Symphonic music, concert band, marching technique, percussion ensemble, hand percussion, church music, etc.
Music, and drumming in particular, continues to be an exciting lifetime journey for me and I find the greatest rewards in teaching students how to achieve their own musical and lifetime goals. Currently, I'm available to travel to your location to teach you on the comfort of your own drum kit, snare drum, or percussion gear. Or, I can bring the essential gear required to help you have fun learning all about music and drumming, such as playing in certain styles or training your coordinated independence between hands, feet, and voice. As a teacher, I work with all ages of beginner to advanced
students, specializing in middle school and high school percussion studies in addition to music therapy for special needs children. I have over 25 years experience in all areas of drum set and percussion education, recording, and performance. I was principal percussionist and drumline captain throughout my high school career participating in the concert, symphonic, jazz, and marching bands. I was selected for All-State Jazz Band during my senior year and went on to study music education at the University of Georgia while being selected for a slot in the Redcoat Marching Band and the University Steel Drum Band during my freshman year. I completed my music business degree from Georgia State University, while studying under world class teachers like Jack Bell, principal percussionist for Atlanta Symphony for over 30 years. Throughout my career, I continue to be influenced, inspired, and taught through private lessons, master classes, videos, books, and recordings from David Garibaldi, Simon Phillips, Rod Morgenstein, Neil Peart, Gregg Bissonette, Jerry Fields, Jim White, John Lawless, Billy Degnats, Eric Darken, Gary Chaffee, Kim Plainfield, Chuck Silverman, Steve Houghton, Jeff Hamilton, Jeff Porcaro, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Tito Puente, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Steve Smith, Vinx, and Zorro. As your drum teacher, I can help students excel in school music programs to pursue scholarships, transform the garage band into a gig-ready act, bring laughter and joy for special needs, encourage senior citizens trying something new with music in their golden years - all of these scenarios and more with the ultimate goal to coach you to becoming the creative musician you dream of becoming based on the musical artists that inspire you. Let's get started today.
*** Lesson Details *** I'll have you playing and understanding rhythmic concepts right away. I love to start lessons off by learning from my students who their favorite drummer is or what music track inspires them. Then we turn "I wanna do that!" into "I can do that!" I customize each lesson to each particular student's goals, although I have many solid foundation concepts and exercises that I employ at the appropriate times. I keep the lessons extremely positive and encouraging, but I will drive and challenge my students to help them find joy in pushing themselves through a difficult new concept or overcoming a physical hurdle. I try to broaden my students' appreciation for multiple genres of music with a lot of historical or anecdotal stories which fit within the context of whatever contemporary methods we are actually studying. As much as possible, I incorporate technology into our lesson time with click track (metronome), play-along music, and other developmental tools. Listening is a critical skill that I constantly emphasize, and yes, I do assign "homework" between lessons, but I make the assignments fun and they usually help to quickly unleash the creative spirit of each student! My greatest joy is when a student has a band performance I can watch or a positive audition experience I can celebrate with them after having helped them prepare for the event.
*** Studio Equipment *** Drum kit, multiple hand percussion instruments, PA system, practice pad kit, dry erase boards, and multi-media.
*** Travel Equipment *** The students should have a new three-ring binder or a spiral notebook to track weekly lessons and assignments. Ideally, students should have sticks/mallets, a snare drum, drum set, hand percussion (bongos, conga, djembe, cajon), or perhaps a school-supplied instrument. If none of those items are owned or available, that's not a problem. I can provide practice pad(s) and or small drum and percussion supplies to help us get started until students/parents can invest in their own gear later on based on their specific interests.
*** Specialties *** Drum Set - Musicality & playing drum beats from day 1. Also, reading music & rhythmic training.
Percussion - School band and concert percussion (such as bells, xylophone, marimba, and vibraphone). Prep for auditions. Drum maintenance, tuning, and various hand percussion (conga, bongos, cajon, djembe, tambourine, etc.).
Jack August 14, 2016
In home Verified Student
Our son loves Jeff. He's very patient with him and challenges him with new techniques by encouraging him to listen to other genres of music.
Charlie January 3, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Jeff did a great job with my son's first drum lesson. His passion for teaching was evident. Jeff was encouraging, patient and positive. My son is looking forward to the next lesson!
Jack D. November 22, 2015
In home Verified Student
My son was so excited about starting his lesson with Jeff and he didn't let him down. Jack has AD/HD so can be a bit chellenging at times but Jeff was very patient with him. I would highly recommend Jeff as an instructor.
Hello! My name is Rafe (rhymes with safe) and I'm a drummer and drum teacher in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
My wife, two teenagers and two dogs and I have lived in Murfreesboro since 2006. Prior to that I lived in Nashville after moving here from Atlanta in 2001.
I come from a long line of singer/songwriters and working musicians. I've been playing drums and percussion since elementary school. My first real drum hero was Peter Criss of KISS!
During and after high school I developed the reading and coordination skills to move from marching and orchestral percussion into drum set playin
g. Along the way I've had the good fortune of knowing and being mentored by some very worthy and accomplished teachers, most notably Jack Dukes of Atlanta, GA who was an early graduate of Musician's Institute and himself a protege of the great Joe Porcaro.
I've performed live and recorded in several mainstream genres including Southern gospel, rock, pop and folk, mainly on the regional level with artists like Mark Blackburn, Neal Cooper, and Frank French. For most of the 1990s in Atlanta I belonged to at least two bands and had different setups and approaches for each. My bands and artists played local gigs from coffeehouses and clubs to showcases and festivals My favorite way to sum up my performing career is "I haven't played with anyone famous, but I've played with people who have played with someone famous!"
Through my involvement with various churches and youth ministries I was given the opportunity to teach private drum set lessons and was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it! Parents of middle- and high-school aged students would approach me and ask for lessons and in most cases guidance on what equipment to purchase. I worked in drum retail for quite some time in Atlanta and was able to help several students with selecting and purchasing their first drum equipment.
When I teach a private student, especially a beginner, I talk with the student and the parents alike to determine the student's interests and motivation for playing the drums. I have a very student-centered approach and focus on the fundamentals of drum set playing that are applicable in all musical situations --- grip, posture, timekeeping, dynamics, the components of the drum set, and the importance establishing relationships and reputations with other musicians in the student's area.
For an intermediate student the approach must adjust to the student's existing skill level and determine where the student wants to go stylistically and what s/he wants to get out of lessons.
At all times, a fun and relaxed approach is what my teachers passed on to me and is my preferred way of guiding a student. Music is life and drumming is art but ultimately......it has to be fun and entertaining for the student to want to continue with it.
*** Lesson Details *** I teach in my own home studio in the Blackman area of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I have a large room with two drum sets and an iMac home studio setup.
For beginning students I will generally write lesson material myself as opposed to selecting a book or method, at least to begin with. We'll start with grip, posture, the component parts of the drum set itself, basic coordination and 1/4 note grooves.
For students who are already playing, we'll start with their present level of skill and dexterity and determine his/her musical goals. I believe it's important for students to listen to and learn musical languages *outside* of their favorite listening preferences to open their ears to the wider musical universe and hopefully create more opportunities for them in the future.
My favorite books and methods are Gary Chaffee's 'Patterns' series, Gary Chester's 'The New Breed'. I am also exploring a newly printed curriculum focused on the Nashville Number System.
I will record audio of the student's lesson and provide an Mp3 file so that he/she can listen to it as they practice and maintain focus.
*** Studio Equipment *** Recording and practice room, 3 acoustic drums sets, 1 electronic drum sets, pc with recording tools, cymbals. Long driveway or street parking. Parents of young children are asked to stay in seating area in full view of the teaching studio during lessons.
*** Specialties *** Gary Chaffee Patterns series; beginner to intermediate level drum set instruction; rock/pop/country; ambidexterity; drumset dynamics; independence.
While I do not formally teach drums anymore I do take on students from time to time who show a keen interest and dedication to drums and percussion as it pertains to songwriting and locking in with the bass player.
I worked for Eddie Van Halen for five years in the 1990's in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles and was instrumental in providing help with development of the Peavey Wolfgang and Wolfgang Special Guitar by providing feedback on the prototypes Eddie was designing at the time. I learned a lot from Eddie and his brother Alex about music and the music industry. (All you have to do is pay attention! ) I have played in bands from Hollywood to Toronto and back both as a singer songwriter and guitarist. I bring the Musicians Institute way to the table and get things up and running quickly. I help s
tudents get it under their fingers fast and get it right the first time.
I believe in sharing the happiness of making music with anyone who loves music and the guitar in particular. I do my very best to get you playing the songs you love in Pop, Rock, Jazz and Folk Music of your choice. Today's modern new guitars are easy to play and you will enjoy learning Guitar right away. That is how it should be. When you study there is a basic understanding of Guitar to be learned that allows an ease of use for anyone for years to come. This will help you reach your goal and improve each week. My students learn to practice in a way that feels comfortable and makes sense. This takes all the stress out of learning and gives everyone something to smile about and look forward to each week.
The good feeling of playing along with friends and taking a solo is within every students grasp. I will show you the way there. And with a solid and straightforward approach to the theory as it applies directly to the guitar you will feel confident and unafraid of any music endeavor. We'll cover harmony and fingerboard theory and give you a road map of the guitar neck that makes it a pleasure to play. You learn the basics and much more than you thought possible retaining 90 percent of what you learn!
Having been a student myself I was deeply involved in music since age 12 and played in bands and duos for over 15 years . I can help you to be a well rounded player and performer with a smile, a laugh and a joy for music whether your in a band or a budding solo artist.
*** Lesson Details *** Most students want to play the Guitar to play their favorite songs and I'm the same way. Music is something we carry with us in our hearts and minds. Students will learn what they wish to learn and work at a pace that is comfortable to them. Whether you are a student, “weekend warrior” or a parent whose child has expressed an interest in Guitar anyone can learn all there is to know about Harmony and Theory for the Guitar and how to play their favorite songs.
We cover theory in an easy and straightforward no nonsense way in the first half of each lesson and then apply it to the song you wish to learn. This creates an atmosphere where you understand and feel at home with the Guitar. You get an understanding right away and because it is immediately fun it allows you to feel comfortable at any level. Music is fun, and songs are the creative expression of what we feel. Combining theory and the freedom to play and sing songs allows us to express ourselves through music. After 6 months students will have a solid foundation in theory, and a road map of the guitar fretboard enabling them to advance to an intermediate level if they are ready to do so. Students will know enough that music as it relates to the Guitar, which is the world’s most popular instrument in contemporary music, is not a mystery but is a welcome friend. And they will be able to play songs by popular artists and advance at a pace that is satisfying and enjoyable. ----------------------------
Student Comments: What Students Are Saying About ~ James Teaching Style
“James’ patience, knowledge and under-standing made learning guitar fun. I like the lessons. He cares.” --Rebecca L., guitar student, Venice Beach, CA 2003
“James taught me to play pop and rock, and introduced me to fingerstyle guitar. I love it!” --Joseph E., guitar student, Vancouver, BC 2006
“I studied guitar privately with James in 2010. His style of teaching helped me to get past my blocks. He opened new doors for me. Thanks!” --Daniel S., guitar student, Los Angeles, CA 2010 ----------------------------------- What James spouse says about working on songwriting with him:
"James is my husband for over 10 years now. Over the years, I have seen James give guidance and counsel to many hopeful musicians of all ages, and inspire others about how music influences and benefits our lives. I would highly recommend James to anyone who wants to learn guitar, voice, music theory, and acting. James is a great talent, and study with him would benefit anyone with the sincere desire to grow as an artist. When we married, I had fallen in love with James’ conversational style, and his vast knowledge of music. When I heard him play guitar, I knew that I wanted to write songs with him, and we released our first album, in 2012 on iTunes."
Regards, Keri W.
*** Studio Equipment *** Ovation Glen Campbell Artist Acoustic Electric Guitar, Ovation Pacemaker 12 string Guitar, Ibanez PF 5 Acoustic Electric Guitar, Fender Telecaster 6 string Electric Guitar. Korg Mini Pandora III Amplifier/Studio EFX, Toshiba Laptop Satelite Pro with PreSonus Studio One Artist Software, PreSonusUSB Audiobox, HD7 Studio Monitor Headphones, M7 Condenser Mic, PreSonus Studio Producer software with SoundCloud integration, iBook G4 with Garageband 3 and iLife Studio. Godin Summit CT Electric Guitar is the guitar I now endorse exclusively !
*** Travel Equipment *** Lesson Plans, Godin Summit CT Guitar, Fender and Ovation Guitars, Tuner, Android Smartphone and apps, iPads, Korg Mini Pandora Amp, Toshiba Satelite Pro Laptop. Android LG Smartphone with Tuners, Voice Recorder, and Metronome and Chord Reference Guide, and Guitar Tuner, iPod Touch Pro Studio.
*** Specialties *** Songs in the following styles: Pop, Rock and Modern Country Music. Also Composition Analysis while learning the song.
Paula D. September 22, 2016
Online Verified Student
James is the most encouraging a positive teacher I have ever had. He sends me emails and links every day to help educate me a spur me on. He gears the lessons to exactly what I want to learn, and he gives me new ideas for developing mu musical and writing gifts and talents, as well as ideas on how to stay healthy, which is a must for any performing artist. He is very kind and compassionate, definitely several points above average.
Paula September 13, 2016
James teaches me various types of music in a way that is fun and very understandable. He also helps me get my writing and music career off the ground and provides many useful links and information on virtually every subject of interest and inspiration. He is definitely several points above average. I would recommend him to anyone who is truly interested in learning,
Julie September 9, 2016
Online Verified Student
How to Play the Dejembe. How to play the Dejembe with a songwriter. How to play the Dejembe for Performances, How to Play the Dejembe and Think Like a Drummer.
Liz is an experienced teacher, clinician, author with Alfred Publishing, producer and engineer and has taught master classes based upon her book for drummers called “How to Write a Fast and Easy Drum Chart, teaching drummers how to write drum music. Currently she is the CEO and designer of a new Web App called Drum Chart Builder that builds one page drum charts for all mobile devices. She has taught clinics at Guitar Center, MTSU, The Percussion and Arts Society International Convention, The SAE Institute, The Musicians Union and TSU. She is a member of ASCAP as a Publisher and Writer, 257 Mu
sicians Union, PAS, Club Cubase and is currently performing The Paint Sisters Band. Liz is endorsed by REMO, Vic Firth Education Program, Louie Bellson, Gary Chaffee, Rich Redmond, Jeff Salem and Lalo Davila. She has been featured in DRUM! Magazine, Tom Tom Magazine Berklee Today.
Liz has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Under the tutelage of Berklee’s finest teachers such as Gary Chaffee, Fusion and Jazz artist, Keith Copeland; Jazz artist, and Fred Budda from the Boston Pops, Liz has grown into a hard working professional musician touring at age 16 and recording her first album at age 19 with the Calliopes Children Steel Band. She is an Award Winning Jingle Writer and a certified K-12 instrumental and vocal instructor.
She is an accomplished and experienced musician who has toured with Stella Parton and performed with Pam Tillis, Charlie Louvin, Walter Egan, The Carnival Cruise Lines and produced The Paint Sisters with John Carter Cash. Today she is still performing and touring with Nashville artists, teaching private lessons and master classes and producing and engineering sessions in Tennessee. Liz has lived here in Nashville for 20 years.
*** Lesson Details *** Expect to have a great experience from your first lesson to your last lesson. I live music every day and like to expose all my students to new and innovative songs and styles that are used in today’s music. I design a practice work flow so my students know how to set up their practice space and the best way to practice what I have shown them. You will see a gradual progression that I create for students to advance their drumming techniques enabling them to play the songs they have always wanted to play. I teach a step by step method to playing the drums and each lesson includes technique skills, reading music skills and learning drum patterns to playing songs. Students will be able to play a simple drum pattern in their first lesson with a song. In 3 months you will see music reading skills greatly improve and a good start on coordination technique skills. In six months the student will be able to read music well and play basic patterns for songs. Coordination and technique skills will have greatly improved. I like to have a music concert for my students once a year at the end of April or the beginning of May in a safe and quite venue which lasts only about an hour. This gives students a performance goal and it’s so much fun.
Liz has been extensively trained in developing music programs for drums and piano students to guide them to becoming successful musicians and accomplishing their musical goals. Her teaching method includes progressive technique study, theory, notation and music reading skills. She teaches beginner to advanced levels in both drums and piano.
*** Studio Equipment *** All drum equipment, CD player, headphones, practice pad, music stands. Total recording capabilities to record your lesson or your drumming to a music track.
*** Travel Equipment *** Books, headphones, ipod with students songs, sticks
*** Specialties *** New technology using Drum Chat Builder and learning how to write out a drum chart of a song. Beginner and advanced Alfred Publishing Drum Books. I use Gary Chaffee methods for teaching beginner to advanced techniques for drumming. Styles Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, Swing. My specialty is teaching my students to chart out a song. It is a proven way for students to play a song with confidence. My students are very successful using this method. I teach this method using my book "How to Write a Fast and Easy Drum Chart" Alfred Publishing to all levels. I teach reading music notation and how to read all drum music and charts when in a professional session.
This is my specialty! I have taught percussion students for over 10yrs now and I love seeing them grow as musicians. From auditioning for an orchestra to learning how to play in 5th grade band, I am ready to help take my students to the next level.
Hey, my name is Jordan M. and I can't wait to play music with you! I've been teaching music since 2005 and have loved helping my students learn to read music, tackle auditions, play at a higher level, and appreciate all sorts of music. I went to The University of Akron and earned a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance and I also have a Bachelors Degree in Music Education. I'm a determined and open minded person and my teaching style is always catered to your learning needs I look forward to meeting you and helping you reach your goals!
Greg Hasselblad August 24, 2015
In studio Verified Student
This is our first time using take lessons and we've had a great experience. Jordan has been easy to work with and has quickly built a rapport with our son. Thomas is excited about his lessons and is learning each time. Highly recommend Jordan.