I have been playing drums since I was 10 years old. I loved playing drums so much that it became my life work. I was so advanced at an early age that I began giving lessons and teaching drum line when I was 13. I joined my first professional rock band at 15, and I have been playing and teaching music ever since.
I was fortunate to play in one the worlds top drum and bugle corps, the Santa Clara Vanguard, I also studied Jazz from the area's top jazz drummer, Dick Carlo, who was a student of Joe Morello. My technique is a unique combination of Jazz, Orchestral, and Rudimental styles. The luckiest part of my education was that I went to Lynbrook High School, which had the top concert band in the California. This is where I learned to play concert and orchestra music, and I learned about style, and musicianship.
By the time I should have gone to college I was so busy working as a musician and teaching that I could only go part time. I attended De Anza Jr College where I played in the Big Bands under the direction of Dr Herb Patnoe, who ran the Stan Kenton summer music camps for years. He was a great educator, and jazz musician. Latter around 1979 I studied privately with Narada Michael Walden, who played with The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Jeff Beck, and many other great Fusion bands.
This sums up my formal education. The other part of my education that I have to share with my students is 41 years of professional playing. Unlike most teachers and musicians, I have a very broad background. I played in rock 'n roll bands from 1970 to 2001. I have also played in jazz bands, casual bands, many different ethnic bands (Irish, Philippine, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, German, Mexican). I played in show bands at Marriotts Great America for 3 years, I was the principal percussionist for the San Jose Municipal Band for 14 years. From 2002 till 2011 I only played Opera, Symphony and Musical Theater in the San Francisco Bay area.
In 2005 I received my BA in Music Education from Sonoma State, and latter earned a California teachers Credential. I also have an Oregon Teachers License.
Besides drums and percussion, I have played trumpet, flute, piano, bass and guitar since I was in high school. While in college I also learned Alto Sax, Clarinet, French Horn, Trombone and Baritone. As a school teacher I am qualified to teach all of these instruments, but I have the most experience with Flute, and trumpet. I can take beginners on all of these instruments. I have also been a choir director, and musical director for the Raven Theater. I teach basic singing technique and pop, choral and Broadway styles.
During the 1990's I worked with Mark Wilson of Five Star Music fame at the Sunnyvale Guitar School. We developed a play along program for our students which includes guitar, bass and drums. I also have a Rock 'n Roll program for young bands and musicians that includes Blues and Classic Rock music.
Yea, I know it's a lot to take in. As you can see I have always been playing at a top level where ever I go. And I have done so much it is even hard for me to remember everything I have done. But what ever your needs are, I can help you achieve your goals. My experience makes my qualified to teach college percussionists, yet I am still very comfortable with beginners and very young students. I have taught in public schools for 8 years now, and I even teach kindergarten and preschool students.
Currently, I am the music teacher at M.I.T.C.H. Charter School in Tualatin. I am a percussionist with the Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band. I play drum set with Blackbird (a Beatles cover band) and Jazz Drums with Dan Crothers.
*** Lesson Details ***
For drum students who want to play in school band and marching band, you will need to learn to read music and develop the best technique possible. This area is my specialty. Over the years I have had dozens of students make county honor band. 3 students placed first chair in California State Honor Band. One made the National Marching band, and one came in second in the world at college level jazz drum set (IAJE).
How do I do it? I have written my own books; Chops Busters for the Snare Drum, Solo Music and Progressive Reading, both for the snare drum. Complete Studies for the Drum Set (volumes I and II), The Hand Drum Hand Book and The Healing Drum. I wrote these from 1980 through 1994, when I began publishing them. I spent over a dozen years writing and rewriting, doing research and development. I think all of my award winning students validate the success of my program.
For those of you who want to play the drum set, but not take formal type of lessons, I have a program for you too. It starts with the basics of learning a little technique, then various beats on the drum set, and even some fills. Soon we start to work on playing songs. I play guitar or bass to give you that feel of playing with other musicians. We can even put you together with other students to practice songs and play with students at your level. You can also invite your friends to sign up on guitar and bass, and start your own band.
Guitar and bass students, I use all of the material from Five Star Music. there are about a dozen books and CDs to choose from. We start with the blues, which is the foundation of rock, country and jazz, and branch out out into the directions you want to go. Learn chords, melodies, and how to solo using the blues scale.
Wind instruments will use one of the popular band method books. If you already have a book or know what your school band director wants you to have, we will use that. We will also learn scales and other exercises, and songs from other sources.
Vocalists will start with basic warm up exercises and scales. We work on intonation and tone development. Songs and styles will mostly be your choice, but I might suggest some songs to help you achieve a certain goal.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Dedicated music studio; guitar, bass, PA, piano, 5 piece drum set, vibes, hand drums, has a waiting room for parents too.
*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.Drum set; all styles of Rock Jazz, Latin. Grooves and fills and solos.
Timpani, mallet percussion, and hand drums,
For snare drum I teach the finest technique available, also reading and style.
Guitar and bass: blues, rock classics, oldies, country.
winds: school band methods
Taught drums & percussion from my home studio in Santa Rosa, CA
Taught out of my own studio. Drum set, snare drum. Hand drums. Healing Drum circle class. Performance classes. Also taught bass, trumpet, flute & piano. San Jose CA
Marching drum line during football season. Percussion ensemble in spring. 4 Time 1st place/command performance at California Solo Ensemble Competitions.
Teaching drum set, snare drum, reading , technique, recording techniques. Cupertino CA
Teaching reading, rudiments, snare drum, drum set.
Currently initial II.
State teachers license. Student teaching.
Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.
· Singing ·
I'm not a Spring Chicken and it's my first shot at singing lessons. . . A challenge for any singing teacher, I'm sure. But, Curtis is patient, encouraging and very knowledgeable. This is turning out to be a very good experience and I thank Curtis for making it so.
This is my very first time taking lessons for any musical instrument, and I feel I'm learning a great deal and I'm excited to keep going, Curtis has been a geat teacher.
I am really enjoying the lessons and feel like I am learning a lot. Curtis is a fun teacher.