Michael Fonseca

Michael F.

Austin, TX

About Michael F.

Michael teaches: Ages 18 and up
Teaching since: March 1993
Last sign in: 2 days ago


Hi I'm Mike!
I've been playing/teaching drums for over 20 years. I started out playing in Punk and Metal bands. I later got interested in Jazz which led me to the University of North Texas. I graduated there in 99 and boy did I learn a thing or two. Attending such a highly competitive school taught me a few things about learning new concepts and setting goals. I have since adopted a philosophy that yields results and have eliminated the "busy work" approach that most drum teachers use. My main interest is to see my students achieve their dreams!

*** Lesson Details ***
I'm a pretty laid back teacher. I let student drive the intensity of the lessons. I have a few set goals that all my students must achieve but it is up to the student to determine how soon they meet them. After 3 months my students will be able to play a handful of songs chosen by them. They will also be able to play rudiments as wells as improvise with them on the kit. After 6 months a student should be able to learn drum parts by ear. At that point my students should also be able to take any memorized beats or fills and "remix" them spontaneously!

*** Studio Equipment ***
The In-Studio lessons are taught in a separate room which includes 2 drum sets and recording equipment. 1 dog kept separate. Seating available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
The student should provide a permanent space where the drums are located and either a video recorder or hand held audio recorder. The student must also provide a metronome capable of being heard over the drums.

*** Specialties ***
I concentrate on drum set. I teach lots of styles at any level. I encourage learning by ear before I teach reading.

Photos and Videos

This is a few shots of me around town


Adjunct professor

Jan 2012 - Present
Austin Community College

I currently teach MUSP 1217 Applied Percussion at ACC. All of my students are drum set students some want to play in bands but other would like to audition for a 4 year university.


Jazz Performance

Aug 2014 - Present
University of Texas

Bachelor's in Jazz Studies

Aug 1994 - Aug 1999
University of North Texas

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Rail Road Conductor Certification

Aug 2006
Johnson County Community College

Yeah, I was a Train Conductor for a year

Write a Review

8 Reviews on Michael F.

Russell C. Oct 28, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Mike is a great teacher that really understands how to pace his students. As an intermediate drummer, I have been taking lessons with him for a couple of months and really enjoy his style. He encourages improvisation rather than repeating patterns that any old goof could play. In a city where there are probably a lot of jokers trying to teach drums, Mike is one of the few that knows his stuff and knows how to cater to each unique student.
Geoff A. Mar 30, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Mike is an excellent teacher. Passionate and knowledgeable about all things drumming, and just a chill personality overall, unlike teachers I've had in the past. I find him very easy to work and communicate with. I live an hour away from Austin, and often have to reschedule lessons due to a hectic and unpredictable work schedule. Mike has always been flexible when needed, and very fair when it comes to cancellations. If I could, I would take lessons more often.
Suellen L. Nov 21, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
I am thrilled to be working with Michael! I am a first time "OLDER" student who has never played the drums. Michael is an excellent teacher and I am very comfortable working with him! His personality and teaching style works great for me! I like his hands on learning approach and feel like I am moving forward at a good pace. I have only had three lessons, but so far so good! If you are looking for a drum teacher Michael is wonderful!
Thomas B. Oct 27, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
5/5- Mike is an excellent drum teacher for any skill level. He doesn't waste time with useless exercises, but instead shows you how to become a drummer that can creatively express yourself in the moment. Plus he has some of the best prices on here! If you're on the fence, I highly, highly recommend lessons with him!
Cortney I. Jul 16, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Michael is a great instructor. I have been taking lessons with him a couple weeks now and I can say that I have learned a lot. He teaches in a way where you learn at your own comfortable pace, and makes it enjoyable to progress onto the next step. His teaching style is amazing because you do not feel pressured into learning specific material, he let's you choose your own songs to play hands on, instead of memorizing predetermined ones out of a book. Before going to his lessons, I had a hard time learning material by hand and simply free styling. Michael is definitely the instructor for you if you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone like I did, or if you pick up on things through hearing!
Juan V. May 8, 2014
Verified Student
Learning fast

Michael is a fantastic teacher. He's very clear with his concepts. I'm a beginner and he is always very patient until you understand what he is trying to teach you. I highly recommend Michael as a teacher.
Charlotte K. Feb 4, 2014

Michael is a fantastic teacher. I have taken lessons with him for several months and have progressed a lot quicker than I expected. He makes the lessons enjoyable by teaching songs of your choice, while also building improvising skills. He also teaches good practice habits and explains everything well.
Rachael G. Jan 27, 2014
Great teacher!

I've been taking lessons with Mike for a few years now, and he's an excellent instructor. As a student, I am encouraged to choose the songs I'd like to learn and from there we use each song as a jumping off point to build a vocabulary on the drums. This approach is way more fun than learning figures and rudiments in abstract, and honestly, coming from a classical music background that was largely focused on rules and theory, my lessons with Mike have made me a better musician overall. I certainly feel more confident improvising. I'm an adult student with a day job, so I appreciate that he's let me drive the pace of my own learning, while also giving helpful tips on how to get the most out of practice time, etc. I would absolutely recommend him to other students!
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