Michael Thompson

Michael T.

Sterling Heights, MI
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Learn to play the drums quickly!!!!
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Michael teaches



Michael passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Michael delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
July 2011

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.

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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.

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Bachelors Degree: Combined major Sociology and Anthropology.
Dec 2005 - Dec 2008
Oakland University


Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

I have been teaching Haylie for close to 3 years now!  She has made great progress!  Check out the triplet fills!
My very dedicated drum student, Russ!  We prepared him for a Civil War oriented field marching school in Baltimore, and he won an award!
This is my very dedicated drum student, Sam.  Check out the GREAT natural feel with which he plays, after only 10 lessons!
This is my very dedicated drum student, Michael.  Check out the speed, control and great attack with which he plays, after only 9 lessons!
This is another video of my very dedicated drum student, Peter.  Check out his slick hi-hat work, after only a year of lessons!
My dedicated student, Peter, has a very nice feel in his overall playing, and also has tremendous potential after only 11 drum lessons!
This is my dedicated drum student, Ashwin.  Check out his hi-hat work after only 10 lessons!  Tremendous potential!
It's a pretty sweet gig when someone shows up at your rehearsal space, with a remote studio, and pays you well for your time.

DW Pacific Drumset: For student use......
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25 Reviews

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Teagan F. Mar 7, 2018
Drum · In studio

Working with Michael was so awesome. He really took time with Teagan making sure she was understanding everything he was going over. He was so easy to get along with and had very similar music interests. We look forward to more lessons with him.

Ben N. Nov 5, 2017
Drum · In home

Mike is flexible, easy to work with and all around skilled on the drums. Clean and comfortable environment for learning.

Ben N. Oct 21, 2017
Drum · In studio


Anthony May 26, 2017
Drum · In home

Michael is an unbelievable instructor! He is patient, knowledgeable and never rushes. His love and enthusiasm for the drums is very apparent, and he passes it on to his students every lesson! So lucky to have found him.

Prithvi Basak Feb 22, 2017
Drum · In studio

Had a really good beginner experience, as I began to learn the drums with Micheal. Micheal made sure the classes were exciting and would lay an emphasis and rhythm. I would definitely recommend Micheal to any beginner out there!

Chenyu Z. Feb 7, 2017
Drum · In studio

Mike is a great drummer! He helped me with basic rhythm and techniques to build my skills. One unique benefit is Mike offers students to practice at his studio (for a fee) before/after the lesson. This was super helpful to me since I don't have an acoustic drum set and practicing right afterwards kept the material fresh on my mind. He also explains music concepts very clearly, and answers my questions in depth! I would recommend him to all ages for drum lessons!

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alex Feb 6, 2017
Drum · In home

My sister and I have been taking lessons from michael for awhile now, he is very friendly, patient, and will work at your pace. I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever

Peter Dec 17, 2016
Drum · In studio

I've been taking drum lessons with Mike for almost a year now. I can say with confidence that I've been progressing from lesson to lesson under his instruction and guidance.

If I were to describe Mike as a teacher so far, he would be the Yoda of drums; he's positive, gentle, and fun. But at the same time, he's firm and pushes you to be the best drummer you can be. Mike also calibrates his lesson based on your current drum level; he never teaches something that is too easy nor does he teach something that is too difficult. Instead, he has guided me through challenging but achievable exercises. Progression has been improving one baby-step at a time. This wouldn't have been possible without Mike's attention to detail, patience, encouragement, and continuous feedback.

With that being said, these small baby-steps over the past year have led to tremendous improvement in my skills in 2016. Looking forward to getting even better in 2017. I would highly recommend Mike for private lessons if you wish to be a JEDI DRUM MASTER!

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Todd Dec 14, 2016
Drum · In home

Mike has been a great instructor for my son. He has been extremely professional and easy to work with. My son is quiet and not very outgoing, however he has come out of his shell with Mike. Mike utilizes the lesson time to its fullest. Overall, we have been very pleased.

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Alex Oct 20, 2016
Drum · In studio

Michael is probably the best teacher I have had in years. He's very considerate, knowledgeable, and just an all around nice guy. If you are looking for a really good teacher choose him as your first choice.

Sam Y. Oct 9, 2016
Drum · In home

Michael has been a great teacher so far. He clearly enjoys playing the drums and it shows. His focus is also on the basics and the rudiments as he wants his students to develop good habits. I am very new to the drums but have learned quite a bit in the past couple months. Very easy going guy with a lot of patience that just wants to share one of his hobbies. I will definitely will continue taking lessons.

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Garrett Faught Oct 8, 2016
Drum · In studio

Michael has a very good understanding of the drumming world. He was very careful to work around my already-existing abilities to improve on what I could do, not make me do everything his way. If you are looking for a cool easygoing guy to teach you, give Michael a call.

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Michael Oct 8, 2016
Drum · In studio

One of the best instructors ive ever had! I highly recommend Michael T. If youre looking to take lessons.

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.

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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!

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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.

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Kay K. Mar 7, 2016
Drum · In studio

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.

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Shannon A. Mar 2, 2016
Drum · In studio

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.

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Ashwin Jan 11, 2016
Drum · In studio

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.

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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.

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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.

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vickie Sep 25, 2015
Drum · In studio

Very professional and very friendly, also a great teacher for our daughter and she showed great improvement.

Dan Sep 16, 2015
Drum · In studio

Mike makes learning drums easy and fun. His patient and calm approach to teaching has helped me develop at a rapid pace. I wish all teachers were this good!

Andy Sep 3, 2015
Drum · In studio

I have been taking lessons from Michael fora few months now. He starts off from the rudiments, and then adds other topics such as syncopation. He loves to talk about music, so it helps to know something about different genres to follow the conversation. He has definitely put in a lot of years into drums, judging from my interaction with him. Don't be surprised if he suggests that you consider learning a 2nd instrument. I would highly recommend his instruction for a beginning drum student

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