Michael Thompson

Michael T.

Sterling Heights, MI

About Michael T.

Background check: Last verified 11/24/2015
Michael passed a background check on 11/24/2015 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
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Michael teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: July 2011
Last sign in: Today


I have many years experience as a working musician, combining: Private drum instruction, freelance studio work, and collaboration with musicians and bandmates in both a live and studio setting.

I have been a member of solid Metropolitan Detroit bands, most notably including: Friends of the Family, Night Train, and The Mobius Loop. I have been blessed with many great opportunities, most notably supporting national acts, such as: The Headhunters, Melvin Seals, Mofro and Strange Folk. And, I have recorded at excellent Metropolitan Detroit studios, including: Studio N Armada, Riff Lab Studios, Woodshed Studios and The Disc. Most recently, I participated in two separate studio/recording projects,with producer/multi-instrumentalist Joshua Michael Ackermann, and with producer/sound engineer Dan Lesnick. Along with teaching drum lessons, I love to supplement my income with this type of studio work. I am also presently collaborating on original material, with a newly formed rock band, yet to be named. I am very excited about this and hope to get in the studio and to be gigging, in the near future!

I am looking to add dedicated students to my current roster. I took private instruction, studying under two EXCELLENT drummers from the Detroit Metro area: Darryl Pierce and Donny Gruendler. Mr. Pierce (among many other accomplishments) currently tours internationally and nationally with a well known artist by the name of Bettye LaVette. This group has made frequent television appearances, including: David Letterman and Austin City Limits. Mr. Gruendler, is currently the Vice President of Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, and he has been featured in several Modern Drummer publications.

I have learned a great deal through private instruction, and therefore teach from experience. I utilize and apply many of the techniques that I personally found useful; through my own private instruction. References from teachers, students, producers, and bandmates can be provided on request.

Photos and Videos

My dedicated student, Peter, has a very nice feel in his overall playing, and also has tremendous potential after only 11 drum lessons!


Professional Musician

Jan 2000 - Present
Self Employed

• Managed and co-managed several metropolitan Detroit bands.
• Worked as a percussionist in several metropolitan Detroit bands.
• Scheduled rehearsals, band meetings, and press related photo shoots.
• Organized, monitored, revised, and created band media and promotions.
• Opened for notable national acts including: The Headhunters, Melvin Seals, Mofro and Strange Folk.
• Presently teaching drum lessons, references can be provided on request.


Music minor in Rhythm Studies.

Jan 2010 - Jan 2011
Boston University

Bachelors Degree in combined major Sociology and Anthropology.

Dec 2005 - Dec 2008
Oakland University

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Write a Review

12 Reviews on Michael T.

Eric Anderson May 19, 2016
Drum · In studio
I have worked with Mike on music projects for about a year. He knows how to play a wide variety of styles and applies them creatively to each individual song, and his sense of dynamics comes natural to him. He also is very good at explaining the technical aspect of drumming to those like myself who are not well versed in drums.
Danny May 18, 2016
Drum · In home
As a pianist who has played with Michael on multiple occasions, I can confidently say that he is a fantastic drummer! Not only does he have great chops, but a really positive attitude and very creative sensibilities. He has a very solid understanding of time and rhythm, and his ability to articulate what he is doing makes jamming not only fun and rewarding, but I also learn something new from him every time. I can't recommend him enough as a drum instructor!
Russ Mar 12, 2016
Drum · In studio
My story is probably a little more unusual than most here. While I do think it would be cool to learn to drum so I could become a rock star, at 52 I'm a little old for that. Actually, my goal is to become a Civil War drummer! When I came on here looking for a teacher, several responded -- but only Michael responded with a keen interest in what I was looking for. He even offered to do research on period drumming styles and period music so that he could tailor his approach to my needs. I've had several lessons at his home now and can say confidently that he has definitely got me on my way. He is also very flexible with his scheduling, which is very important with my sometimes hectic itinerary. If you are looking for a good guy and a great instructor, Michael should get your consideration.
Kay K. Mar 7, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Excellent, very knowledgeable and accommodating teacher, loved it.
Peter Mar 3, 2016
Drum · In studio
Mike is AWESOME!

From the enthusiasm you see while he teaches you, to the way he gets up to dance to your drum beat, it's no surprise that Mike is very passionate about drums!!

Not gonna lie, I was a little skeptical finding a random dude on the internet for drum lessons, but I've been PLEASANTLY surprised by the progression I've been making so far.

Mike is very laid back (a pretty funny guy too) yet at the same time he pushes you to progress from where you're at and helps you work through your sticking/trouble points. He also prioritizes that you have a solid, firm foundation, before moving onto the next skill set.

Overall I'd give Mike TWO DRUM STICKS up!!!

I plan to continue my lessons under Mike and I highly recommend him to anyone interested in taking their drum skills to the next level.
Shannon A. Mar 2, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Exactly what I was looking for! Michael is a nice guy, and the lessons are always useful and are scaled to what is challenging for me to make me feel like I'm progressing versus just droning on techniques already mastered and then builds off those.

If feel confident recommending as an instructor for students of all ages.
Ashwin Jan 11, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
I had my first lesson with Michael and I couldn't have wished for a better instructor! He started off by asking me about my goals and then went on to teach me the basics of reading music notes, identifying my strenghts and weaknesses. He's very encouraging and keeps you motivated ! I'd highly recommend him for a drumming instructor.
Josh Sep 28, 2015
Drum · In studio
Mike has a deep love and appreciation for music with an eagerness to share, educate and help direct the next generation of aspiring drummers. He is an equally nice guy with the patience to teach the most beginner of novices and knowledgable enough to refine a seasoned drummer.
Josh Sep 28, 2015
Drum · In studio
Mike has a deep love and appreciation for music with an eagerness to share, educate and help direct the next generation of aspiring drummers. He is an equally nice guy with the patience to teach the most beginner of novices and knowledgable enough to refine a seasoned drummer.
vickie Sep 25, 2015
Drum · In studio
Very professional and very friendly, also a great teacher for our daughter and she showed great improvement.