About John Lamb
Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I offer pro drum lessons and group classes around Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, West Linn, Oregon City, and North/Northeast Portland. I have a Masters in Education, oriented to teaching rhythm in individual lessons and small groups. While I teach many kids, I also have a specialty in Teaching Adult Learners as part of my Masters degree. I also have a B.S. in Music, Psychology and Biology.
I’ve performed the drums professionally around the US and Asia since I was 14. I have studied with Bernard Purdie and Rodney Holmes. I’ve published one book on learning drums through First Act and have 2 more books on the way. Coming soon: Link to my new book on Amazon! I love music and I love to share music with others!
Learning To Play Is A Discovery Process
Everyone has rhythm. In fact, research is now saying that without rhythm, there wouldn’t be a brain. I base my teaching on how the brain processes rhythm, and on how the pros go about learning and performing rhythm. What this really means is that rhythm is not something you acquire, but something you discover within yourself.
In the brain, the same parts that enjoy music are the same ones that make it. What this means is that the more you enjoy music, the better you can be at making it. Talent is love. That is why you love music. How could you enjoy music if you don’t relate to it? How could you relate to it if you don’t understand it?
Unfortunately, there is an idea that only some people are good enough to make music, and perfectly talented people can get intimidated and confused enough about the process of making music that they give up or never even start. Also importantly, the way that music – rhythm in particular – is commonly taught is confusing. For example, the ‘time signature’ has very little to do with meter. Even the names of the notes are confusing. The process of music making can also be confusing, but everything you need to know is already inside.
This is why learning about music is a discovery process. I think about it like the Wizard of OZ. The ruby slippers of musical ability are already on your feet. But to figure out how to access it takes a journey. Practice time is ‘figuring out’ time, not time for rote repetition. Of course, many repetitions will be required to figure it out!
There are three main areas that we will work on with the drums.
Learning about notes: This is the what of music. Learning about the what and the why of notes gives students the tools to play, perform and create more effectively. This enables creativity and self expression. This work also increases emotional and social awareness and
Learning about movement: This is the how. Making the drums make sound requires movement. The question is, what kind of movements will you make to produce the sounds that you want, as easily and effectively as possible? Also, physical habits such as seated balance and breathing can significantly impact mood and every aspect of thinking.
Learning about yourself: This part is the why. Music is ultimately about connection. As musicians, we use the relationships between the notes to foster a connection between ourselves and the listeners. Ultimately, this means attending to our senses so we can nurture that connection. In other words, it means being present and focused on making music. Our expectations and fears and really wreak havoc with this process, so learning about ourselves enables us to perform to our potential more reliably. I sometimes call this ‘steering’. We learn about ourselves so we can steer ourselves to our goals.