Nicholas Molenda

Nicholas M.

Kenmore, WA

About Nicholas M.

Background check: Last verified 07/07/2016
Nicholas passed a background check on 07/07/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
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Nicholas teaches: Ages 6 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: July 2003
Last sign in: 4 days ago


*** 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

Photos and Videos

Another video from the Allen Stone shoot!


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.

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.


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

Languages Spoken

Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


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


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.

14 Reviews on Nicholas M.

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.
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.
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.
Nicholas Molenda
Nicholas M.

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