Michael James Grassman

Michael J.

Milwaukee, WI
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We know that starting lessons is a big step and we want you to feel confident booking with us. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll help you find a new teacher or you can receive a refund for any unused lessons within the first year from the date of purchase.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I work with students of all ages on pursuing their desires with performing, rudiments, proper technique, reading music, groove and for all percussion instruments.
See all subjects

Michael teaches



Michael delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 6 to 60 and special needs

Teaching since:
June 2003

Michael has been a drums/percussion/guitar and Chess instructor for over 8 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 currently works as a percussion instructor for UW-Waukesha and Wauwatosa East High School. He has also been a private instructor at White House of Music, Uncle Bob's Music Center, the Theater on Main in Oconomowoc and currently owns and operates a private studio in West Allis, WI.

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: 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: Open chord and bar chord strumming that applies to learning the songs a student wants to learn.

+ Read More


Drums and Percussion Instructor
Aug 2010 - Present
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.

Guitar Instructor
Jun 2010 - Present
Private Studios

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.

+ Read More
Chess Instructor
Aug 2008 - Present
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.

+ Read More
Drum instructor
Aug 2008 - Jun 2013
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.

+ Read More


Aug 2003 - Aug 2005
Organizational Adminstration and Communications
Aug 1999 - Aug 2005


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

Guitar and drum lessons available from Michael.

Photo by Michael J.

Photo by Michael J.

Summerfest 2015 with Element 13
Michael Grassman conducting the Waukesha Area Youth Percussion Ensemble with a self-composed piece entitled "Shark Sandwich."
Performing at Summerfest with the band Element 13
Here are some highlights of what we do at Sound Check Studios.  All drummers are current students of Michael James.
Video of Mike Grassman practicing on location before a gig.
Photo by Michael J.
+ 4 more

13 Reviews

Write a Review
Pat B. Apr 16, 2018
Ukulele · In studio

I'm an old fart but I'm learning! =D

Cliff E. Apr 9, 2018
Ukulele · In studio

Patient, knowledgeable, and affable.

Ariana E. Mar 5, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Mike is very patient with my daughter. My daughter looks forward to and is excited about going to every lesson so far!!

Richard Mar 5, 2016
Drum · In studio

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.

Nathan Feb 23, 2016
Drum · In studio

First lesson went well. Michael is very helpful.

Jeanette B. Aug 14, 2015
Drum · In studio

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.

+ Read More
Julia K. Jul 9, 2015

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.

+ Read More
Dr. Craig H. Jul 9, 2015
Percussion · In studio

Mike is a very knowledgeable and competent teacher! It is impossible to not learn and learn well from him.

AJ Jul 9, 2015
Drum · In studio

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!

Jen Jul 9, 2015
Drum · In studio

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.

MingYon L. Blackwell Jul 8, 2015
Drum · In studio

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

David G. Jul 8, 2015
Drum · In studio

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!

Rich T. Jun 22, 2015
Drum · In studio

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!

+ Read More

You may want to revisit

Previously viewed teachers: