Drum Lessons By John Lester

Drum Lessons By John Lester

5.0 (4)
Best of 2022
1 hire on Lessons.com
1 employee
52 years in business

About this pro

I have been performing and teaching for more than 50 years. I know a thing or two about how to achieve excellence.

I was a member of the Connecticut Hurricanes national championship drumline. And I have performed with some of the best jazz artists in the country. I am privileged to have taught hundreds of people to master the fine art of drum set musicianship. 

I love supporting and guiding the hard work of dedicated people. Drums are, by far, the most fun instrument in the band. Getting it right, right from the beginning is the most fun of all.

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Seattle, WA 98118
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4 Reviews


  • Mollie & Sean Silas

    John has been a wonderful asset to our son as he advances his drumming skills. John is so talented! He challenges our son, makes his lessons fun and allows our son to work on a mix of musical styles, collaborating with him and teaching him at the same time. He's awesome and we are so glad we found him!

  • Joe Piecuch

    John is good humored, patient, accommodating, knowledgeable and challenging in his teaching practice. Probably also too reasonably priced for his own good.

  • Erin Herlihy

    John's teaching style is excellent. He very succinctly and clearly explains concepts that might otherwise be complex. He encourages independent thinking, creativity, and flexibility. He understands that teaching the fundamentals first is imperative and that it leads to our building off of those later - something so important but seemingly lost on other teachers. He's also very personable and i'm glad to know him and learn from him!

  • E Moroch

    Passionate and Energized teacher that starts at the fundamentals and can teach the most complex techniques. Amazing with the students and adjusts his style to meet the students needs. Highly recommended!

Photos & Videos


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

Since I emphasise the acquisition of basic, fundamental skills as the foundation for high-quality music making, we begin with learning the goals of the student and then discussing the ways to achieve our objectives. These include practice requirements and instrument selection, methods for exercising stick control, music reading and the role of the drummer etc.

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

I took my first drum lesson at the age of six. My teachers were expert instructors. Thus I know exactly what to impart to my students as they work to become superior musicians.

I minored in percussion performance in college, and I have been chosen to adjudicate high levels of performers, (DCI, DCA, State and local school competitions.)

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

My standard rates are $35 per hour. 

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching by teaching junior drum and bugle corps drum lines in the late 1960's. I instructed the Fletcher's Raiders Drum and Bugle corps of Norwich Connecticut. The Connecticut Vanguard All-Girl D&B corps, Seymour Ct, And the Milford Shoeliners D&B corps (drum line ranked 5th nationally)

I have been teaching privately since 1963. 

What types of students have you worked with?

I work with all levels of students, from beginners to professional musicians. Since I have the ability to impart superior technical skills my instruction is frequently sought after by players wishing to overcome deficiencies in technique or interpretation.

I have successfully coached students planning auditions for college level performance. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Although I am a very accomplished rudimental and jazz drummer, I have recently been having a great deal of fun playing with a blues band. In blues, the technical aspects of drumming take a backseat to making the music feel right. This is great "roots" music that is a pure joy to play.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Look for a teacher with experience and great technical ability.

Your teacher must be flexible enough to accommodate your level of experience (beginner or pro) and to work from where you are to where you want to go.

Find a teacher with a healthy sense of humor and happiness about the teaching process. There is no need to make learning an exacting skill a process of "pain and suffering." Drums are a fun instrument, make sure your teacher likes to teach.

Audition your teacher. Check to learn if your prospective teacher can actually play the instrument with clarity and skill. And if they can explain what is taking place. Some excellent players can be less than accomplished teachers. And some less than spectacular players can be great teachers. Try to find both.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

A prospective student needs to ask themselves what he or she wants to accomplish? The student must be prepared to practice new skills with sufficient dedication in order to make technical progress. Be prepared to add weekly lessons to your schedule and to add sufficient time to practice your lessons. Not being able to accomplish this can become the biggest impediment to success.

Lessons offered