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 .
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.
Michael D. July 1, 2015
In home Verified Student
He is very patient working with kids! He uses different tools for the kids to understand what he is teaching. Recommend!
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.
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 Cathy
"I took drum lessons from Perry in Phoenix 20 years ago. VERY patient and helpful teacher. You learn at your own pace but he also moves you on to what yo
u can do. Excellent teaching skills. You won't regret taking lessons from him!"
Phoenix, AZ teacher:
Review by Renata
"Fanstastic teacher for my 7-year-old little drummer!
We originally chose Jesse because we found out he could teach just about any instrument and my 7-yea
r-old son wasn't sure about what he wanted to play. On the first class he tried the drums, and he never wanted to let it go. My son is a particularly challenging student because he is highly distractible, and Jesse was extremely patient and very organized/methodic with him, and therefore able to keep him on track. My husband plays in a band, and we both think Jesse is a super talented teacher who offers lessons with a great balance between fun and actual learning of good musical habits. In less that a month my son was feeling confident enough to play in front of the camera and send family members video samples of his new drummer self! We couldn't be happier."
San Jose, CA teacher:
Review by Ha
"If you have been looking for a great drum teacher, Michael is your last stop! He has the ability to communicate with the students and parents and make dr
umming fun. His students response to him very well and enjoy going to weekly lesson. My son started with Michael when he entered 6th grade and is now a Junior playing for Marina HS Marching Band, Drum line, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band. If you have the time and sit in a lesson with your children, you will soon realize that your money is well spent...not a wasted minute in that 1/2 hour lesson."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Justin
"Passionate about drums; reflected in his teaching
Lou took me by surprise after the first few lessons. His preference is to teach the foundation and basi
cally build up from there. This sort of put me off at first because I wanted to learn a specific genre without all the extras that I thought I didn't need. Fortunately, he was able to help me understand that by learning all of the simple rudiments, I can play anything I want. Now, I haven't reached that stage yet, but I have no doubt that I can get there with Lou's help."
Phoenix, AZ teacher:
Review by Grace
"Keith is a wonderful drum teacher full of professional experience. He makes the learning very easy and full of fun. I am a 26 adult with almost no music e
xperience. Keith taught me how to read musical notes as well as how to hold drum sticks. Playing drum with him and learning from him is a very enjoyable experience. Highly recommend!!"
Washington, DC teacher:
Review by Liz
"Fabian is a great teacher and performer! He works well with children and adults of all ages on developing a strong technique, knowledge, and appreciation
of Music. He is versatile in many styles of Music ranging from Rock, Jazz, and Musical Theater. He is very comfortable to work with, and encourages his students to be the best they can be!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Anya
"Jacob does a great job teaching drums to my sons, 6 yrs and 8 yrs. He has a great ability to make the lessons both fun and instructional. He allows time
for exploration and jamming, and also works in techniques and music reading instruction. He regularly checked in with me to see how I thought things were going, and was responsive to any requests I made. My kids love Jacob, and I would not hesitate to recommend him as an excellent teacher!"
San Francisco, CA teacher:
Review by Tony
"Evan is absolutely nothing but awesome. I had the great pleasure of studying with Evan throughout high school and feel very fortunate to had spent the tim
e with him not only behind the drum kit but letting him dig into my inner being finding out what it was I was looking for to get me to be where I wanted to be expressing myself musically at a young age. His fine astute in nuances is what separates him from a musical and personal standpoint compared to others. There's a certain demeanor I learned from studying with Evan, am now twenty nine and feel very fortunate to still be enjoying music and freely expressing myself today from a foundation heavily weighted on what I learned from Evan. I also had the opportunity to attend the PIT program at Musicians Institute after high school and was able to test out of six months of the certificate program due largely to what I learned from Evan. I would certainly not be surprised to find myself coming back to Evan for lessons, I refresh back to a few things frequently from Evan that seem to keep me very grounded and comfortable whether i'm playing soft music or playing more aggressively with rock music still today and some things I know are so ingrained I can't even dig them out. It was truly an honor studying with Evan."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Melissa
"My son (8 years old) loves taking drum lessons from Carmen. She's been teaching him in group and private lessons since he was 5 years old. She gives him f
un songs to learn and listens to him when he has special requests. She is very skilled, patient and fun and has kid-friendly ways of explaining difficult music theory and structure. He is always excited to go to his lesson (even when he hasn't practiced) because he knows Carmen will give him support and help him to develop better practice skills."