Donald Skoog

Donald S.

Oak Park, IL

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Donald teaches



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

Teaching since:
January 1976

Don Skoog is an independent musician, teacher, and writer who lives in Oak Park, Illinois. He performs on drumset, Latin percussion, marimba, and Flamenco cajón. His teachers include James Dutton,Vida Chenoweth, Gordon Stout, Karl Husa, Roberto Vizcaino, José Eladio, Rich Gajate Garcia, and Alejandro Carvajal. He has taught percussion at The American Conservatory of Music, Sherwood Music School, and The Contemporary Music Project, which he founded in 1984.


Jan 1980 - Present
The Contemporary Music Project

Mr. Skoog has given performances and demonstrations on marimba, drumset, or batá at Northwestern University, Valparaiso University, Vandercook College, Kansas State University, Colorado State University, The Nashville Jazz Workshop, and the PAS Illinois Day of Percussion, as well as hundreds of presentations in grade and high schools through The International Music Foundation. He was Lead Artist for The Gallery 37 Latin Big Band from 1993 to 2002, and has traveled to Cuba many times to study and conduct tours.

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Music performance
Sep 1980 - Jun 1981
Ithaca College
Music performance
Sep 1975 - Jun 1980
American Conservatory of Music


Limited Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


Percussive Arts Society, The
Jan 1999

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.

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Photos & Videos

Rumba Drumming at The Contemporary Music Project
Conga Lessons at CMP.

Batá Drumming with my students at the CMP studio.
Arabic Drumming in the CMP Studio.
Don playing drums

Don on Drums 2


8 Reviews

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Ronald N. Aug 6, 2016
Hand Drums · In home

Patient,knowledgable,and funny.

Ronald N. Aug 6, 2016
Drum · In studio

Patient,knowledgeable and funny.

Ethan K. Jan 22, 2016
Drum · In studio

The lesson was excellent. Im sure my son is going to learn alot and further develop his love of music.

pete mckay Nov 20, 2015
Hand Drums · In home

Don goes beyond book learning and emphasizes putting the learning experience into playing. He shows how to overcome obstacles that all of us experience when learning a instrument .He wants learning to be fun .He provides us with opportunities to practice what we've learned in the percussion ensemble or with other teachers from Cuba.What separates Don from other teachers is that he cares about all his students and gives us support .He inspires his students to play better and be happy. He always wants you to be happy and smiling after the lesson session regardless of your day previously .

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Tim Nov 18, 2015
Hand Drums · In studio

I have been studying with Don for many years now, primarily bata and conga. Don has had a strong positive impact not only on my playing but on my life. I am a math teacher and I can say with confidence that the most important things a teacher can do are to impart a love of the topic to his or her students, to develop a drive to explore the topic in ever greater depth, and to provide the expertise, patience, and honest evaluation necessary to help each student to push the edge of his or her abilities. Don helped me to overcome some of the fears and frustrations that were thwarting my development as a drummer. Don taught me to listen. I love drumming more than I ever did before. I have more confidence in my ability to meet challenges, to gradually achieve things that are very difficult for me. The greatest joy I have in playing is in interacting with other musicians. That is a lot more fun than just playing drums in my basement. Don creates a community of musicians. I thank Don for opening my ears to a world of amazing music. I teach my students not to fear failure, not to fear making mistakes (although to be aware enough not to make the same mistake repeatedly) I wasn't taking my own lesson to heart. Don made that lesson real for me and I've made more progress in my playing this past year than ever before. I wholeheartedly recommend Don as a teacher. He is what a teacher, any sort of teacher, should be.

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Mark Nov 17, 2015
Drum · In studio

I am a middle age, over 50 person, that decided to take up an instrument (plus amazing support from my wife). I chose the drums so I could be in a band with my wife and a few friends. Don has been a truely interesting, inspiring and encouraging instructor. I credit my continued interest in lessons to his patience and approach to each student as unique; and he weekly finds a way for me to connect to the music I am learning. Lessons are a bright light in my week and I am now "listening" to all music in a way I had never before. Thank you Dan and looking forward to many years of learning!

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John Nov 16, 2015
Hand Drums · In studio

I have been studying with Don for about 4 years. First of all Don is a great teacher. He understands his students needs and caters to what they need to work on in order to reach their musical goals. You are not just a number to Don. He is going to sit you down figure out where your weaknesses are and he will help you through them one by one. A lot of teachers just throw material at you and say learns this, however, with Don, you are an individual, and will be treated as a unique case

Secondly, Don's knowledge of drums goes very, very, very deep. His knowledge of Drum Set and Afro-Cuban hand drumming is second to none in the Chicagoland area. He has a method for teaching these very complex drumming styles that is fun, challenging and very effective. Like I said he has a very systematic way of teaching these types of styles. Latin styles are not easy to teach and that is why his excellence as a pure teacher was mentioned first. If you want to learn the art of drumming go to Don he will not lead you astray.

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Jessica Nov 16, 2015
Hand Drums · In studio

Don is an excellent teacher! He works one-on-one to discover your level of learning and advancement and provides resources to improve your playing- materials, opportunities to play in ensemble, and be a part of a music community with fellow students. Students partake not only in performance opportunities in the community, but also get the chance to travel throughout the world to study music- Cuba, Puerto Rico, Morocco to name a few. I highly recommend Don Skoog as a percussion teacher, at any level of playing ability.

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