Rich MacDonald
Sarasota, FL
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Rich MacDonald

Rich M.

Sarasota, FL
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have over thirty years of experience teaching students of all ages and abilities. My youngest student is seven and my oldest student is seventy six. I am a graduate of Berklee College of Music and have years of experience playing with jazz, rock, funk and country groups as well as playing shows for touring acts. My versatility allows me to teach many styles. Whether it's teaching a beginning student how to play rock, helping a teenage student prepare for marching band or jazz band or showing a retiree how to play to their favorite song, I always enjoy help my students learn and improve.

About Rich M.

I am originally from a city just outside Boston, Massachusetts called Quincy. I was lucky to have studied with some of the finest teachers around Boston including the many great teachers at Berklee College of Music. While in Boston and studying at Berklee, I was an instructor for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. I have a very solid background in teaching rudiments.

Once I finished my education at Berklee, I worked for several years on cruise ships playing in show bands. Our band backed up a number of name touring acts such as Little Anthony, The Imperials among many others. My experience in playing for various acts enables me to help students learn to read and interpret drum charts in different styles.

I then spent a few years living in Australia and New Zealand where I played mostly jazz gigs in clubs and concert settings. I also taught private lessons at local music stores in both countries.

Then I headed back to Boston for about eight years where I played all sorts of gigs. Jazz, rock, funk, country, blues, theatre and general business gigs. I also taught privately at this time.

Needing a change of scenery, I moved to California where I performed around the Greater Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas. I was there for five years before I made my final move to Sarasota, Florida.

I have been performing and teaching in Sarasota since 2003. Versatility is what I enjoy. I love being able to play a jazz gig one night, play a country show the next and then rock out with a hard hitting band. I love playing different types of music with different types of people. My experience and versatility allows me to do this. Likewise, I enjoy teaching different styles of music to different types of students of all ages and abilities.


Write a Review
5 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Rich is an excellent teacher! He is an excellent performer who is accomplished in many different styles of music! I have watched him perform with many various groups playing different styles of music at different venues. He has an excellent ability to transcribe what he hears and write it down in musical notation. I can not recommend him highly enough.

Posted Jan 13, 2021
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Rich has worked with my son for the past three years. His knowledge and experience with music shows. He is patient and works hard to make him a better drummer. We highly recommend Rich for any drum lesson.

Posted Jan 7, 2021
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Simply put, Rich MacDonald is a remarkable drum teacher. Educated at Berklee, he is a veteran working drummer who knows, plays and can teach any style of music. His patience and adaptability to specific student needs is the perfect persona for teaching young beginners. For intermediates, he is a calm, steady guide to correcting mistakes and quirks that get in the way of effective technique. Even for experienced drummers, he is an incredible resource for expanding capabilities and mastering unfamiliar styles. His charts, when needed, are professional models of clarity.

With a long background in music, but not drums, I studied with Rich for four years and would be still were it not for unrelated physical issues.

There's no one I could recommend more highly, as a drum a person. Studying with Rich is not only drum education, it's enjoyable.

Posted Nov 28, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Throughout my many years of lessons, Rich had truly been a great support and instructor for drum lessons. He makes sure that progress is accomplished and successfully implements various types of rhythms, techniques, beats, styles, and songs into the curriculum. All in all, I appreciate all that he is taught me and look forward to learning more from him.

Posted Nov 27, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter started learning drums from Rich 6 years ago. We started with one on one lessons then switched to live online lessons due to COVID. My daughter has enjoyed learning drums and likes to continue to expand on her skills. Rich has been great and key to my daughters drum education. He is a very effective drum educator. He is very knowledgeable and is able to teach the student at their own pace. My daughter is now participating in School band activities. She is way overqualified for what the band teacher has her do and that is due to what Rich has taught her. I would highly recommend Rich as a drum educator for anyone and any level.

Posted Nov 27, 2020

Photos & Videos

13 Photos & Videos


Showband drummer
Jan 2006 - Present

William Clare Entertainment

Hired to play drums for touring acts coming through Florida. The acts are varied in style. Rhythm and Blues, Broadway, Oldies and Comedy are some of the types of acts. The gig requires reading ability and versatility.


B.A. in Professional Music
Sep 1980 - Aug 1985

Berklee College of Music



Fluent / Native Proficiency

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