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.
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 .
Alya T. May 1, 2015
In home Verified Student
Thomas is a very gifted teacher. Our daughter enjoys her lessons with him a lot.
She used to be very concerned about making mistakes and he helped her to overcome that. His teaching style is fun and motivating. It feels like having a weekly chamber concert in our home. He often accompanies her with his guitar or violin which motivates her tremendously.
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've been performing for 10 years with drums. It's my passion instrument. It's what I wanted to play when i was a kid.
I am a 20 year musician with 11 years teaching experience. Born and raised in New York City, I attended Laguardia high school for music and art and afterward Queens College majoring in music. My main instruments are Clarinet, Drums, and Saxophone, but i also have a strong background in Piano, Trumpet, and Flute. I've taken private music lessons for the past 15 years with world class musicians, among them David Weber and Howard Hirsch. I've performed in every major concert hall in New York City, including Carnegie Hall when i was only 11 years old. I performed alongside many famous musicians, i
ncluding the late Tito Puente.
*** Lesson Details *** My teaching includes all aspects of music; Musical theory, sight singing, as well as Music History. My teaching style allows the child to have fun while they learn their instrument, but I emphasize a strong practice regiment. Your child will understand that while learning music and an instrument can be fun, there will be some work involved if they want to become great. I usually use either the Alfred or Rubank method books to supplement a curriculum that I tailor make for each individual student. Any question or confusion a student has about anything during the lesson will be explained in detail and dealt with until he/she understands the concept. I've had many students pass all levels of the ABRSM and NYSSMA exams as well as receive academic scholarships for musical excellence.
*** Studio Equipment *** Lessons in the living room, drums set, piano,
*** Travel Equipment *** I require that students buy the books I suggest, but if it is necessary, I can provide photocopies of pages from the books that I own. I also require my students to provide all writing equipment.
*** Specialties *** all methods and styles. I've played clarinet and saxophone for orchestras, symphonic bands, and jazz bands. I've played drums for jazz, rock, and acoustic sets.
Anthony C. September 5, 2014
In studio Verified Student
DAVE is a great teacher and has been very patient and knowledgeable with my son. My son looks forward to seeing Dave every week and we have only been going for 3 lessons. I would recommend Dave to anyone as he always greets us with a smile!
Adrienne R. November 22, 2013
Always leave with new insight
I always feel he listens very closely to my frustrations and has a keen sense of where I am willing to take the next step of learning. He will never hold back but give great examples of where you can be and shows you exercises that bring those instant gratifying moments into the practice.
Sam T. May 15, 2013
Drum Verified Student
Excellent drum instructor.
David is a great drum instructor .He is really passionate about teaching and cares a lot about students improvement in drumming skills.
He worked to improve my weakness which was play-along songs ,back beats and timing.He makes the learning beats easy. I am still learning and practicing to be better in drums.I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to learn the basics of drumming and improve his or her drumming skills.
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...
Students are raving about their Drum instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Ilan
"Murray is a dedicated and a serious teacher. Very enthusiastic and really good with children. He is extremely professional. I highly recommend him as a
Baltimore, MD teacher:
Review by Regina
"Excellent with kids
We've been very pleased with Camilo's work with our son so far. It's obvious he has worked with kids before and he really knows how t
o keep a 4-yr-old's attention. He was able to get my son to play a pattern during the first lesson! Camilo is very patient and kind and my son looks forward to his lessons. They learn through playing little games, which is a great technique for teaching very young children. My son's sense of rhythm is becoming more precise from the lessons and he is paying more attention to following fast and slow tempos. Can't ask for much more than this! Highly recommend Camilo as a teacher!"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Brian
Often an accomplished musician might not make the best teacher. Matthew, however, is both an outstanding teacher and musician. The so
n 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."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Sheila
"Professional Teacher That Goes Extra Mile
Tim is an excellent teacher for my son. It is wonderful to have a teacher that is willing to meet the needs of
the student instead of imposing their agenda on the student. An example of that is finding out what kind of music my son wanted to play and tailoring the lessons for that genre. This even included looking up music to bring to the lesson for a song that my son wanted to learn to play. Tim is able to explain new concepts well and can adapt his teaching to something different when a concept is not being grasp by the student. He is an excellent choice for us!"
Sacramento, CA teacher:
Review by Maggie
"Great teacher in a great environment!
Ben has been teaching my son Jack for the last seven months. Jack leaves each lesson with more excitement for the d
rums than the previous week. Ben's enthusiasm for music is infectious! Jack has improved tremendously since initially starting lessons with Ben. Each lesson is structured very methodically and he gives a very well rounded approach, covering rudiments, music theory, and drumset studies. I would recommend Ben for anyone interested in taking drum lessons."
San Francisco, CA teacher:
Review by Lynette
"An excited learning experience
I have had lessons for a month with Billy, and will continue to study with him in future. He is an excellent teacher. Noth
ing to neat pick, everything is just amazing. He taught every single details of what I should know about drumming, recommended a really helpful textbook to me, and even helped to make my practice a great fun other than a dull work for a beginner. I really appreciate those. If someone is expecting to have an effective and pleasing learning experience, just go ahead try to work with Billy. It is absolutely worth the time and effort. Hope that'd be helpful."
Minneapolis, MN teacher:
Review by Maggie
"Sam is terrific teacher. He's been working with our 8-year-old boy for just a short time, but in that time, our son has made amazing progress. Sam's le
ssons are well-structured, but he lets our son choose the songs he wants to learn. He also makes each lesson fun and is good at adapting if our son finds something easier or more challenging than expected. Sam is also really nice to work with-- professional, punctual, and courteous. We all highly recommend him."
Charlottesville, VA teacher:
Review by art
"John is an excellent teacher. My 7 yr old son has greatly improved in a short amount of time. Sorry to see John move, but hoping the best for him and his
family in there new endeavors."
Raleigh, NC teacher:
Review by Sophie
"I've had Matt as my instructor for over 2 years, and I absolutely love his lessons! I'm always learning new things. He asks that you practice and work har
d each week, but then we also play songs that I like too! He has a cool drum set at his house : ) I started with Matt when I got into 6th grade band, but I didn't really know how to play drums. He helped me learn music and helped me study and get ready for concerts. Now I play drums in marching band and jazz ensemble and I want to play in high school too. Matt's a really good teacher : )