Michael Washington

Michael W.

Tampa, FL
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Lesson Details



Michael delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
and Ages 7 to 80

Teaching since:

Michael Washington is available for in-home lessons and will soon begin having in-studio and online lessons! Michael has been playing and studying drums (drum set, concert & marching percussion) for 29 years, hand percussion for 11 years and has been teaching since 1995. He recently came off of a tour with Wahh World Fusion Band which fuses Indian classical music with western jazz, rock, funk, RnB and drum & bass and he is also a musician/performer with the Walt Disney World company. He has been graced to play with artists spanning many genres of music and has also provided improvisational pieces for visual artists exhibits and poets and has performed in many venues in the US, Japan and Colombia including at the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama. Michael teaches all experience levels from beginner, intermediate to advanced as well as helping other pro drummers or percussionists looking to learn more about the other side.

He has been trained in many different teaching methods and has since developed his own teaching method to enhance the students fundamental playing techniques, ear training, dexterity, basic music theory reading and transcription skills. His goals as a teacher is to help you achieve your goals as an artist musician and to take the principles learned through the study of the discipline of music into your life to help shape you into being a better person.

Genres that Michael is experienced in range from Pop, Jazz, Rock, Funk, Electro, Soul, R & B, and New Orleans 2nd Line on drum set, West African Folkloric/dance such as Soli, Kuku, Dunungbe, Mendiani, Kakilambe, Marakadon on djembe, as well as Afro-Pop such as Nigerian Afro-Beat, Mangambe, Doudoumba, Mbalax and Bikutsi on drum set and hand percussion; Brazilian Samba & MPB such as Bossa Nova, Baiaó, Afoxé, Partido Alto, Coco, Xaxado, and Maracatú on Brazilian percussion & on drum set, Egyptian Classical and Folkloric bellydance rhythms such as Maqsoum, Saidi, Masmoudi, Baladi, Sombati, Fallahi, Chiftiteli, Ayoub, Samai and Malfuf; North African Gnawa, Rai & Chaabi on North African percussion & drum set; Bomba, Plena, General Cuban /New YoRican"Salsa" such as Son, Som Montuno, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba Guaguancó, Songo, Timba and Mozambique, but also Cuban 6/8 such as Guiro & Bembé, Rumba Yambú, Rumba Columbia, Abakuá Lokua Fun and Dominican Merengue on latin percussion and on drum set where appropriate.

Michael is an expert transcriber for drum set, marching percussion and hand percussion, creates his own exercises and creates breakdowns of rhythms and rudiments to better enhance the student's learning. He can also create practice audio tracks for the student to use in their individual practice time.

Michael spent 1 year at HCC studying music but realized that he was getting much better instruction through 6 years of instruction from great teachers such as Mark Thurston, Paula Williams, Benja Russel, Tim Church, Eddie Capps, Diaz Clark, Joe Southard, Eugene Fambrough, Tom Mazzeo, Paul Gansmer, Jack Starling, Mark Smith, Rob Minier, Rick Adams, Mike Neidhart, Dino Riccio, Jody Dunwoody, Steve McNeely and William Meyers within the drum corps idiom performing with Suncoast Sound and The Spirit of Atlanta, he was graced with the opportunity to perform as a percussionist at Tokyo Disney Land in 1998 and 1999 and then again at Tokyo Disney Sea from 2005 to 2010.

Most of his percussion study was done with artists/musicians who are deeply rooted in specific types of music and the culture it came from during their childhood or teen years and not from a college professor who learned it from their professor out of a book but have yet to actually perform these styles outside of their class room.
During his time in Tokyo, he took every opportunity to go see concerts at The Blue Note, Tokyo Forum, Bunka Kaikan, The Billboard Club, The Cotton Club, touring Cirque du Soliel
shows and many other venues with top quality world renowned artists. On his free time from performing at Disney, Michael was fortunate to study with great percussionists such as
Christopher "Kit" Chatham (of Blast & Shockwave) and Christopher Hardy both of Cirque de Soliel and also Abdou Bayefall and Abdoulaye Sarr Ndiaye of Senegal, Africa. Later back in the US, he studied and worked with Abdel Tahour of Morocco, took a workshop with Orlando Cotto of Puerto Rico and is currently learning from Jessica D Albino folkloric dancer/drummer of Puerto Rico.

He has traveled to Cairo, Egypt to study middle eastern music, to Colombia to teach marching percussion and learn their folk music and also to Bali, Bangkok, Costa Rica, Panama, much of the Caribbean, South Korea and Madrid to photograph in the streets and absorb the rhythm, art and cultures of those places.
For more info see my website @ michaelwashingtonae.com

Masterwork Cymbals 24", 22" rides (2), 20" rides (5), 16" crashes (2), 14" hi-hats
Ludwig late 60s green & olive badge 22"x14" bass, 12"x8", 13" x 9", 14"x10" tom and 16"x16" floor tom
Ludwig mid 70s Acrolite 14"x5" snare drum
Ludwig 2015 Rocker steel snare 14"x5"
Ludwig USA free-floating Marching Snare drum 14"x12"
Sonor Force 3007 Jungle kit 16"x16" bass, 10"x8" tom, 14"x10" floor tom
Canopus Maple snare drum 14"x5.5"
Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute 14"x5" snare drum
Gawharet El Fan doumbek (mylar head)
Gawharet El Fan riq (mylar head)
Meinl Percussion Turkish style darbuka  5 7/8" & a 7 1/4"
Meinl Percussion Doumbek (2)
Meinl Percussion Mizhar (2) 18"x4" with a thin calfskin & a mylar true feel head
Meinl Percussion 20"x2.5" Tar
Meinl Percussion Daf 20" with synthetic head
LP Matador congas 11" quinto  and 11 3/4" conga
Persian Dayereh 15"x2.5" with a goat skin head
Senegalese djembe and tama (talking drum)
2 Pandeiros 10" one carnival style with lugs and a mylar head, one handmade in Rio old Capoeira style
RMV tambourim 6" 
Hand percussion: assorted shekere, caxixi, guiro, bells, blocks, karkabou, tingsha, sea shells, seed pods, kashaka, Meinl stage (metal) and studio (plastic) shakers etc..

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Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


American Federation of Musicians
May 1999

A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

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Photos & Videos

Playing at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Performing in Rhythms of The World at Tokyo Disney

Performing with Blue Muse

Teaching in Cundinamarca, Colombia

With the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle corps 1997

Photo by Michael W.


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