- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I am always thorough about teaching my students the basics: understanding proper technique, dynamics, and timing. I teach my students to play to a metronome, read music and rhythms, play songs, and play along with other live musicians. I specialize in many various genres of music including funk, rock, pop, hip-hop, prog, and metal. Over time, you will learn to play like the professionals that inspire you.
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- August 2013
Hello, my name is Dennis Willoner.
Music and art have always been a huge part of my life. I have been playing drums for 15 years and have been teaching for 7. I grew up learning to play drums from a private instructor, and have been studying on my own ever since. I have played in many bands in my music career and have also tracked drums in studios for local artists. Today, I currently work at School of Rock in Palo Alto as a private and group instructor, and play in a professional band called Constructs.
I have been drawing ever since I can remember. I mostly draw realistically, but also like to get on the creative side. I enjoy drawing faces and people the most out of any subject. After learning so much about art, the world can be viewed in a complete other perspective.
I teach students to play the songs they know and love with other musicians as they learn how to play in a group setting. These songs are rehearsed for multiple months overtime, ending with a stage performance for all their parents and friends.
I have been wanting to learn drawing since I was a kid. Had a few years of drawing when I was a kid and then haven't touched in a long time. When I rekindled my interest to learn, I came across Dennis.
Honestly, the reason why I chose Dennis was because he provided at-home classes and that would avoid the hassle of me having to travel. The first few classes were more of me and him warming up to each other, as I am sure he also found me different.
He comes with all the necessary equipment and spends a few minutes giving you some basics of the stuff we are going to do that day. Then he leaves you to draw while he also draws the same. He glances once in a while at your sheet and gives you very subtle feedback. If you have missed something, he will just try to nudge you in the right direction with minor comments like "Don't you think, these are of the same darkness?, There may be more highlights in this area or the mid tones here and here are of the same darkness. etc.". He never touches your paper, but only guides you.
Sometimes when some focus is needed (for example on the eyes), he will tell you the technique involved in depth and we did one full class just doing eyes, one full class on hair.
It was a little frustrating initially for me as I was not used to the teaching technique, and now I see the point. The first drawing itself turned out be much much better than I had anticipated it to be and he hasn't touched my paper till now - so this drawing is fully mine.
You can also continue drawing and send work via text message to him. You almos t always get detailed instant feedback. The only thing is, I haven't been very diligent in doing drawings due to lack of free time. So once a week for an hour is what I do.
He also spends extra time sometimes so that he can take the drawing to a logical point, sometimes even beyond 1.5 hrs though my session is for an hour each. That shows the commitment he has to his students.
I believe my work will improve as this course continues. We have had about 6 classes and I am already seeing the difference. A long way to go, but the first steps have been right - most of it due to Dennis and his method of teaching. I would say more than teaching, it is a method of mentoring where the hand holding is done in a unique way.
Dennis is a congenial, knowledgeable, and engaging instructor. It's been a rewarding learning experience.
Great instructor: friendly and patient, clear guidance and fun process
He's an experienced drummer and a good teacher. It helps that we have similar tastes in music.