Not only do I love chess and running marathons, but I also have three degrees in drums and percussion (Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate). I have ten years experience as a performer (including playing drums on a Grammy nominated album) with orchestras, touring big bands (Jimmy Dorsey, Five-By-Design), professional productions (Carnival Cruise Lines, amusement parks), jazz artists, and rock bands. I have also toured solo as a classical marimbist. Although I have a strong foundation in rudimental and jazz drumming, I also have roots in West African drumming, Cuban and Brazilian styles, and polka.
I have taught percussion lessons, percussion classes for band directors, jazz ensembles, percussion ensembles, and drum lines at Kansas State University, The University of Southern Mississippi, The University of Wisconsin Stout, San Diego State University, San Diego Christian College, and the University of California at San Diego, as well as dozens of high schools. I love all things percussion related, including the history of the instruments and their performance techniques.
Although I was raised in Wisconsin, I relocated to my city of birth (San Diego) in September of 2010.
*** Lesson Details ***
As a teacher, my goal is to provide a positive hands-on experience. Each lesson experience is tailored to the unique goals of the student. I strive to create an environment where percussion is enjoyed and explored, teaching in an exciting, fun, and passionate mode. I am not strict, and have a strong sense of humor - although I do expect the students to practice. I have an extremely optimistic and energetic disposition! This has always served me very well in working with beginners, and my expertise can turn an advanced and experienced drummer into a true artist.
Required books and materials will vary based on the students goals and area of study. A beginner might be expected to purchase Alfred's Beginner Drum Method, a practice pad, and a pair of sticks. Depending on the student there may be no books at all!
While a high school drummer looking to advance in drum line or make drum corps tryouts might be working on more advanced stick control, rudimental combination, or solo literature, a beginning drum student will start with the fundamentals of stroke, rhythm, and rudiments. If the student is part of a school music program, or is beginning on mallet percussion, they will develop a strong foundation of scales, key signatures, and reading ability. After 6 months they will, among other things, be able to sight read beginner music, properly execute at least a handful of drum rudiments, properly execute a roll, and understand a little about the history of their instrument.
A student interested in jazz drum set might develop a highly advanced level of coordination, advanced concepts of soloing and timekeeping, or their understanding of the fundamentals of jazz music (or all of the above!). Often this occurs through guided transcription and listening.
Students looking to prepare for a potential college audition, or who are looking to become better well-rounded percussionists will be offered guidance on vibraphone, marimba, orchestral excerpts, solo literature, drum set, marching percussion, and hand percussion. These students are very welcome in my studio, and will find studying with me to be challenging, rewarding, and fun. Having auditioned students into college percussion studios and assisted in recommending scholarships, I know just what the folks on the other side of the table will want.
I consider it my responsibility to help encourage, motivate, and inspire as well!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Equipment at my studio includes marimba, xylophone, two drum sets, small percussion instruments, timbales, tambourine (orchestral), triangles, drum pads, snare drum, shakers, tabla, vibraslaps, cowbells, jam-blocks, bongos, cajon, and more!
*** Travel Equipment ***
If I travel to the home of a student, I expect them to have all necessary equipment (i.e. drum set, snare drum, drum pad, vibraphone, marimba. . . whatever the lesson calls for based on their goals and interests).
*** Specialties ***
Excellent drum set instruction, excellent marching percussion/drum line instruction, all classical percussion (including solo marimba, solo vibraphone, orchestral percussion), jazz drum set, jazz vibes, and solo multiple percussion. I have a fun and practical approach for young students, and I emphasize strong foundations in rudiments, stick and mallet technique, and music reading - although I adapt to suit the needs of every individual student. Advanced drummers will also find studying with me to be challenging and rewarding.
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The National Band Association, founded on September 11, 1960, is the largest professional organization for bands in the world. It was organized for the purpose of promoting the musical and educational significance of bands and is dedicated to the attainment of a high level of excellence for bands and band music. NBA is an organization open to anyone and everyone interested in bands, regardless of the length of experience, type of position held, or the specific level at which one works. The membership roster includes men and women from every facet of the band world. NBA is today’s professional organization for band directors, and it stands ready to serve all members of the association through a variety of projects and initiatives.
We offer students and professionals opportunities to grow artistically and professionally. Students can learn have a music industry experience through the PAS Internship program or apply to receive a PAS scholarship or grant. Professionals can create new percussion programs or gain recognition through PAS grants and contests. Many individuals have significantly impacted the world of percussion through the Percussive Arts Society and they are recognized in our Hall of Fame and Awards pages.
Verified Student · Drum · In studio
Verified Student · Percussion ·
I really enjoyed taking lessons from David. Unfortunately I had to take short break as we are expecting a new baby, but I will go back to taking percussion lessons from him as soon as I get a chance...He is very professional, very patient, and truly invests in you. He also adjusts his teaching approach based on your learning style to make the lessons much more efficient. Thank you David...
Verified Student · Drum ·
I took lessons from David for several months. In a few words, David is legit. He knows what he is talking about. Note that the 5 star ratings across the board are not because of my laziness, but are an accurate representation. His knowledge about drumming and percussion in general, both in theory and practice, is so vast. He has a lot of academic and real-life experience. He teaches at SDSU, and I've seen one of his recitals there, which was pretty awesome.
I had wanted to learn the fundamentals of drumming, and how to practice. He fully appreciated this, and gave me good approaches for establishing a good foundation and developing good technique. He also stresses the importance of musicality and of feeling the music and letting that come out in your playing. He knows this, and he strikes a good balance between having fundamentals and having a good time.
One little cool thing is that he also encourages his students to record their lessons (e.g., on their cell phones) and review them. This has helped me a lot because I don't always remember things later. He sometimes also plays during the lesson, which helps to guide and inspire.
I have met at least 5 of his students, and they represent a range of ages and skills.
David is good-natured, friendly, and forthright. Last but not least, he's got dope beats on lock, if you're into that.
Do not hesitate to take lesssons from David.
Verified Student · Drum ·
As a self taught drummer with no prior instruction, I came into my lessons wanting to learn the fundamentals; and David was perfect for what I wanted to accomplish! He understood where I was at in my skill level, understood how I wanted to improve and knew how to get me there. Trough his instruction, I was able to mend what I already knew with new (to me) concepts to give me a complete understanding of percussion and it's role in music.
I felt that his lessons were catered specifically for me, and every week I looked forward to my lessons with him because he's fun, passionate and very knowledgeable. I would highly, highly recommend David for any level of drum Instruction!
He has always passion and my son really like David's lessons.My son is lucky that he could meet with wonderful instructor.
I've been taking drum lessons from David for a couple months now, and it has been a great experience! David is personable, professional, and in the short amount of time that I have taken lessons, I feel very comfortable at the drum set! He has tailored the lessons to what I want to accomplish and I always look forward to my weekly lesson. I highly recommend David to potential students of all ages. He knows his stuff, and know hows to teach it in a way that is easy to understand, relatable, and encouraging! Thanks, David!
Mr. Whitman is a talented musician and extremely patient instructor.I learned so much in only a few classes I've taken with him, I recommend Mr. Whitman to anyone who wants to learn percussions in a friendly and professional atmosphere.