I love playing drums, and I love teaching others how to play drums. As a recent graduate from the University of Washington's acclaimed jazz program as well as an alumnus of the prestigious Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, I am a professional drummer and teacher with an extensive and unique set of experiences. Since middle school, I have been lucky enough to perform and tour all over the US and Europe, playing everything from house shows to esteemed competitions and festivals. In addition to being a member of several active local projects, I have performed with the Seattle Symphony; UW faculty members Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu, Luke Bergman, Ted Poor, and Marc Seales; several Cornish faculty members including Jim Knapp, Jovino Santos Neto, and Wayne Horvitz; and celebrated NYC-based players Wynton Marsalis, Tim Berne, Ralph Alessi, and Andrew D'Angelo. Aside from that, I am a co-founder of Table & Chairs, a new Seattle-based record label, as well as a co-founder of the Racer Sessions, a weekly forum and performance outlet for new and improvised music.
I began teaching in 2008, shortly after beginning my studies at the University of Washington. My private students have ranged from total beginners to advanced, each one presenting a unique set of interests and abilities to work with. In addition to teaching my own students, I have much experience as a substitute percussion teacher at Northshore Junior High School (Kingsgate, WA) and Spotlight Studios (Woodinville, WA). I have also presented many clinics and workshops at local schools including Roosevelt High School, Garfield High School, Edmonds-Woodway High School, Ballard High School, Eckstein Middle School, and Holy Names Academy, as well as for Seattle JazzED. For these, the topics covered have ranged from free improvisation to straight-ahead and big band jazz.
*** Lesson Details ***
For beginning players, I like to start with the books "A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum" and "A Fresh Approach to the Drum Set," both by Mark Wessels. These books do a great job of laying down the fundamentals that all drummers should learn at the outset of their education. Beyond that, what I teach depends largely on any specific path(s) the student may wish to pursue, though of course it is totally fine if the student doesn't immediately know what they would like to study beyond the basics. In that case, I would do my best to construct a rough curriculum that I think would work well for the student. The following books are all ones I have worked with and have found to be excellent at improving unique things: "Syncopation" (Ted Reed), "Stick Control" (G.L. Stone), "The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary As Taught By Alan Dawson" (John Ramsay), "Patterns" (Gary Chaffee), and "Portraits in Rhythm" (Anthony Cirone).
I prefer lessons to be focused on a curriculum, however customized it may be, as I have found that approach to be the most efficient, especially with younger players. While I believe that it is very important to learn the fundamentals of drumming, I also believe that some of the most rewarding experiences a student can have may be achieved through realizing their own unique creative potential. Thus, I find it great to set the curriculum aside for part of the lesson, either to allow the student some time to show me what else they've been working on, listening to, watching, thinking about, or perhaps to just jam and have fun. I also expect students to make progress on their own between lessons, though I understand fully from my teaching experience that the amount of progress I can expect is different for each student.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Two full drum kits
*** Travel Equipment ***
Sticks, practice pad, books
*** Specialties ***
Jazz, rock, pop, many Latin and African styles, free improvisation
*** Experience ***
Table & Chairs Music
Co-Founder and Board Member (Mar 2011 - Present)
A Seattle-based record label devoted to the chronicling and advancement of creative new music.
Co-Founder and Principal Archivist (Jan 2010 - Present)
A forum and performance outlet for new and improvised music that meets every Sunday night at Café Racer.
Drum Set and Percussion Teacher (Sep 2008 - Present)
Extensive experience giving private lessons as well as clinics and workshops at various schools and organizations.
Working Drummer (Jan 2004 - Present)
Currently involved in several active projects that play entirely original and creative music as well as record and tour.
Recording artist at Paul Allen's Midnight Lamp Studios.
Frequent calls from peers and local professionals to play various engagements in the Seattle area.
Improvised Music Project (IMP)
Managing Director (Sep 2011 - Jun 2012)
A UW Registered Student Organization I co-founded in 2008 that works to present great improvised music and promote its appreciation. Also served as an IMP officer from 2008-2011.
*** Education ***
Bachelor of Music, cum laude, Jazz Studies
Sep 2008 - May 2013
University of Washington
*** Awards ***
Brechemin Scholarship, UW's highest music award
University of Washington
University of Washington
Finalist, GRAMMY Jazz Band
Selected as one of fifteen drummer finalists in the nation for the 2008 GRAMMY Jazz Band
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I like to simply start by asking some questions about their experience and interests, and from there decide what the best way to proceed is. Sometimes it's starting from square one (how to hold a stick, how to strike a drum, etc), sometimes it's diving into a book right away, and sometimes the student is advanced enough that I create custom lesson plans for them that are not tied to a particular curriculum as laid out by a book or the like.
I have a Bachelor of Music, cum laude, Jazz Studies from the University of Washington.
For lessons at my house, I typically charge $30/$40/$50 for 30/45/60 minute lessons, respectively. For lessons at the student's house, I charge an additional $10 if they live 10 miles or less from me. If they live more than 10 miles away, there's a good chance it is too far for me to travel, but if I am able to I would charge an additional 50 cents per mile I drive (both ways).
It began by just getting referrals from other friends or family because they knew I was interested in teaching. My first student was a referral through a friend. After that it has been a mix of referrals, word of mouth, putting up flyers, and creating teacher profiles on various websites.
My private students have ranged from total beginners to advanced, from 5 year olds to 50+ year olds.