Mike Kessler

Mike K.

Indianapolis, IN
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Steel Drums
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

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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  • Background Checked
  • Teaching since 1983
  • Teaches students 5 and up

Reviews (5)

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Keith J. Jan 8, 2019
Drum · Online

Amazing, patient really informative instructor and just a great guy. Highly recommend.

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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Lesson Details

Steel Drums

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate

The Steel Pan is such a beautiful, and fun instrument! It is also one of the most logically set up instruments and makes a great tool for learning about music in general.
*Note* I only play tenor and tenor bass pans. I am unqualified to teach double seconds, or other types of pan.

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