Michael Charleston
Huntington Beach, CA
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Michael Charleston

Michael C.

Huntington Beach, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I've been teaching contemporary drum set in Orange County for over a decade, and many of my students have gone on to not only play and read notated drum set music with ease, but have continued their studies at arts high-schools and music colleges, with several of them continuing on to the professional world. I use an award winning curriculum used at many music academies and conservatories, and have received accolades for my ability to retain many students for many years. Within the first few lessons, a new student will be able to understand the basics of rhythm and snare drum notation, play a plethora of relatable and cool sounding grooves, and build a foundation that will serve the student for a life time.

About Michael C.

Hi! My name is Michael and I am excited at the prospect of teaching you or your child...

I absolutely love to teach, but not just because of my love for the drums or my life-long appreciation of music, but because of my enjoyment of people and the learning process itself. I feel that this is important to mention, because if I didn't enjoy what I did and take pride in working with people, then my teaching skills, curriculum, and experience would mean nothing. As anybody who has played a musical instrument can attest to, learning something new is difficult, and having a patient teacher who enjoys working with people is mandatory.

Throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to study with some amazing teachers, including Carmine Appice (author of “Realistic Rock” and drummer for Rod Stewart, Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Jeff Beck), Jason Lingle (Berklee School Of Music), Keith Harris (drummer for The Black Eyed Peas) and Lee Nichols, to name a few. My experiences with these teachers has led to a proficiency in rock, jazz and Latin, as well as the ability to convey these concepts in a manner that promotes patience, personal challenge, and constant progress.

Besides teaching private lessons at many local facilities, I have had the opportunity to teach group classes at dozens of elementary and middle schools, including schools in the Westminster, Ocean View and Huntington Beach school districts. I have also aided many students into attending the arts high-school/college of their choice by working with them to properly read and perform all audition material.

Whether you are a brand-new beginner or a seasoned student of the instrument, I am confident that I can take your playing to the next level. Oh yeah, we will also have a great time. Maybe you don’t know yet, but playing the drums is FUN. Give me a call and I will prove it to you.

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach using the Freddie Gruber method, which promotes a natural grip of stick and the idea that we should allow the stick to “do what it wants to do” by using natural and fluid motions. This is an incredibly effective style of play and is used by drummers such as Neil Peart, Dave Weckl and Steve Smith.

I teach with an emphasis both on rudiments and hand technique, as well as drum-set exercises and genre study. I encourage practice to be done on a rubber practice pad
as well as on the drum-set, and for brand-new beginners, I often recommend that the practice pad be used exclusively for the first several weeks or months to allow for a great understanding of basic grips and hand techniques. This is especially true when the new beginner doesn't yet own a drum-set. I am often asked, “does my child need a drum-set to take lessons?” The answer is always a resounding “not at all!” A pair of sticks and a practice pad will do the trick, and will also allow you, as the parent, to see your child’s level of involvement.

Within the first 3 to 6 months of lessons, my students can expect to:

- Properly play and understand a handful of rudiments, including the single and double stroke rolls, the paradiddle family, as well as several flam and drag rudiments.
- Play and begin properly reading many different drum-beats and rhythms, and connect these beats using fills that are fun and sound cool.
- Begin learning songs of the their choice, from Metallica to Miles Davis.

I am also inspired by many different educational sources, including the textbooks:

- Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone
- Rockin’ Bass Drum by Charles Perry and John Lombardo
- Realistic Rock by Carmine Appice
- The Art Of Bop Drumming by John Riley
- The Drummer’s Bible by Mick Berry and Jason Gianni
- Haskell Harr’s Drum Method

…as well as many other awesome texts that provide both classic and contemporary concepts that are challenging, and most importantly, sound really cool.

I teach out of an awesome private studio that features 2 drum-sets (the student never needs to get off the drum-set), recording equipment (lessons are often recorded and cited later) and a great headphone sound system (for effectively learning and playing along with songs.) Simply put, I believe my studio is the most fun and efficient place to study the drums in Orange County.

Whether you are a drum-line student who needs help playing a piece, a rock drummer who wishes to learn the basics of jazz (or vice versa), or a brand-new beginner who wants to see what this whole drumming thing is all about (spoiler: it’s awesome), I have the patience, the passion and the skills to help you get the most out of this wonderful instrument. Let’s play the drums!

*** Studio Equipment ***
I teach out of an awesome private studio that features 2 drum-sets (the student never needs to get off the drum-set), recording equipment (lessons are often recorded and cited later) and a great headphone sound system (for effectively learning and playing along with songs.) Simply put, I believe my studio is the most fun and efficient place to study the drums in Orange County.

Check out the photos in my profile for some pictures.

*** Specialties ***
Years of teaching group classes to elementary and middle school students has given me lots of experience with a multitude of learning styles. My specialty lies in not only conveying lessons and concepts in an easy to understand manner, but doing so in a fun way that encourages progress. Simply put, you will want to practice, simply to see exercises and grooves evolve.

While I am most proficient in rock music and have played in many rock bands, I am also very proficient in formal snare playing (marching/classical) as well as standards in jazz and Latin.


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63 Reviews
Barry S.
Profile-location-online Online

Bottom line: I enthusiastically recommend Mike for virtual drum lessons…esp. if you’re not convinced that virtual music lessons are effective /worth it – Mike’s style is perfect for online lessons.


About me: adult student, drummed throughout high school (band and private instruction for a few years), but was always more interested in the kit than taking the time to really learn rudiments and develop my hands. Now, with limited space in my home and the pandemic making everything virtual, I thought it was a good time get back into it and give virtual music lessons a shot. I wanted to find a teacher comfortable with focusing on / teaching this discipline. After some research, I found Mike, whom I took ~ 20 lessons with. Though I was initially a bit skeptical of online music lessons (had taken in-person lessons as a kid, before online lessons were even possible), I quickly realized that learning and development was not only possible, but probable with Mike as my teacher (and my willingness to practice regularly).

Mike’s professionalism shows in multiple ways, including his drumming proficiency (of course) and knowledge, overall instruction and communication style, punctuality, and the professional setup / studio that he works out of. He also has a great attitude toward his students’ progression, and an impressive knowledge of drum education (especially), professional drummers, and music and recordings. We had a lot of very enjoyable and insightful conversations re: the techniques of different drummers. I realize that is something that may be harder with younger students, but it’s a nice bonus when you can (if you want) have an actual conversation with your instructor (vs. one way instructional-based communication). He also gave me a ton of recommendations for music and/or instructional resources to check out (which is important for musical growth). I was also able to “bounce” a number of equipment / brand related questions off of him.

Re: the actual instruction - over the course of several months, we reviewed a number of sticking / rudiment exercises that definitely helped to develop my hands, esp. my double stroke roll. To introduce these exercises, he shared them on his screen and reviewed them (including playing them). He’d then email them. He also gave me a rudimentary-based piece to work toward. That was cool because it brought all the lessons together.

To summarize, I learned quite a few things and definitely developed my hands (and can play some things now that I couldn’t play in high school). I had to stop b/c of some major schedule changes that are significantly restricting my free time, but I definitely plan on resuming once my schedule returns to normal.

Like anything, you’ll get the greatest reward (and value for your money) if you take the lessons seriously and practice regularly.

Posted Jul 8, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

I have so enjoyed my lessons with Michael. My primary application for drums as been in a church worship environment. He's been able to customize my lessons to best meet my needs for that venue. He's worked with me on specific skills that have brought significant improvement.
His knowledge and skills continue to stretch me to become a better drummer. It's been a joy to work with him.
Highly recommend!

Posted Jul 7, 2021
Laddie F.
Profile-location-online Online

We really enjoyed meeting Michael. Very friendly. Easy going. Knowledgeable. Looking forward to lessons. Great skills.

Posted Jun 24, 2021
Nate G.
Profile-location-online Online

My 11 yr. old was engaged the entire lesson and LOVED it.

Posted Jun 18, 2021
Mo C.
Profile-location-online Online

Michael is a consummate professional. He is an amazing drummer, a clear communicator, and has clearly structured lessons. I am very excited to learn drums formally from Michael and could not recommend him more highly. Looking forward to learning the drums with you!

Posted May 12, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Michael is a great drum teacher and very personable. Anyone starting out would be lucky to have him as a teacher.

Posted Mar 25, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Throughout every lesson I had, I improved a lot. I learned many new techniques and different music pieces. He gave me challenging work but explained it in such a way I was able to play the pieces really well.

Posted Mar 9, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Mike is great - connects really well with our son and has him very excited to join the lesson every week.

Posted Feb 23, 2021
Robert R.
Profile-location-online Online

i can't say enough good things about Mike, Puts you at ease immediately, very supportive and patient. Seems to hone in on your pace and skill level and adjusts quickly. I have had only one drum teacher in my very short drumming career but he's an excellent one!

Posted Feb 15, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Awesome teacher. Great personality & emphasizes progress. Son enjoying class!

Posted Feb 15, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Awesome drum teacher! Super engaging, makes students feel comfortable, and has really fun and exciting lesson plans!!

Posted Feb 12, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Michael is a great instructor. I'm an adult learner with no drum experience and my first lesson with Michael was spent getting to know my goals, making sure my set up worked, and then starting me off with the basics and slowly building, Michael was very encouraging and positive throughout and the lesson flew by. Looking forward to working with Michael and becoming a proficient drummer!

Posted Jan 16, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Mike took the time to introduce himself prior to the lesson and learnt things about my son (8 years old) that made him feel comfortable and at ease when they met. He was very well prepared and encouraging. Fantastic first lesson.

Posted Jan 11, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Michael was awesome with our 6yo. He is very patient and engaging. Our son is just getting started but sooo excited! Looking forward to more.

Posted Jan 5, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Michael is an incredible teacher, he has inspired my daughter to learn how to read music and is excited to practice. Most importantly my daughter looks forward to her weekly lesson and enjoys here time with Michael.

Posted Nov 1, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Great first lesson!

Posted Oct 16, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

My 8 yr old son is fired up before and after every lesson!

Posted Oct 13, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Mr. Mike is so good at keeping our 8 year old son on track and at the same time having fun. He’s engaging and so very knowledgeable. Mike can literally play any tune of any song that our son is interested in playing. He’ll also incorporate note reading and this allows our son to have a complete and well rounded lesson.

Mike we appreciate everything you’ve done and our son loves drums even more now thanks to you.

Posted Oct 13, 2020
Braiden B.
Profile-location-online Online

Michael was engaging and encouraging to my son. He gave us a practice sheet for my son to practice during the week.

Posted Sep 3, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Mr. Michael is the best drum teacher!

In the beginning, I was hesitant to pick up a new instrument. However, after the first lesson with Mr. Michael, I wanted to learn more.

Mr. Michael is so friendly and outgoing. Mr. Michael stands out as a music teacher because he makes the lessons fun by incorporating the student’s interests, whether it’s death metal or cool jazz! The worksheets never feel like homework. I’ve noticed a huge improvement just after a few lessons. His lively personality is so encouraging, and I look forward to every lesson.

Every lesson is tailored to the student’s strengths and weaknessses; he provides worksheets that are challenging but not overwhelming. When going over difficult material, he breaks it down and follows up with praise and positive comments. I never feel discouraged. The lessons are structured yet engaging. After every lesson, I feel a sense of accomplishment and the urge to practice.

If you have been searching for a drum teacher, Mr. Michael is the guy! He is a lively teacher that is passionate about his work. You will not regret choosing Mr. Michael as your teacher!

Posted Aug 26, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

My 16 year old son started taking drum lessons online from Michael during the summer. He has a way of engaging people to make the lessons fun while motivating his students to learn. My son is eager to practice between sessions and looks forward to the lessons each week. He's been a great find!!!

Posted Aug 25, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Mike has designed a curriculum that is engaging, challenging, and fun. His curriculum and teaching style are also highly adaptable, whether you want to learn "by the book" and learn strict technique and theory, or if you want to purely have fun and learn a few songs. Either way, his lessons are fun, and your drumming will definitely improve with him as your guide.

Posted Jun 15, 2020
Giles S.
Profile-location-online Online

michael's ability to engage and keep his student engaged is his main strength.

Posted Jun 12, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Mr. Michael is so super awesome with our 8 year old. At first we were nervous but Michael is extremely engaging and made us and our son comfortable. He knew when to allow our son to have fun but also somehow was able to reel him in and make him get to work. We will continue our subscription with Michael for sure thank you!

Posted Jun 10, 2020
Elijah W.
Profile-location-online Online

Michael is amazing! He is teaching my 7 year old not only to play, but to understand the music theory side of it as well. We really appreciate all our son is learning from Michael

Posted Jun 4, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

really fun to take the lecture

Posted Jun 1, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Michael is an awesome instructor for our 8 year old. This was his first lesson with Michael and when he finished his lesson he practiced and then a few hours later we heard the drums again! Thank you Michael!

Posted Apr 22, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

When my son's school mandated that all students learn an instrument and I found out that he had been assigned DRUMS, I was at a loss. The lessons provided by the school were basic and I didn't feel that my son was getting the full benefit of all the drums had to offer. Luckily, we found Mike!

Mike set my son at ease instantly. He is very personable and has the gift of getting to know his students in a genuine manner. His friendly demeanor and willingness to use humor, without talking down to his students, sets him apart. Mike took the time to get to know Tom, including his musical interests, so that he could create high-interest lessons that motivated my son to practice and increased his love of music. Mike was able to explain clearly to my son what they were doing, how to do it properly, and why doing it correctly was worth the time invested. Not having had experience with drums, I had no idea how much technique is involved! Mike provided not only drum lessons, but life lessons as well.

As a parent, I have always appreciated Mike's timely communication. I have never had to wonder when my son's lessons would be, when payment was due, or what to do when I had a scheduling conflict. (By the way, Mike understands the chaos that sometimes goes along with being a working parent.)

To sum things up, Mike is a charismatic teacher who uses his expertise to instruct his students in how to become exemplary musicians and people. I recommend him without reservations.

Posted Nov 13, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have taken lessons with Mike for over 7 years, and getting into drumming has been the best thing that has happened in my life. Mike is an excellent teacher, who truly loves to teach. You feel his joy, he is never condescending, and he is never more than a couple steps away from making a silly joke.
Drums have given me a hobby to keep improving as I get older. It has given me a passion for music, both performing, and listening. It has also allowed me to have experiences I never would been able to have without learning the drums, such as playing in the Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade, winning 1st place with my high school drumline, and making lifelong friends as part of my high school's music program.
I highly encourage to take lessons with Mike. He is the best.

Posted Aug 28, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike has been teaching our son Luis for almost 5 years now. He’s now ten and his play is amazing. Equally as importantly as his knowledge and high skill level, he is a patient and kind man who is great with kids. He built a strong relationship with my son and as a result, Luis loves playing drums. He has just the right balance of support and encouragement to get him to learn without feeling like he’s pressured or it’s homework. Passion make perfect!!! I highly recommend Mike as a teacher for students of any age. He Rocks in many ways!

Posted Aug 13, 2019
Hazuki I.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael has been very patient and flexible with my inconsistent schedule as a working adult. He brings a positive energy with a lot of praise and positive reinforcement that makes me look forward to my weekly lesson. If learning how to play drums is on your new years resolution/bucket list, Michael makes that commitment a fun experience! I've tried a few drum teachers but I especially noticed a huge improvement in my drum skills since I started lessons with Michael. I've played songs that I wouldn't have imagined playing a year ago. He is of course very knowledgable with the drums, published his own drum lesson book, but he doesn't just go through rudiments or textbook material. He gives various resources that are useful in drumming and never makes the learning experience dull. Very professional and easy-to-approach guy, I would recommend him to anyone wanting to learn drums, especially if you're an adult wanting to try something new!

Posted Jan 3, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

After previously taking lessons from a different teacher who unfortunately moved away , I began taking lessons from Mike when I was about twelve years old. Mike is a very generous and caring teacher, and quickly saw that I had room for improvement. Within the first month, I learned more than I had ever before, from sight reading music, basic rudiments, timing skills, and how important drums really are as an instrument. His great teaching skills and support eventually led me to become accepted in The Academy of the Performing Arts at Huntington Beach High School. I learn something new from him each lesson and improve on numerous skills that interest me such as Latin, Jazz, Funk, and Pop music. From my first days taking lessons with him to now, I have grown tremendously as a musician. If anyone needs a skilled and trusted drum teacher, Mike is your best option. Over the past several years taking lessons with Mike, I now view him not only as a teacher and instructor, but as a friend too.

Posted Dec 29, 2018
Daniel Fisher
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

We have been with Mike for several years. He is one of the best teachers our daughter has ever had. He is so enthusiastic about teaching drums to others. He is patient and works with our daughter to learn new skills. Looking forward to many more years with him.

Posted Jul 7, 2018
Cj S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

It’s been a joy working with Mike the last few years. Our son is progressing wonderfully and is excited about playing drums. He’s only nine years old and has learned so much from Michael. We would recommend him highly.

Posted Jul 2, 2018
Eddie R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I can't recommend Mike enough! I always wanted to learn drums but it felt daunting and somewhat inaccessible to me. From my first lesson with Mike, that changed completely. I left his studio feeling like I could absolutely learn to play. In just one lesson I learned a lot about proper technique, reading music, etc. without feeling overwhelmed or bored. Mike explains everything clearly while also making it fun to learn. And, most importantly, he has a clear (and proven) structure to his lesson plans. Concepts are taught in a cumulative manner so that each lesson you make progress towards a clearly defined goal - a goal that you get to help define, be it a specific song you want to learn or a certain skill/level to attain. Mike is knowledgeable about the subject matter and provides insightful tips and homework to make sure you're learning the right skills in a fun and challenging manner. If you want to learn drums, Mike is your guy.

Posted Jul 19, 2017
Ryan C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son started learning the drums at age 5. Not only is he able to keep a beat but he is learning to read music. He is also being taught proper drumming techniques and that there is more to it than just banging sticks. Within these past two years, Mike built his confidence and gave him enough skills to go perform at his school's talent show. Each lesson my son comes out smiling and has a sense of accomplishment. He says his lessons are fun and that Mike is a cool teacher. Mike shows that he loves to teach and I couldnt be more pleased!!!!

Posted Jul 11, 2017
Shane R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael is extremely knowledgeable about drumming. He relates to a 13 yr old advanced drummer teaching and having fun at the same time. Excited to work w Michael again

Posted Mar 18, 2017
Eniko B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I am a 20 year old college student and I've been taking lessons with Mike for almost a year now. There hasn't been a time when I left the lesson without learning something new or improving on my previous skills. Mike is an excellent teacher and is very familiar with many different genres and styles of music. I always look forward to going to my lessons because every week there's something new and challenging waiting for me. I would highly recommend Mike as a percussion teacher to anyone, as he is incredibly nice and talented at the same time!

Posted Aug 23, 2016
Jeannie Skidmore
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am 14 years old and have been taking drum lessons for about 6 years from Mr. Mike. I don’t think I can find the words to say how awesome he is! I only liked drumming when I started with Mr. Mike, but he has inspired me to absolutely love drumming. He has been the only drum teacher I have ever had I would be crushed if I ever lost him as my teacher. He takes the time to teach me the music I love to play and learn. He also teaches me the not so fun stuff like reading music and rudiments to make me a great drummer. No matter what Mr. Mike teaches me, he always makes it fun. I look forward to my lessons with Mr. Mike; he is simply the best!

Mr. Mike is not only my drum teacher, he is also my friend. Every time I arrive at his studio, he always asks me about my life and how I’ve been, and he makes me laugh all the time. I hardly remember my life before Mr. Mike. I look up to him, and he has always been a great role model to me. Mr. Mike has inspired me to be as accomplished as he is on the drums when I grow up. Even when I am struggling to learn hard parts, he is always supportive and helps me through it. Mr. Mike never makes me feel bad about myself; in fact, he has made me more confident not only as a drummer but as a person. I think the world of Mr. Mike. I think he has helped to shape me to be the person I am today.

Mr. Mike is one of the kindest and warm-hearted people I have ever met. He inspires me to be the best drummer I can be. Mr. Mike is a huge part of my life, and I hope he always will be. I am so lucky to have him as my teacher. They don’t make words to express how highly I recommend him to be your drum teacher.

Posted Mar 20, 2016
Christina M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

He is amazing! Pack full of knowledge! He is passionate about giving you a strong foundation to build on. Very fun and very easy going! Drum lesson day is the day I look forward to and it won't come soon enough.

Posted Oct 31, 2015
Ryan B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike is one of the best drum instructors out there. I've been taking lessons with him from middle school, and he has helped me succeed to become the jazz drummer and drum captain at Marina High School. Mike understands several different styles: rock, jazz, Latin, metal, and more. In addition, he teaches students the proper technique, rudiments and how to read sheet music. Most importantly, Mike stands out from other instructors because he spends time trying to understand his students' interests and incorporates them into his lessons. He is very outgoing and energetic, so his lessons are always fun and educational. Overall, I highly recommend him because he challenges and inspires his students to become better drummers.

Posted Jun 22, 2015
Ha B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

If you have been looking for a great drum teacher, Michael is your last stop! He has the ability to communicate with the students and parents and make drumming fun. His students response to him very well and enjoy going to weekly lesson.
My son started with Michael when he entered 6th grade and is now a Junior playing for Marina HS Marching Band, Drum line, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band.
If you have the time and sit in a lesson with your children, you will soon realize that your money is well spent...not a wasted minute in that 1/2 hour lesson.

Posted Jun 9, 2015
Becky G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

As a piano teacher, I am amazed at the progress my 16 y.o. son has made in one year of lessons with Mike. Mike definitely has a talent for reaching his students in fun and creative ways, and does a great job at teaching to each student as an individual. I've seen him interact with other students, and you can just tell he loves what he does and sincerely cares about his students. My husband has also sat in on a lesson and saw how Mike has a gift as a drummer as well as a teacher. We look forward to the next level he will take our son as a drummer and musician.

I highly recommend him as a teacher to any age student. His curriculum is solid and he keeps it fun and engaging. You won't be disappointed!

Posted Jun 3, 2015
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Really enjoying it. He's very enthusiastic

Posted May 28, 2015
tina M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I would give Mike C. 10 stars if I could! 5 just doesn't seem like enough! He is such a great teacher!! My ten-year-old son has been taking drum lessons from Mike for a few years now. He continues to look forward to going to his lessons every week. Mike makes it fun and keeps things interesting. He takes the time to get to know his students and the music they like. He incorporates it in to the lessons along with proper technique and reading music. I can't say enough positive things about him as teacher and just an all around great guy. :-)

Posted May 15, 2015
christine W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael is an amazing teacher, he understands kids and music .He's not only funny but fun, happy, and upbeat. I'm 11 years old and I loved my first lesson! He's Fantabulous!

Posted Mar 24, 2015
Brandon L.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Definitely the best drum teacher ever!

I received a package of drum lessons for Mike in 2008, for my 12th birthday. I loved them and learned a great deal, but soon I ran out of lessons. A few years later, I was able to continue drum lessons in early 2011, until about July of 2013. During this time, Mike was never at a lack of content, in fact he had a fun worksheet for almost any style of drumming you want! Mike is great at teaching every style; rock, jazz, metal, and much more! I had a great experience, and Mike was a wonderful teacher! I was forced to put a pause on my lessons again in 2013 because I was busy starting my senior year of high school, and balancing a job. At the end of that year, I used some of the money I had saved up to continue my lessons throughout the Summer of 2014. It was well worth every penny!

Mike is a great teacher, for any age! His fun style of teaching allows you to learn, and want to practice as you are mastering even some of the toughest exercises. Over the six years I have known him, he has become more of a friend than a teacher! I would recommend him to anyone wanting to learn to play drums.

Posted Sep 23, 2014
Clarence G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike is an awesome teacher who takes interest in each student's personality and is able to customize the learning experience accordingly. My son is only 6 and yet he is making excellent progress and always enjoys his lessons. Mike makes sure there is always a personal connection and that makes the student comfortable and confident in playing music. He is always attentive to detail and is able to pinpoint what the student needs to work on and therefore there is always an improvement in technique. We were referred to him by a friend and are very happy with our decision to enroll our son. Highly recommended!

Posted Aug 20, 2014
Libby W.

Perfect Drum Teacher for a 6 year-old!

Mike is simply the perfect drum teacher for our high energy 6 year-old son! He has taken the time to get to know Annan and understand how to best teach him. As a result, he is able to push our kid to challenge himself, while still making it so fun that he doesn't want the lesson to end. Mike is also very organized, which makes it easy for the parents to understand what your child is supposed to be practicing throughout the week. He also gives exercises for practice that the kids actually want to do. As a result, Annan practices on his own and is often trying to push himself to do even a little more so that he can impress Mike at this next lesson. If you have a young son who is interested in drums, I can't think of a better teacher than Mike!

Posted Apr 11, 2014
John S.


This is it! Michael C. is it! I have taught music for years and I have watched my children take music lessons for years, but I have never been so impressed as when I watch Michael C.! My son has been taking lessons with Michael C. for a few months now and without fail he is always so sad whenever Michael's lessons comes to a close. Michael C. has developed his own - (that's right his own work sheets, his own methodology, his own songs) - style of teaching that is so incredibly fun for my son, and as a parent watching I cannot stop wanting to pull out my phone to take video of every moment! My son is learning and building a foundation based on the clear fundamentals of drumming, while at the same time learning how to really control the drum set at a very high level of musicianship. What my son has learned, and how much Michael is able to motivate my son to achieve is simply unbelievable. I have never witnessed a teacher who is this concise and thorough in teaching the core fundamentals and yet so creative and fun in teaching REAL MUSICALITY! Michael C. is a must for your child or students! This guy and his teaching methods are exactly what a parent dreams for their child to experience in a drum teacher.

Posted Mar 5, 2014
Ellen S.

Very Pleased with Lessons

My 10 year old son has about 5 lessons under his belt now. The lessons are fun, focused, and strategically improving his skills. I am very impressed with how the lessons are paced and the amount of material that is covered. Michael is super kid-friendly and is patient. The homework is consistent and appropriate.

Posted Mar 4, 2014
Ann N.

Excellent drum instructor

Our son, Jonah, has been taking lessons with Mike for a little over 18 months. It was one of the best decisions we ever made for him. Mike established rapport with Jonah very quickly. He has learned our son's quirks, likes, capabilities - and tailors instruction accordingly. Mike is very professional, reliable, and there has never been a disconnect with communication. His studio is inviting to visitors, and we're so lucky to have him teach in our neighborhood.

Posted Jan 20, 2014
Kristy S.

Mike is the best teacher!

My son has been taking drum lessons from Mike for about 6 years consistently. Mike is an amazing instructor and all around great person. My son has learned so much from Mike, enjoys going to his lessons every week(the ONLY activity that he has done that there is NO complaining about going to lessons, only enthusiasm). He has grown leaps and bounds with his level of drumming, all due to Mike. Mike's studio is high tech, his teaching ability and knowledge of all kinds of genres of music and general positive encouragement and attitude make Mike the best drum instructor. He is a great role model for my son, as well. You can't go wrong with Mike!

Posted Dec 21, 2013
Robert S.

Best drum teacher in Orange County

I've been talking lessons with Mike for about 5 years. He is both a great teacher and person. He combines a high level of skill and teaching ability with unmatched enthusiasm. His lessons are a combination of practice on the pad and on the kit, culminating in learning to play songs. Learning a new instrument is not easy, but this approach works and is very rewarding( as well as fun). Mike is also very friendly, fun, and energetic. To summarize, you WILL NOT regret choosing Mike. He is great teacher, and is someone who you or your child can become friends with. I will never regret having Mike as my drum teacher.

Posted Dec 13, 2013
Daxton T.

Mike is an amazing teacher and all around person.

Mike is an awesome drum teacher. I have been taking lessons from him for a couple months now and he has made me able to do much more than I expected. He is very organized with an endless amount of different worksheets and charts to work on that challenge you just enough. He is a nice person and is fun to be around, I wouldn't take drum lessons from anyone other than mike.

Posted Dec 13, 2013
Margott H.

Excellent quality of instruction!

I'm a 37-year-old drum student and I find this class very well organized. Mike comes to class very well prepared for each lesson and I don't feel that he goes too fast or too slow. The speed of the lesson is just perfect! I like being challenged and he does just that. At our 7th lesson, we started learning a song from my fave band, Guns n' Roses, and we're having so much fun!

I like very much that he has his own lessons printed for me to take home and practice. He is very good at writing down the "homework" for the week, which is pretty much what he feels I should practice on from what we have learned during the lesson. Everything he teaches prepares me for the next lesson.

In addition, one great thing about his studio is that I get to play on actual drums while he sits at another drum set in front of me, and via microphone and headsets, he teaches me the patterns. He is very enthusiastic about each lesson and I go home wanting to go straight to my drums and practice! No matter how tired I may be after a long day of work.

In every single aspect, the quality of instruction is excellent! I'm very glad to have found Mike on TakeLessons.com.

Posted Oct 15, 2013
Megan K.

Great Teacher!

My son is 11 and takes Drum lessons from Mike. He is extremely patient and knowledgeable. My son enjoys going to his lessons every week. We were lucky to find Mike.

Posted Jul 16, 2013
Sian P.

Awesome Teacher - Definitely would recommend

Michael has been a great teacher to my 5-year old. My son and I both came to him with no experience with drums/music education and Michael was able to teach my son in a way that was fun and kept the attention of a 5 year old, while still being able to grasp the concepts and foundations of music. As a parent, I admired his enthusiasm and excitement of my son’s progression. He is very passionate about what he does and it is exemplified through his lessons. My son truly enjoys the lessons and even practices on his own throughout the week and this is definitely attributable to Michael’s instruction style and passion for his craft. I would absolutely recommend Michael as a teacher.

Posted Apr 18, 2013
Robert P.

The lessons have definitely been worth while and fun.

I came to Mike with no prior experience in playing drums or reading music. Mike's teaching technique is easy to follow and he explains things in a manner that is easy to understand. Mike is very comfortable to study under and he is always so positive.

Posted Feb 13, 2013

Mike is a great teacher. He is very knowledgeable and encourageing. He is friendly and pleasent to be around. I would recommend him.

Posted Jul 2, 2012

perfect fit

I was looking for a drum instructor that would fit my son's personality, foster an enjoyment of playing music. The goal was for my son to enjoy learning to play the drums. Take Lessons made it so easy to find the "perfect fit" for him. From the moment, my son met Michael, they hit it off! It has been amazing watching my son progress and so much fun watching him enjoy the drums. Michael has a natural gift for teaching. You can tell he loves what he does.

Posted May 6, 2012

Great Drum Teacher!

My 7 year old daughter loves her drum lessons with Michael. I love how patient and understanding he is with her. He always gives her appropriate feedback on what she needs to work on and gives her great praise when she does well. I would recommend him to anyone who is thinking of learning the drums.

Posted Mar 9, 2012

10 Year Old Daughter- Future Rock Star!

Michael is an awesome teacher! He is patient, kind, gives clear instructions, models the technique, encourages and motivates. WOW! His studio is really cool too! He welcomes the whole family to sit in and observe the lessons.My daughter is catching on quickly and getting better with each lesson. We are so impressed with her progress and we attribute this to Michael. He established a comfortable rapport with her and uses his sense of humor to help her get through the tough exercises. He consistently gives positive praise and ends the lesson with a jam session and homework. He is very organized and follows structured lessons. Best of all, the entire experience is FUN!

Posted May 27, 2011

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Private Instructor
Dec 2003 - Present

SideNote Music

Private/Group Instructor
Feb 2012 - Jul 2014

Virtuoso's Russian Music Academy

Private Instructor
Jun 2005 - Aug 2011

Orange County Music

Associate Director
Jul 2005 - Feb 2011

The Music Factor



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Certificate Of Drum Set Instruction - Private And Group
Jan 2005

J.R.S. Music Conservatory


National Association for Music Education
Sep 2014
Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.
Percussive Arts Society, The
Feb 2014
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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