About Michael J.
Michael has been a drums/percussion/guitar/ukulele and Chess instructor for over 12 years. Having studied and performed all styles of music, from Jazz, Blues, Rock, Symphonic Band and Marching Band music, he has a firm knowledge of varies styles of music and techniques.
Michael is a former instructor for UW-Waukesha and Wauwatosa East High School along with past positions at White House of Music, Uncle Bob's Music Center and other various teaching institutions. Michael has moved on to focus on owning and operating his own lesson studio in West Allis called Sound Check Studios. There you can find a family friendly environment that also hosts 6 other instructors and multiple families attending various other lessons.
As a Chess instructor, he has worked and managed a private Chess Academy in Milwaukee since 2008. He works exclusively with schools districts like Wauwatosa, Hartland, Milwaukee and many private schools for their after school chess program.
*** Lesson Details ***
The lessons with Michael will cover a wide variety of topics and areas. Each lesson will focus on at least 2 different topics with an emphasis on what the student would like to work on.
Drums/percussion: Main areas of focus will include rudiments, basic drum set patterns, reading music, proper technique and what the student would like to learn.
Guitar and Ukulele: Areas of focus include open/bar chords, strumming, scales and applying those lessons to the music a student likes and wants to learn.
Chess: Based on experience, students will learn basic movement to advance strategy. Maneuvers like Forks, Pins, Skewers, openings and end game are all included in the lessons.
*** Studio Equipment ***
My studio is equipped with everything needed for each student. All supplies and major instruments provided. My studio is NOT a basement or private residence. The studio is located in the main business district of West Allis along with 80 other businesses.
*** Specialties ***
Drums: reading music, rudiments, proper technique. I teach mainly out of the book Basic Drumming by Joel Rothman
Guitar and Ukulele: Open chord and bar chord strumming that applies to learning the songs a student wants to learn.
Chess: Piece movement to basic strategies and tactics.
Speaks English, German
Organizational Adminstration and Communications from UW-Milwaukee
Teaching since 2003
Michael is a stickler for doing things right, but in a nice way. I feel that his mode of teaching is best, because it builds a solid foundation for further learning.
After a brief intro, Mike explained where're going with his lessons. I was having some problems getting my fingers near certain fret areas he wanted me to work on, so he very kindly placed some colors tape where I'm to put my fingers. That helped a lot. Been practicing an hour per day, & I'm getting a bit better daily. I've got a long way to go, but with Mike's help I'll get there. ELLIOTShow More
What a wonderful teavher Michael is! Instructive, kind, and patient with my 8 year old son, Michael is a great choice for kids. I recommend him highly! Thanks Mighael for the great work that you do!
I'm an old fart but I'm learning! =D
Patient, knowledgeable, and affable.
Mike is very patient with my daughter. My daughter looks forward to and is excited about going to every lesson so far!!
Lessons with Michael are fun, challenging and rewarding! He motivates me to do better and is flexible with my changing schedule. I look forward to continued lessons with Michael. Thank you all concerned.
First lesson went well. Michael is very helpful.
He's very good with the kids and is great at keeping them engaged. Listens to my comments and concerns and has been flexible in his lessons to keep the kids challenged without frustrating them. I have two boys working with him. They are both so excited to share with me what they've learned after each lesson. I've never seen them look so proud of themselves as they do after their weekly drum lessons!
Rates are very reasonable also.
Mike is a patient teacher who's great at gauging progress. My 6 year old son has been learning new things each week without getting too flustered and loves going to lessons! Mike really makes an effort to find the approach that works best for his student.Show More
Mike is a very knowledgeable and competent teacher! It is impossible to not learn and learn well from him.
Great instructor, flexible scheduling, and good evaluation of designing lessons towards students needs or desired styles of music. Truly a pleasure to receive lessons by such a gifted musician!
Mike is great! My son really loves taking drum lessons with him. Mike has a lot of knowledge and really has a passion for teaching.
Mike has beef my sons drum teacher for the past six years. He is very patient and adjust to the students need. He is flexible with his hours and reasonable with his prizes v
Michael has been my son's drum teacher for the past year. Michael, in a short period of time, has taught my son a lot! Michael's lessons are both engaging and fun!
Michael has been teaching drums to my 6-year-old son for the past 5 months. He has been really great to work with. My son loves going to his lessons, where he always has fun. Michael's demeanor is perfect for my son, keeping the lesson light and breezy in tone, but making sure he is always learning proper technique and advancing his skills.
Michael is very flexible, always working with us to adjust the schedule when needed. We rented drums at first (which we were able to do through Michael - I asked, he provided; no pressure sales), but when we were ready to purchase, he helped us find the right set. Michael even helped us get a reduced price through a local music store.
I can't say enough good things about our experience with Michael. The best testimony that I can give is that my son loves to practice his drums every day, without having to be asked!
Wauwatosa East High School
Michael has been the percussion instructor for Wauwatosa East High School for the past 4 years. There he worked with a variety of their students for marching band, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band and also WSMA Solo and Ensemble competitions.
Michael began playing guitar at age 12. He has played in multiple bands over the years playing guitar and also taught many students the basics and essentials to picking up the guitar for the first time. His current roster of students enjoy working on the materials they want to learn while also learning how many basic essentials apply to the guitar.
Private Chess Academy
As an after school chess instructor, Michael has worked with class sizes as large as 40 children down to one-on-one lessons with an individual student. Local school districts have repeatedly used our program and specifically requested Michael as the instructor for numerous years for multiple schools.
UW-Waukesha, Uncle Bob's Music Center, White House of Music, Theatre on Main
Michael has worked as a private drum instructor for a variety of Milwaukee based music stores and lesson studios since 2008. Since 2008, Michael has worked with over 150 students and maintained many long lasting relationships with his students. In 2013 he opened is own lesson studio location in West Allis to better serve his students and create an environment that inspired, but was also family friendly.
Fluent / Native Proficiency