Mike Kessler

Mike K.

Indianapolis, IN
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Lesson Details

Drum

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
You've got to walk before you can run, so I focus on the basics. But, the basics can be a lot of fun! Especially once we start to apply them to your favorite songs, and being creative with them - that's kind of what it's all about!
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Mike teaches

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About

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

Teaching since:
1983

Learning to play an instrument is a mixture of a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work. My strength is finding what will inspire my students to WANT to put in those difficult hours of practice, and then showing them how to apply what they have learned in a creative way, so that they experience the fun that music is supposed to be.

I help my students set - and reach - achievable goals. Learning this skill teaches them self esteem and also helps them discover their own learning style - a valuable tool, even if they do not pursue a career in music! I am gentle, but honest when a student arrives for a lesson unprepared, and am equally honest and enthusiastic when they demonstrate that they have put forth the effort to succeed.

I am not accepting many students, so that I can keep my schedule very performance heavy. This makes me a better teacher, and means that I only retain students who really want to progress.

I have been a drummer/percussionist in the Indianapolis music scene for nearly forty years. I regularly perform with the top players in many different genres and have played and recorded in a wide variety of venues and musical situations. In addition to playing my first instrument: the drum set. I also perform on various instruments, including: steel pan, vibraphone, and congas. I have extensive experience as a teacher beginning 30 years ago teaching at IRC music and Carmel Music Center.

My music education followed the classic route of mentoring under a local expert while working professionally. I studied for 16 years with Charles Mastropaolo (drummer for the Ed Sullivan show, and local jazz great) and was trained by him in improvisation, rudimental drumming, score reading/interpretation, Latin drumming, vibraphone, and performing all styles on the drum set. I have also been a member of the vibraphone workshop online teaching community for nine years. As a member, I have been able to further my education on all mallet instruments by online lessons with some of the top vibraphone players in the world.
I look forward to working with you!

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Photos & Videos

Playing drums at the Jazz Kitchen.

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Playing vibraphone with my trio at the Chatterbox night-club.

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Playing Steel Pan, Congas, & Vibes at the Zoo.

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Remember, try to stay awake when playing. ha

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Good Vibes!

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Indy!

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Drums @ the Jazz Kitchen
Having fun at the Chatterbox!
This is a fun band!
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4 Reviews

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Vince Apr 10, 2018
Drum · In studio

Mike was really the best instructor I could have asked for. Knowledgeable, patient, and best of all, chill when he needed to be. I was just picking up the drums for a high school band I was in at the time, and he was more than willing to help me learn whatever dumb song me or my band had decided sounded cool at the time. At the same time, he showed me a lot of really excellent practice techniques, directed me to some solid literature for different rhythms to work on, and would sit with me through a whole hour of my relentless mistakes like it was nothing. More than a good instructor, he's a really cool guy! He never missed a beat!

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Fred Apr 6, 2018
Drum · In studio

Mike brings it all to the lesson...musicianship,
decades of experience, versatility and creativity.

Michael Apr 3, 2018
Drum · In home

As a professional musician who plays gigs with Mike often .... he is a great, well-rounded percussionist/drummer .... let alone a well respected person to deal with, and will always do the job at hand right. Very personable .... easy to work with. Very knowledgeable on his instruments and music. Would highly recommend him as a teacher.

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Rich Mar 30, 2018
Drum · In studio

Mike was very patient with me, as I am not very coordinated, which helps I'm learning when playing the drums. He not only was able to demonstrate what he wanted me to do, he could explain, even to a novice like myself, WHY I needed to do things a certain way. Great experience and I'm learning a lot!

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