Peter Mueller

Peter M.

Haverhill, MA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Find the voice of any drum and make it sing. Students of every level benefit from rhythmic breath and speaking the words of the rhythms. Beginners will find the sounds of the drum, learn the language used to explain patterns, and quickly memorize rhythms by name. Everybody learns differently, we will write, speak, feel, or clown around until you fully grasp the rhythm. Intermediate and advanced students will benefit from a variety of techniques from around the world to employ to make even familiar patterns sound fresh.

About Peter M.

I am a student of various great drum teachers from many backgrounds. Experienced players enjoy jamming with me, but I have been told that I am especially gifted at helping beginners feel comfortable finding rhythms and sounds out of any instrument, including the human body. Rhythmic breathing is made simple and encouraged from the start. Tones and drum patterns can be explained verbally or written mathematically. Students remember the patterns forever, as well as gaining comfort in playing with other drummers or instruments. Odd time signatures or complicated songs can be tackled and easily learned. Use any drum or percussion instrument you have! Recordings are encouraged if you like!

Peter grew up in Chicago, raised to love soulful music. A graduate of Northwestern University's Performance Studies program with a focus on Theatre and Media Arts, Public Speaking, and Ethnology. Designing percussion for stage and dance lead to studies and teaching of North and West African, Middle Eastern drum, Caribbean/South American and Asian drum and percussion rhythms. First hand experience has been gained by living in Morocco and South Korea for nearly a year each, studying and documenting folk music.


Write a Review
2 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

Great teacher, great class

Posted Apr 20, 2016
Eli I.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great lesson!

Posted Sep 14, 2015

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos


Co-Director / Instructor
May 1998 - Present

Private Studio

Community-minded rhythm instruction with a focus on hand drums. Stick drumming with a focus on New Orleans-style marching bass drum and percussion (bell/block/tamborine) also a specialty. Elements of conscious breathing and comfortable movement are adapted to whichever level of experience and instrument you are working with. A world of influences allows for a variety of methods for learning and memorizing patterns which may be written, spoken, sung, or improvised. Groups large or small will benefit from our ability to customize the experience to the participants and location.

Percussion/Stage Director
Mar 1998 - Present

Environmental Encroachment

Chicago performance art group Environmental Encroachment (EE) uses an artist marching band and theatrics to create unique entertainment environments. Performances can include costumes, live music, parades, fire spinning, hula hoops, antics, and audience interaction. EE Marching Band’s music uses Latin, North African, and traditional American rhythms, fused with a full brass section and on-call electric bass. Songs are folkloric fusions, classics and our creations inspired from New Orleans Second Line, Jazz and Rock. EE’s magic circus marching band has evolved as part of a new genre of music:
 HONK! bands! "Across the country and around the world, a new type of street band is emerging. Acoustic and mobile, borrowing repertoire and inspiration from a diverse set of folk music traditions – New Orleans second line brass bands, European Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Afro Bloc and Frevo traditions, as well as the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival– these “honkers” all share a commitment to several core principles. Metaphorically speaking, they honk their horns for the same reasons motorists honk theirs: to arouse fellow travelers, to warn of danger, to celebrate milestones, and to just plain have fun.”
 EE has done and can do parades, weddings, funerals, historical re-enactments, children’s shows, Halloween shows, street busking, second-line, festivals, performance workshops, rituals, marching band flags, circusesque sideshows, music for burlesque, vaudevillian skits, straight out music jams and synchronized swimming with tubas. Environmental Encroachment started in 1996, with playground installations and live music interactions for people to play, be childlike, curious, free and happy. Select Festivals: 
Electric Forest 
Sourth By Southwest 
 RIOT Fest 
 Chicago World Music Festival
 HONK! Street Band Festivals (Seattle, Boston, Providence, Austin) 
 Burning Man
 Houston Art Car Parade 
Lotus World Music Festival 
 Chicago Children’s Music Festival
 Chicago Folk and Roots Festival
 Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival
 WZRD College Radio Spring Festival 
Cleveland Performance Art Festival
 Black Sheep Puppet Festival 
Rotary Club’s Centennial Celebration
 Chiditarod Shopping Cart Race 
 Michigan Peace and Music Festival
 Chicago Peace Festival 
Renegade Craft Fair 
 Taste of Randolph Street 
Land of NOD Experiment Select Venues:
 Queens Museum of Art, NY
 Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
 Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 
Krannert Museum of Art, Champaign, IL 
Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, WI
 Oriental Institute, Chicago 
 Millenium Park, Pritzker Pavillion
 Chicago Cultural Center 
Sky Church, Seattle Center, WA 
Old Town School of Folk Music
 Gallery 37 Storefront Theater 
The Chicago Theater
 The Congress Theater 
City of Chicago Halloween Parade 
Unity Temple by Frank Lloyd Wright 
Chicago’s Navy Pier 
 Chicago Motor Speedway, NASCAR 
Vassar College, NY 
Staten Island Ferry NY 
Northeastern University 
Stone Scholastic Academy
 Chicago Waldorf School 
The Orange Show, Houston TX
 Ravenswood Buddhist Temple 
Harvard Square Octoberfest Celebration, MA
 The Glessner House 
The Rookery Buidling
 Cabaret Metro

Merchandise Specialist / Customer Service
Apr 2010 - Dec 2014

Andy's Music Chicago

All aspects of music store operation, with a focus on hand percussion and drumkit accessories. Daily knowledge gained about other instruments from around the world: strings, winds, reeds and more. Experience with a variety of percussion from around the world, as well as modern cutting-edge improvements on folk instruments, has allowed me to offer great advice to both prospective and current drum owners.


Master's - Museum Studies
Sep 2015 - May 2020

Harvard University

B.S. Speech - Performance Studies
Sep 1990 - Jun 1994

Northwestern University

Graduate / Print Shop/Theatre/English
Sep 1986 - Jun 1990

Lane Technical High School

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