Davy Sumner

Davy S.

Pasadena, CA

Lesson Details



Davy delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
January 2009

I am a full time percussionist, composer, installation artist, and recording engineer in Los Angeles and Eau Claire, WI!

I have an MFA in Music Composition/Experimental Sound Practices from CalArts in Los Angeles, and a BFA in Percussion and Music Composition from the university of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

I have worked with Grammy-winning artists Justin Vernon, Sean Carey, and Rob Moose, have performed at REDCAT (LA), the Milwaukee Sculpture Garden (WI), The Cedar Cultural Center (MN), and have played for composers Michael Pisaro, Amy Knoles, and more!

In addition to my work as a freelance music teacher and musician, I am the Lead Fellow for the CalArts AmeriCorps Saturday program at CalArts in Valencia. I oversee 10 CalArts Student instructors, teach music theory, composition, and electronic music, and work with students and parents to culminate our academic year with a massive outdoor concert in CalArts' Wild Beast Concert Hall!

Please visit davysumner.com to check out more of my original work and collaborations with other artists!

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AmeriCorps Lead Fellow
Sep 2016 - Present
CalArts & AmeriCorps

As an AmeriCorps lead fellow, I direct the CalArts Saturday Music Program. I oversee student instructors, teach classes in music composition, music theory, and electronic music, and prepare middle school and high school students for a culmination concert each year!

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Music Theory TA
Sep 2014 - Present

Teach and tutor undergraduate music majors in music theory.

Electronics Lab Graduate Assistant
Sep 2014 - May 2016

As a graduate assistant, I coached CalArts undergrad and grad students on circuit building, electronic music, soldering, and analog and digital fabrication techniques.

Digital Fabrication TA
Sep 2015 - Dec 2015

As the DigiFab TA, I assisted technical director Michael Darling in the instruction and realization of analog and digital fabrication projects.

Lesson Instructor
Jul 2013 - Aug 2014
Eau Claire Music School

Taught private percussion, composition, drum set, and music theory lessons.


MFA: Music Composition & Experimental Sound Practices
Sep 2014 - Present
California Institute of the Arts
Bachelor's of Music Composition
Sep 2009 - May 2013
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


May 2013
UW-Eau Claire


Segal Education Award
Sep 2017


American Composers Forum
Sep 2014

The American Composers Forum enriches lives by nurturing the creative spirit of composers and communities. We provide new opportunities for composers and their music to flourish, and engage communities in the creation, performance and enjoyment of new music.

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Photos & Videos

Photo by Davy S.
Arco Session with The Farewell Circuit I arranged the music for and produced.
An Arco Session I arranged the music for, produced, and played marimba on.
Photo from "The Arco Sessions" featuring hip hop/rap artist Astronautalis. I arranged and produced this session!

Photo by Davy S.

Photo by Davy S.

Photo by Davy S.

Taking a break while working on a record with Pete Donnelly (The Figgs) in North Shore, Maryland in July 2014.

A video from the Arco Sessions!
I arranged all the music, and produced the video and recording.

10 Reviews

Write a Review
Johanna Dec 15, 2016
Piano · In home


Lisa P. May 6, 2016
Piano · In home

Davy is a exceptional teacher and very patience and understanding with me.

Bailey D. Mar 2, 2016
Piano · In home

Great teacher. Davy is patient and easy-going. Absolutely fabulous. My daughter is looking forward to more lessons.

Michelle M. Sep 28, 2014
Drum · In studio

Davy taught my 8 year old son this past summer. He is kind and patient, and excellent at explaining things. My son and I were both very happy with him and would recommend him to students of all ages.

margaret K. Sep 24, 2014
Drum · In home

Dave taught drums to my son for about 2-3 years. He always had a very positive and reassuring style which always made drum lessons a time to look forward to and feel successful about. My son was a beginner and he has mild autism with learning disabilities and fine motor delays. Dave was able to figure out how to work with these issues and help my kid realize his dream of playing drums. Dave also became his buddy and we really miss him since he moved away.

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Ruth P. Sep 18, 2014
Drum · In studio

I took drum lessons when I was 15. I decided now, at age 66, to take lessons again. I plan on playing in our church's Praise Team Band.
Davy easily assessed my level of knowledge and started from there. Each lesson started with things that I wanted to learn. He then rounded the lesson out with the things he could see I needed to know. Davy understands people very well. He also has a great talent for music.

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Andrew H. Sep 7, 2014
Arrangement and Composition · In studio

I decided to work with Davy to help improve my music. I am 22 and make Electronic/Hip-Hop music using mostly Ableton. I never had much formal training besides odd bits of classes I could take and about two years of learning from books and videos online. Davy quickly assessed my skill level and began reinforcing basics and introducing me to new ideas.

We worked on analyzing some of my previous music along with other popular tracks and composed some new works. Davy's breadth of music knowledge taught me a wide range of things. Having been self taught I had a diverse amount of knowledge with many holes in it and he helped fill the gaps.

Davy does a great job and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to grow.

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Christy B. Sep 5, 2014
Percussion · In studio

My son started drum lessons at age 8. He became very frustrated and wanted to quit with his first instructor. I convinced him to try it again with Davy. Davy is an outstanding teacher. He is very patient and calm. My son immediately felt comfortable with him and his teaching style. He only pushed him when he was ready. He made learning the drums fun and exciting. He communicates well with parents and students. I would highly recommend Davy as an instructor.

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Dave L. Aug 29, 2014
Drum · In studio

My 12 year old boy took beginning drum lessons from Davy and enjoyed his teaching very much. I observed lessons once and was impressed at how easily and age appropriately Davy communicated with my son. I would not hesitate to recommend him for drum lessons.

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Clarke B. Aug 25, 2014
Drum · In home

This is a test review!

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