5.0 (25)
2 hires on Lessons.com

About this pro

***IMPORTANT NOTE, PLEASE READ: I am located in the metropolitan Detroit area. But, I am available for online (remote) lessons; with a very good online set up (tripods, cameras, etc). I am also available at my teaching space, and have two great drum sets, set up side by side; one for the student, and one for the instructor. I am also willing to commute to the student, within a certain radius, with a nominal fee (for gas and commute time). Thank you for your time and interest.

I have 25 years of experience as a working musician, combining: Private drum instruction, freelance studio work, and collaboration with musicians and bandmates in both a live and studio setting.

I have been a member of solid Metropolitan Detroit bands, most notably including: Friends of the Family, Night Train, and The Mobius Loop. I have been blessed with many great opportunities, most notably supporting national acts, such as: The Headhunters, Melvin Seals, Mofro and Strange Folk. And, I have recorded at excellent Metropolitan Detroit studios, including: Studio N Armada, Riff Lab Studios, Woodshed Studios, The Disc, and CVF Studios. More recently, I have participated in recording projects with a group called The Nova Junction, and with talented producers Dan Lesnick and Josh Ackerman. Along with teaching drum lessons, I am presently collaborating on original material, with a newly formed rock band, called Electric Temple.

I am looking to add dedicated students to my current roster. I am very experienced with teaching students in a wide age range; as I have students that are 5 years of age, and students that are 60 plus years of age. I took private instruction, studying under two EXCELLENT drummers from the Detroit Metro area: Darryl Pierce and Donny Gruendler. Mr. Pierce (among many other accomplishments) currently tours internationally and nationally with a well known artist by the name of Bettye LaVette. This group has made frequent television appearances, including: David Letterman and Austin City Limits. Mr. Gruendler, is currently the Vice President of Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, and he has been featured in several Modern Drummer publications.

I have learned a great deal through private instruction, and therefore teach from experience. I utilize and apply many of the techniques that I personally found useful; through my own personal instruction. The two full drum kits, set up in my teaching/rehearsal space, have proven to be an exceptional teaching tool. References from teachers, students, producers, and bandmates can be provided on request.

I absolutely LOVE seeing my seeing my students make progress, and reach their musical goals.  

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Sterling Heights, MI 48310
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25 Reviews


  • Kevin Mcdonald

    At mid-life I found myself with extra time on my hands as the kids had all flown the coop; but I was stranded in my home due to COVID-19. I had always wanted to learn drums and decided to make drumming my primary hobby in my “second life”, but I didn’t know where to start. Michael Thompson answered my request for information and has been extremely knowledgeable, flexible, and attentive to my needs. I have learned more in the past few months than anticipated, and am even playing one of my favorite (basic) songs adequately! I live in Nashville and Mike is outside Detroit, and I was initially concerned about how the “virtual instruction experience” would be. It hasn’t been a problem, and I’m fact it’s has streamlined the cadence for each session and added structure to it. We both use webcams and can see each other without issue, and in fact I can see up close examples where I may not have noticed if I were onsite. Here are some highlights of my experience: - [ ] Detroit based drummer with decades of experience with multiple genres of music (Jazz, Rock, Latin, Classics, and more!) - [ ] Personalized training, the Genre and songs that I want to learn with a sprinkling of others for edification. I have learned to appreciate genres I never listened to before, such as Jazz. - [ ] Music theory instruction, reading percussion sheet music, timing, rudiments, hand/foot techniques and control, fills, and much more - [ ] Flexible scheduling. I decided on an hour a week, and Mike has been flexible when my schedule required a different night. He’s Uber easy to work with. - [ ] Mike responds to out-of-cycle messages, sends videos to demo a specific question, he is great at getting questions answered. - [ ] He consistently (and tactfully) corrects minor mistakes, attention to detail matters and has made me a better drummer. In closing, I believe that an instructor’s job is not to just give you a ton of examples and homework; we can all get that from books and YouTube. An instructors actual job is to be the subject matter expert and to guide the students through the content that they need to know to build foundational habits and be prepared for the the next stage in training. Mikes homework assignments always lead to mastery skills that need to be in place to best embrace the next level.

  • Vishwani Dua

    My 8 yr old daughter has been taking drum lessons from Michael for couple months now virtually. Shes really enjoying them and learning. Michael is very organized and has a great style of teaching. His camera setup really helps to see exactly what hes teaching and my daughter is able to follow him easily. He provides notes after each lesson and what to practice for homework as well, which really helps keep my daughter engaged while shes not in class. I wasn't sure if virtual lessons will work initially but Michael has really made it worthwhile and my daughter now loves these classes. I would highly recommend Michael for anyone thats thinking of lessons especially during the pandemic!!

  • Tenley

    Michael is always smiling, energetic!Thank you for having so much patience with my son! You have truly inspired him to be a musician!I will always be thankful for your hard work.

  • Mike Carroll

    I wanted to get back into drums after taking about 20 years off.....Mike was able to help me tune up my fundamentals and get me back on track to having fun with the drums again. He is easy to work with and his price is reasonable. He is very flexible with my schedule as I only do online lessons. Mike is qualified and easy to talk to. He understands what direction I want to go and has helped me improve my skills. A++++

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