on the pedals, and obviously where his little hands should be, and remain, while playing. Alex now is able to read (beginning) sheet music, and is working on his coordination, too. As his mom, I really believe this has turned out very well! We've been in lessons now for almost 2 months, which is much longer than violin and piano lasted. I can already tell my son will stay with it. It's exciting for me to see the progress he's making. Each week, he seems to be more focused and stays on task. Of course he still has a ways to go for his age. But again, Eric is really patient, kind, supportive and wonderful with Alex."
Salt Lake City, UT teacher:
Review by Domenic
"My official drum guru!
I started taking lessons from Rob about 2003. I have found him to be a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Believe it or not, not
every good musician can both play AND teach with competence. Rob can do both. He has vast technical skills but he also plays "music" with passion and musicality. I have also found Rob to be extremely sharing and generous beyond expectations. What are you waiting for? Take some lessons!"
Boston, MA teacher:
Review by Cristina
I learned a lot in just a few lessons. I enjoy taking lessons from Richard. He is professional, knowledgable & on time."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Birgitte
"Great with children
My son (7) very much enjoys going to Ben's place for his drumming lessons because Ben makes the lesson enjoyable. Ben is serious and
dedicated and the progression in the lessons has been just right. There's a lot of repetition in the beginning, but Ben still manages to keep my son interested and attentive. I can highly recommend him."
San Francisco, CA teacher:
Review by Matt
"I first started taking lessons when I was 13. Anthony was my first and only legitimate teacher (I later tried another and was disappointed). He teaches ev
ery student at their own pace and based on how much effort they choose to put into learning their instrument. During times when I was getting lazy he even sat me down and spent part of the lesson just motivating me to get more out of lessons by investing more time practicing; I'll never forget it. Anthony truly taught me everything I knew.
Fast forward: I now drum for the electronic rock/EDM band Day Method which has been scouted by the manager for Guns and Roses, the tour manager for U2, and the manager for Trans Siberian Orchestra. I have performed for tens of thousands of people over the last 10 years, played well over 100 concerts, and am moving to LA in a few months to pursue a record deal. The take away? Whatever your dreams or aspirations, they aren't out of reach and Anthony can give you the tools you need to get you there...Keep rocking!"
Cleveland, OH teacher:
Review by Michael
"Zack is a fantastic teacher. I started taking lessons with Zack five years ago, and I knew absolutely nothing about drums or how to play. Together, we cre
ated a teaching plan that would be the most beneficial in my learning experience. Aside from teaching me how to play drums, Zack has also taught me to be confident in myself, and he has always been a great friend to me. I know that I will never be done taking lessons from Zack because there is always more that he can teach me."