My name is Lou S., and I come from a family of Drummers. My Father was a Master Drum Instructor and taught my Uncle, Brother, me and over 2800 other students in a teaching career that spanned more than 40 years.
As the youngest in the family I had the opportunity to learn from my Dad as well as my other family members. My structured lessons started at the age of 5 and by the time I reached high school I was booking my own band and performing weekly at local clubs and events.
There was a certain amount of pressure growing up in this environment. After all, if you’re the teacher’s kid, you’re expected to be good, right? This is true, but the way my Father taught and how he inspired me was to be sure I had my own identity. He was not making clones, he was teaching the ART of drumming, and like any artist all of his students were encouraged to be themselves. This is a lesson that continues to mold my teaching style today.
My hard work paid off, and soon his students wanted to learn from me as well. Without even knowing it I was not only taught how to play, but given the gift of being able to teach!
Over the years I've played in many different musical situations from bands specializing in Classic Rock, Blues, Latin Rock, Jazz, and all the varied rhythms needed to play in everything from shows to weddings. With a solid foundation and the freedom to create my own style I have achieved many years of success and fulfillment as a drummer.
In 2007, I moved to Arizona from the East Coast and built my first studio. Since then I've taught countless students of all ages and levels. I teach in a curriculum based program unlike any other that I've seen in books, or DVD’s combining technique, music theory, groove essentials, fill study, and unique exercises, games, and patterns. All combining to create fundamentally sound musical drummers who can play any genre of music with chops!
I've played and been around drumming my entire life. I learned how to play and teach from one of the best. It is a gift that I am very passionate about and I never take lightly.
From being on stage with Buddy Rich when I was five years old, playing and booking my own band at the age of 13, performing with the great Louie Bellson, and teaching others what I have learned through a lifetime of study. Drums have been my passion and inspiration and I look forward to each lesson when I have the privilege of passing that knowledge and inspiration to my students!
*** Lesson Details ***
My pledge to students is to listen. I listen to what their goals are and do my best to insure they achieve them. I expect they work hard to achieve those goals and I match that effort with lesson plans incorporating unique and personalized exercises and demonstrations.
I offer encouragement as we progress from the beginning fundamentals through intermediate and advanced study of the ART of drumming.
Each student will go at a different pace, so my students can expect that I will patiently guide them as they advance.
My curriculum will teach them how to hold the sticks and move the fingers, wrists, and arms so they are fundamentally sound. We’ll learn stick control techniques that will allow them to play dynamically.
Drums are a physical instrument and must be played with proper technique to allow each of us to reach our maximum potential, but proper technique also insures that we are playing the instrument safely. Contrary to what some believe, drums are not just something you beat on! It is an instrument of varied pitch and dynamics and from the very start my students learn the techniques needed to play safe, play dynamically, and most of all… play musically!
I also incorporate play-along games for kids that are not only fun but teach the fundamentals of timing and groove. We use a multi-set configuration so they get to see how I approach a groove, fill, or song. My State-Of-The-Art studio allows for musical and video study, instant record/playback learning and a balanced blend of book study with musical demonstrations and exercises in all genres.
Intermediate and advanced students are evaluated and interviewed where together we identify goals and chart a course of study that will allow them to become the drummer they want to be.
Beginning students will find that my clear and concise instruction of the fundamentals of stick control and hand/foot independence can be sufficiently learned in the first handful of lessons and then we will begin our study of Classic Rock grooves.
From there more advanced grooves and “add-on” techniques are feathered in with additional music theory developing a well-rounded musician.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Private home studio with adjacent waiting area, semi sound proof, multiple drum kits, and seating for parents - SOUNDS GREAT, Video & Audio equipment to record and view lessons and show alternate angles students use to review technique.
*** Specialties ***
The method I teach is a curriculum that starts with the very foundation of drumming. How to hold the sticks, hand technique, reading. Students then progress to moving these techniques from the practice pad to the drum set with a series of books developed to progress through Rock, Jazz, and Latin styles.
I couple book exercises with personal lesson plans depending on the students interests. Demonstrations, Interactive games for the kids, and real world exercises are introduced along with multi-media recording of the student for playback study.
As my Father was a Master Drum Instructor who owned his own Drum School & Shop, I worked as an instructor from my early teens contributing to now over 30 years of teaching experience.
The Vic Firth Corporation supports private drum teachers who can prove a solid education and performance background, submit playing examples and answer questions on teaching philosophy and proof of an established drum school.
Once that information was submitted, I was awarded certification into the PDT Association, and sent Vic Firth Promotional materials for my students as well as having access to additional educational resources for teachers from the Vic Firth WebSite.
NAMM is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages.