Lucas Gillan

Lucas G.

Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I'm Lucas, a professional drummer and educator in Chicago. I'm passionate about playing music and am so grateful that I get to make a living doing what I love. I played drum set with Blue Man Group, I regularly perform at the top jazz clubs in Chicago, and I've toured the country with indie bands. I'm also a high school percussion ensemble director and college drum set teacher, so I have a broad range of experiences to pull from as I craft a customized plan to help you meet your drumming goals.

I started playing the drums in my hometown of Tucson, AZ at 9 years old, following in my mom’s footsteps, who played drums at my church. It wasn’t long before I started playing in punk bands, jazz groups, and youth orchestras. I moved to the Midwest to study music at Northern Illinois University, and eventually went on to earn a master's degree at DePaul University. The Chicago music scene has provided me countless opportunities to play with inspiring musicians over the years, and I'm always excited about the next gig around the corner.

Music brings so much joy, purpose, and magic to my life every day, and I hope to share some of that with every student I teach.

About Lucas G.

Looking for an experienced teacher to help you stay focused, motivated and improving in your drumming? I hope to be that teacher! I have multiple music degrees, a long performance resume, and 13 years of teaching experience. I’ve taught everyone from 4-year-olds to college music majors and adults, so I have the insight and background to help you succeed on drums no matter where you're starting from.

I take pride in offering carefully-planned, focused, and goal-oriented lessons and following them up with custom-made practice plans. In my lessons, I like to balance a focus on drumming fundamentals (technique, rhythm reading, time-keeping) with the flexibility to explore the student's own interests, whether that be learning a specific song, preparing a part for school band, or trying to figure out what the drummer's doing in an inspiring video you found online!

I consider myself a perpetual student, and am always searching for new resources and ideas to pass along to my students. In your lessons, we'll reference a wide variety of videos, books, recordings, and concepts that suit your interests and goals.

Here are some of the concepts that we can cover in your lessons:

-Drum grooves of all kinds, from rock and funk to jazz and Latin
-Learning to play songs on the drums (with or without sheet music)
-Hand technique
-Rhythm reading
-Jazz time-keeping & soloing
-So much more!


Write a Review
6 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

My 6 year old son loves learning from Lucas! Lessons are fun and personable.

Posted Sep 10, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My high school son has taken lessons from Lucas Gillan for the past three years and has grown musically under his instruction. Lucas brings much expertise and motivation to each lesson, I highly recommend Lucas for percussion lessons!

Posted May 26, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Lucas rocks! He was my daughters teacher for an amazing 5 years. She learned so much from him. From rock, jazz, tenor drum in high school marching band, to snare drum in a famous Chicago bagpipe band. He’s very patient and very gifted. We miss having him in our home, felt like a family member.

Posted Apr 7, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I really appreciated having Lucas as a drum teacher. He is skilled in adapting to the needs of the student and setting specific goals to achieve those needs. He also teaches how to practice effectively and ways to vary practicing routines to approach different skills of drumming (ex. listening exercises, transcription, improving feel of a grove, etc.). Lastly, he is a great person to interact with and encourages you no matter where you are at in your drumming career. Highly recommend if you need a drum teacher!

Posted Apr 7, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Lucas is an inspirational educator. He has so much experience in the full world of percussion and he has an experience to relate to any question you ask. He’s very encouraging and clear on his assignments. 10/10 would recommend.

Posted Apr 7, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son’s experience with Lucas has been really great! Lucas is very patient, very knowledgeable and was a great help to my son as he prepared for college auditions. He remains a friend and it’s a pleasure to watch him perform occasionally professionally with his own band.

Posted Apr 7, 2020

Photos & Videos

12 Photos & Videos


Jazz Combo Director
Sep 2018 - Present

Benet Academy

I direct the jazz combo at Benet Academy, a catholic college preparatory high school in Lisle, IL. The combo comprises the most advanced students on each instrument in Benet's jazz program. I have a blast directing this group, teaching fundamentals of jazz improvisation and ensemble performance, and preparing for many concerts throughout the year.

Percussion Instructor
Jul 2017 - Present

Fenwick High School

I am the Percussion Instructor at Fenwick High School a Catholic college preparatory high school in Oak Park, IL. I direct the beginning and advanced Percussion Ensembles, which are curricular classes that meet 5 days a week. I have a great deal of fun with this job, teaching a wide variety of percussion techniques, directing percussion ensemble pieces, and helping the students to learn their parts for Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and Pep Band.

Jazz Drum Set Instructor
Jan 2012 - Present

Wheaton College

I teach jazz drum set to both music majors and non-majors at Wheaton College, a private liberal arts college in the Chicago suburbs. Some of my students at Wheaton have been serious percussion majors preparing for careers in music, and some have been relative beginners taking drum lessons for the first time. I work with the other percussion instructors and jazz directors to make sure my students stay on track and get the most out of their lessons.

Drummer (Part-Time)
Feb 2019 - Mar 2020

Blue Man Group

Up until they suspended operations due to the pandemic, I was one of the part-time drummers in the band with Blue Man Group Chicago. I performed in the band loft along with the string players accompanying the iconic blue men on stage. After I won the audition for the job in January 2019, I spent 4 months in intense musical training, digging deep into every single musical detail of the 90-minute-long show.


Master of Music in Jazz Studies - Percussion
Sep 2015 - Jun 2017

DePaul University

Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies - Percussion
Sep 2004 - Dec 2007

Northern Illinois University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Luminarts Jazz Fellowship
Mar 2016

Luminarts Cultural Foundation


Percussive Arts Society, The
Jul 2017
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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