John Celentano

John C.

Long Island City, NY

About John C.

John teaches: Ages 4 and up
Teaching since: January 2007
Last sign in: 3 days ago


I started playing drums in my parents' basement when I was 9 years old. It was just me, a stereo, and a bunch of cardboard boxes I made into my first drumset. Every day, I listened to to my favorite songs over and over again to figure out how to play them. To me, there was nothing more awesome in the world than music.

Since then my musical journey has taken me far and wide. I've studied percussion and composition with world class teachers, toured Europe, composed music for commercials, co-written award winning songs, and performed with a variety of artists at such venues as the Hard Rock Cafe, BB King's, World Cafe, 55 Bar, The Living Room, The Bitter End, Shrine, Rockwood Music Hall, and many others. And the one thing that hasn't changed? I'm still totally in awe of it all.

These experiences have helped me to create my own style of teaching that's tailored to each student, whether they want to learn music purely for the enjoyment of it, or take their studies further. Sharing my knowledge and life experience with people is a great feeling. I really enjoy teaching -- In fact, I've learned just as much from teaching my students as they've learned from me.

I continue to perform, teach, and compose original music in New York City with my wife and two pianos.

My Education/Credits: Percussion, Berklee College of Music / Masters in Classical Composition from Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College.

*** Lesson Details ***
Learning to play an instrument begins with loving music!

The first question I ask a new student is: "What makes you want to play an instrument?". Some people want to play rock, others pop, and others have many different interests, but it all begins with a love for music.

I teach my students to play their favorite songs right from the start. I believe that when you learn music by figuring it out on your own -- by learning to listen -- you gain something very valuable that you can take with you no matter what your musical goals are.

I'm not a strict teacher, but I believe in being disciplined when it comes to the fundamentals. If you have good technique, it frees you to play anything you want to play.

In a typical hour-long lesson, my beginning students spend from 10-30 minutes on the fundamentals, depending on how much time the student has to practice at home. The rest of the lesson is spent applying what we've learned.

It usually takes just a few months before they're ready to play a song! I also teach students how to play in a band and encourage them to perform with other musicians as soon as possible.

In addition to being a drummer/percussionist, I am a classically trained composer with a background in piano. I teach beginning piano to students who are interested in playing classical music. I also teach music appreciation, theory, analysis and composition to students who want to delve deeper into the world of classical music.

Most importantly -- whether it's drums, piano, or anything else -- I teach in a relaxed atmosphere. Lots of people are nervous about playing a new instrument, and help them to turn that energy into confidence. Once you start performing, everything becomes easier and more fun!

*** Studio Equipment ***
I teach these instruments/subjects at these locations:

Astoria Soundworks,
LIC Teaching Studio

Underground Studios,
Astoria Soundworks,
LIC Teaching Studio


*** Travel Equipment ***
I teach these instruments/subjects at these locations:

Astoria Soundworks,
LIC Teaching Studio

Underground Studios,
Astoria Soundworks,
LIC Teaching Studio


*** Specialties ***
Rock, funk, R&B, pop, and many other styles of music on drumset, classical and latin percussion, and classical piano and composition.

Photos and Videos

I'm a drum instructor, and this is a video about my teaching style. I'm firm believer in the fact that learning to play music can and should be challenging, fun, inspiring, and rewarding. I've developed a well-rounded teaching method that begins with music fundamentals, showing students how to play songs from their very first lesson. Lessons include technique, reading, and traditional drumming techniques of all styles from classical to rock, and they're customized to each student, because everyone -- from the young to not-so-young -- relates to music differently.


Master of Arts in Composition, Percussion Studies

Aug 1995 - Jun 1998
Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Composition, Minor in Film

Jan 1991 - May 1993
C.W. Post, Long Island University


Sep 1990 - Dec 1990
Berklee College of Music

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency
Write a Review

4 Reviews on John C.

Tommy R. May 21, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John is very patient and a great teacher!
Eunice G. Dec 22, 2014
Piano · In home
Verified Student
John is a very good piano teacher. He challenges me and is not strict. He has been teaching me about chords and he is making sure that I understand it every step of the way. As we have been going on, we have been playing tougher and tougher pieces while piano is getting easier and easier for me.
(From: Abraham, 11 yrs old, a student of John since Oct. 2013)

He's a great piano teacher. John knows what to do every time I have a song. He knows things if I don't know the answer. He describes the answer to make me understand.
(From: Noah, 8 yrs old, a student of John since Oct. 2013)
Ivana H. Mar 9, 2014
Verified Student
Excellent teacher

John is a fantastic teacher. He is very patient with my 12 year old, knows how to explain things to him and always makes the lessons a lot of fun even though my son is not always easy to deal with. We have stuck with John for more then two years now and we are happy he has stuck with us. Thanks to him, my son has made significant progress with the piano, the basics of music theory and general musical appreciation.
davidc Aug 21, 2011

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