Peter Mueller

Peter M.

Haverhill, MA
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Lesson Details

Music Performance

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Let's make it so!
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Peter teaches



Peter delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
May 1998

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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B.S. Speech - Performance Studies
Sep 1990 - Jun 1994
Northwestern University
Graduate / Print Shop/Theatre/English
Sep 1986 - Jun 1990
Lane Technical High School

Photos & Videos

Peter and his drumming dancer group! All beginner hand drummers!
Cajon (seated box drum) and conga, shekere and bells, everything is possible

You can dance if you want to

Korea Art Bellydance Association, Seoul. Instructor/performer  in bellydance drum rhythms to dancers beginning to learn drumming.

Dumbek (darbukka), cajons (seated box drums), conga and shakere, djembe, any drum you have will sound funky

Mister Petey driving the EE Bomba, center with bass drum and purple hat, at HONK!Fest 2013 in Somerville MA
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2 Reviews

Write a Review
Wael Apr 20, 2016
Hand Drums · Online

Great teacher, great class

Eli I. Sep 14, 2015
Hand Drums · In home

Great lesson!

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