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.
Douglass May 18, 2016
In home Verified Student
Doug has special needs and sometimes has trouble focusing. Tom is very patient and works very well with him, he really enjoys and looks forward to the lesson and seems to be progressing well. Good communicator and always on time. Thanks a bunch :)
Elora G. February 11, 2016
In home Verified Student
Thomas is great. My 5-year old daughter took to him immediately, and while this was only her first lesson I already saw her interest sparked. He's not just a musician, but a true educator - which is crucial for kids of a younger age starting a new instrument.
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!
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. 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
Effua M. April 9, 2016
In studio Verified Student
My family loves Rafael. My son (who is five) takes drumming lessons and Rafael is very knowledgeable, gentle and patient. We love how encouraging he is and my son says for me to make sure I say that Rafael is an AWESOME drummer and we also think he's an awesome person :)
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.
Students are raving about their Drum instructors on TakeLessons.
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I've been Brian's student for 5 years, and I think that I wouldn't have been able to stay into my lessons if not for having him as my te
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Tim is great, he is teaching my son so much, he loves going to his lessons and learns so much from Tim, he taught him how to read music and the d
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Philadelphia, PA teacher:
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