Colorado Mountain Drumming

Colorado Mountain Drumming

5.0 (1)
1 hire on
1 employee
20 years in business

About this pro

I have played drums for over 50 years and was on the road for over 10 years. I have played with all style and size bands from duos to big bands to show bands to symphonic bands. I play and teach all styles of music including Jazz, Rock, Country, dance, orchestra, and ethnic rhythms.

I am currently playing 6 bands, the Highlands Ranch Concert Band 60 piece concert band, Highlands Ranch Swing Shift, a 16 piece big swing band, the Over The Hill Band, a 30 piece concert band, conducted by Joe Brice, the El Jebel Family Band, a 30 piece concert band, conducted by Ten Worth, and the 1st Colorado Regiment Civil War Band, a 15 piece band which plays Civil War period music, conducted by Marv Feldman, a combo conducted by Marv Feldman and festival bands and combos provided by the Littleton Community Music Association.

I studied drums in New York City with Sam Ulano for many years. The method I teach is Sam Ulano’s drum method along with my own innovations.  This method teaches you be able to master the drum and drum set to play in any situation including orchestra, concert band, and marching band.

I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and Master’s Degrees.

Drum Lesson Technique

A drum music lesson consists of two parts. You learn to read music and learn to play a drum set. snare drum and percussion instruments for concert band work.  You do not need a drum set or snare drum to start lessons.  I recommend the largest drum pad you can find (10 inches or larger) and a pair of heavy sticks (marching or metal practice sticks, which I can supply). This builds finger and wrist muscles.

Beginning lessons start with an introduction to music notation and terms and basic exercises to acquaint you with proper sticking technique.  Beginners start with Sam Ulano’s ABC Guide (which I supply at a minimum fee.)  Books are sold at cost as you progress.  I also supply my own notebook at a minimum cost for copying. 

I recommended one lesson per week.  Scheduling is extremely flexible and considerate of school activities, holidays and family vacations.




When my son was in elementary school I started a drum class to help the music teacher. Most music teaches in schools take one percussion class in college and then are expected to teach it along with every other instrument. My method is concentrated and towards one instrument and my teacher's method is the best. I updated his (Sam Ulano) method to use today's technology to teach using my own method and books.

I invite the new student to my studio and I give them an explanation of my background and teaching method. If they choose to continue we either start with the first lesson or schedule a date to start lessons.

Learning to play the drums is NOT EASY and a lot of banging. It may be harder to learn than other instruments due to the mental and physical dexterity required. Also, the music, for percussion is not just reading one line like a trumpet. You are reading rhythms that need to be played on many percussion instruments at one time. Often then parts are convoluted on one sheet of music.

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Aurora, CO 80015
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1 Review


  • Greta Chilton

    Joel meets my child's needs by personalizing the lessons. He makes a priority to teach how to read the music not just play the drums. He is nice and caring.

Photos & Videos


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

 Introduction to music notation, proper technique, application to all rhythm to play in all types of bands and all styles of music.

I prefer students to be 11 years old and older and about to enter middle school. This is because when they get into a school band they have someting to relate the lessons to.  Also they have good attention spans and their coordination is developed to a level that they may play with two hands and two feet on a drum set.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I studied drums with Sam Ulano and Vibes with Lynn Oliver. I was on the road for 10 years with various bands and currently, am playing with 5 local concert bands. I am the principal percussionist in 2 of those bands.

Lessons offered