What to Expect in Lessons


What will you learn?  


Most total beginners of any age are playing songs in the first lesson. This depends on the interests and needs of each student, but here are some common topics.

How to play different styles: Rock, jazz, R+B, blues, hip hop, funk, country, reggae, etc.

  • Timekeeping:  Solid timekeeping is something that should be fun and easy, but the wrong approach can make it painful. We will go over easy ways to discover good time and improve timekeeping.
  • How Music Works:  Learning to play the drums is much easier if we understand how music works. Through exploring what music and rhythm is and how it affects us, students can improve faster and with less effort.
  • Reading:  Reading allows access to a wealth of existing information. Unfortunately, music is essentially a secret code. I usually start students off with my own Edward Tufte-inspired notation, designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Later, we will transition to staff notation using a kind of music notation Rosetta Stone.
  • Fills:  Impress your friends and neighbors with some drum-fill awesomeness!
  • Technique:  ‘Technique’ is how you do something.  On the drums, it means what movements you use.  I teach technique based on the Andover Program, a research based variant of the Alexander Technique specifically for musicians.
  • Performance Anxiety:   This is a problem nearly everyone has,  and I am well versed in many effective strategies to deal with it.  Unfortunately, most common strategies exacerbate the problem.
  • Ear Training:  Ear training is a fancy way of saying “putting a label for what you hear.”  It is a critical skill for musicians of all kinds.
  • Self Confidence:  The hardest part, and the easiest part, of playing music is “going with the flow” of things. Doing so on demand requires a lot of trust in one’s self and abilities. This is one of the reasons that performance anxiety can be such a problem.