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Lesson Details

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About

Nicholas passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Nicholas delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 6+ and special needs

Teaching since:
July 2003

*** General Bio ***
Hi, my name is Nick and I am born-and-raised in the pacific northwest! Initially from the Olympia, WA area, I relocated to Seattle in the fall of 2002, and have called Seattle home ever since. I received my education from the renown University of Washington School of Music with a Bachelor's in Music Performance (jazz studies). My career in music since moving to Seattle has provided me many extraordinary experiences both as a performer and an educator that I am quite thankful for.

I am most known in the northwest music/percussion community from a recent 7-year stint instructing and coordinating the University of Washington Husky Drumline. During my time with UW, I helped propel the UW drumline from regional to national prominence by consistently elevating the level of performance year-by-year while bolstering multiple social media platforms that led to greater recruiting outreach and subsequent response. I was also able to engage the group in similar publicity endeavors with our corporate sponsors such as Remo Drumheads, Pearl drums, and Vic Firth Drumsticks.

In the summer of 2013, I held the position of Percussion Caption Head for the World Class DCI Corps, The Seattle Cascades. We led the Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps to their highest percussion scoring in 6 years, and in any year since. Last but not least, I have also been involved with both the Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline & Sounders Sound Wave spanning 4 seasons total.

Outside of marching percussion, I've spent significant time fine-tuning a wide array of musical genres behind the drumkit including Rock, Pop, Jazz, Big Band, Funk, Blues, R&B, Soul, Rock Opera, and Electronic, and I've even dabbled in Gospel, Folk, Roots, Country, Musical Theater, Classical, Metal, and Punk.

I currently tour with cinematic-electro-pop band HARPS and over the years have been lucky enough to be involved with Allen Stone, Megan Wilde, Headwaves, Tess Henley, Cracker Factory, and Discs of Fury along the way.

In addition, I've built a sizable following of drumming enthusiasts on YouTube gaining world-wide acclaim from a short series of note-for-note transcription performance videos. Perhaps most remarkable was a very accurate replication of a near 5-minute classic Aaron Spears solo from his performance at the 2006 Modern Drummer Festival Weekend of Usher’s hit “Caught Up”. Spears himself lauded the effort via Twitter within hours of the original upload.

I proudly endorse Pearl Drums, Remo Drumheads, and Vic Firth Drumsticks and mallets.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that good teaching revolves around finding the right balance of three things: what the student wants, what the student needs, and what the student can handle.

As your teacher, I will do my very best in making you a more complete and well-rounded musician while helping guide you toward your goals. Whether you're just starting out, or an experienced pro wanting to brush up on a few new skills, I can help you. Over the past 13 years, I have successfully instructed folks from every age range and skill level, both in ensemble settings of various shapes and sizes, and one-on-one. I'd love to have the opportunity to help you, too!

I have a general core curriculum that I like to follow, but also understand when being overly regimented can take the fun out of the experience. I try my best to go at the student's pace while working to expose them to the necessary material that will ultimately allow them to achieve their goals.

My curriculum utilizes recordings, videos, demonstrations, transcriptions, books, play alongs, and the like. I focus a great deal on maintaining great posture with relaxed playing technique, as well as listening, reading, improvisation, and ear training.

Note for those with special needs: I have experience working with kids with the following conditions: Dyslexia, Partial Deafness, and Asperger Syndrome. In all cases, I was able to help each individual overcome these tremendous obstacles and become quite proficient performers within their ensembles. However, I do ask that any parents get in touch prior to booking lessons so that we may have a conversation about the details of each person's respective situation. That way, I believe I can make sure that I am the right person for the job as each situation is different and requires such special consideration.

Also: I do have experience teaching through a translator.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Two drum kits, sound equipment for listening/playalong purposes, metronome, practice pad station (w/mirror setup), video camera, sticks and mallets.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Sticks and mallets, practice pads, metronome, video camera.

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, Rudimental, Drum Corps, R&B, Rock, Funk, Pop

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Experience

Manager/Drummer
Mar 2013 - Present
HARPS - Seattle-based electronic rock group

Drumset / Synthesizer / Vocal Performance at shows; planning, coordinating, and booking events and tours; hustling up press; etc.

Percussion Coordinator & Arranger
Aug 2008 - Jan 2015
University of Washington Husky Marching Band

Tasked with overseeing any logistical coordination of or relating to the UW Husky Drumline. Responsibilities are including but not limited to: the arrangement, instruction, distribution, and organization of all music performed by the UW Husky Drumline, presence at 3-4 rehearsals per week during the college football season, coordination of recruiting events, audition events, and other miscellaneous camps and/or clinic activities, ordering and subsequent organization and regular maintenance of all necessary equipment, coordination of online social media presence, interfacing with (and sometimes hosting) representatives from corporate sponsors, and occasional counseling of membership.

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Percussion Caption Head
Sep 2012 - Sep 2013
Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps

Managed all aspects of 2013 Cascades Drum Corps percussion program including instruction, arrangment, staffing, membership, equipment management, tour logistics, ensemble rehearsal, program coordination, and more.

Education

Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Music
Sep 2002 - Jun 2007
University of Washington

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Japanese
Limited Proficiency
Spanish
Limited Proficiency

Awards

Seattle Store Champion
Oct 2006
Guitar Center Drum-Off 2006
Bill Cole Scholarship Award
Jan 2006
University of Washington Husky Marching Band and Alumni Association
Merit Scholarship
Jan 2005
University of Washington School of Music
Seattle Store Champion
Oct 2004
Guitar Center Drum-Off 2004

Affiliations

National Association of Music Merchants
Jan 2013

NAMM is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages.

Photos & Videos

Another video from the Allen Stone shoot!
Allen Stone's ground-breaking music video which I performed in.
A transcription to one of the most historic performances on any Modern Drummer Festival stage.
How to tackle the legendary shuffle groove played by Jeff Porcaro on this famous Toto track.
A transcription of Vinnie's playing on "Seven Days" from Sting's album: Ten Summoners Tales.
Photo Credit: Landon Edwards

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Photo Credit: Landon Edwards

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Photo Credit: Justin Bales

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Photo by Nicholas M.

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14 Reviews

Write a Review
Carlos Sep 4, 2016
Drum · Online

Just had my first lesson, great help so far

Jarrett L. Mar 10, 2016
Drum · In studio

Nicholas is the best instructor for developing great technique, groove, & practice habits. I still use his methods when I'm learning a new skill or maintaining my chops. I always look forward to a lesson with Nicholas because he inspires and challenges you to be the best you can, both inside and outside of the practice room.

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Jarrett L. Mar 10, 2016
Drum · In studio

Nicholas is the best instructor for developing great technique, groove, & practice habits. I still use his methods when I'm learning a new skill or maintaining my chops. I always look forward to a lesson with Nicholas because he inspires and challenges you to be the best you can, both inside and outside of the practice room.

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Cole Mar 4, 2016
Drum · In studio

I've learned so much since taking lessons from Nick. He's tough but that motivation is what makes you accept nothing but the best. He also goes at a pace that will give you the most success.

Wesley Mar 3, 2016
Drum · In home

Fantastic teacher with a breadth of experience in different areas of percussive instruction. Lessons are both lighthearted and efficient. If you have a personal goal you want to reach, Nick will help you get there

Brandon Mar 3, 2016
Drum · In studio

As a student, I really enjoy the in depth lessons that he gives and his attention to detail. I enjoy his encouraging email after each lesson. In a way, he always makes me want to get better everyday.

James Mar 3, 2016
Drum · In studio

Nick is an amazing drum instructor and a wonderful human.

Will Mar 3, 2016
Drum · In studio

Nick has been great for our son. He was self taught and came to Nick with all kinds of bad habits. Nick has been patient and has helped him work through a lot of them

Taron Mar 3, 2016
Drum · In studio

My son has been taking lessons from Nick for almost 3 yrs now. He started as one of Nick's youngest students and Nick has done a fabulous job. Always encouraging and fostering an environment that keeps him enjoying it.

Dave Mar 3, 2016
Drum · In studio

It is my pleasure to write a review about Nick's talent as a drum teacher as well as a professional musician. Nick has had an indelible impact on my son and family. My son was showing some talent on his drum line in high school and seemed to be outgrowing his teacher. We asked our high school band leader who the best was and he immediately pointed to Nick. At my son's first lesson Nick told him that he is good but he is going to have to relearn the basics of drum line percussion. This launched my son into a wonderful ride. He became the section of his high school drum line and then was recruited to play for the University of Washington band. Our decision to go with Nick influenced not only my son as a musician but his college selection.

As a drummer myself, I am aware that NIck is highly regarded in the music community. He is playing for a first class band that seems to be taking off and he has a huge range of genres.

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John Mar 3, 2016
Percussion · In studio

I've been a percussionist for roughly 30 years. Naturally, during that time I have had many instructors. Nick ranks as one of the best. I love his attention to detail and focus on nailing the basics (something I wish I spent more time doing back in grade school). His approach would work equally well for a beginner or advanced musician.

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Dana C. Jun 7, 2013
Percussion ·

Way Beyond Excellent

Have you ever had something so amazing that you did not want to share it? Well, that is how I've felt about Nick's lessons. Nick has inspired and challenged my son to become a well rounded percussionist. Nick's professionalism, punctuality, and teaching skills far exceeds five stars. After each lesson, you will receive through notes on what was covered and what needs to be worked on. With all the different learning styles it usually pretty easy to note and area where an instructor could use improvement. This is absolutely not the case with Nick. If you a searching for an outstanding instructor, you've discovered him. My secret is out.

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Morgan B. Feb 15, 2013
Drum ·

Well-rounded lessons that are worth your time.

I feel a little bit ridiculous for writing 5/5 stars for everything, but I have got to admit, Nick is an excellent teacher. I have been taking lessons on the marching snare with him, and have seen improvement over even the shortest periods of time. Nick can be quite serious when it comes to putting in a good effort, but he is very laid-back and makes the lessons fun, too. He has many approaches to teaching techniques in order to ensure that the student understands, and has helped me discover some of my true potential. I highly recommend Nick, whether you're a beginner, or trying to make the Husky Drumline.

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David C. Feb 15, 2013
Drum ·

Solid Teacher

Nick does a great job in all respects. He's well-versed in a lot of styles and is capable of teaching pretty much anything you want to learn on drum set. One thing that's set him apart from other teachers I've had is how he's able to precisely identify flaws in your playing while offering specific and direct ways to eliminate those flaws. If you take lessons from Nick and follow his instructions you're definitely going to become a better player.

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