A proper teaching environment is vital for learning music. The percussion studio is fully outfitted with two drum sets, marimba, vibes, timpani, lots of hand percussion and a PA system.
Percussion is a fun and accessible path into playing music. People need to play with each other in groups. To that end, my percussion program offers private lessons, ensembles and semi-private lessons.
Private lessons, the best opportunity for one-on-one learning, allow me to focus on each individual’s learning style. We also play together — two is all you need for a group!Private lessons: one hour, 3/4 hour or 1/2 hour for younger children. Depending on age and attention span, a longer lesson time allows us to work in different styles on multiple instruments (including drum set, hand percussion, keyboard percussion and timpani). My studio facilities allow full volume play-along to recorded music and video.
Here’s a little on my philosophy and approach From day one, I take in as much information as I can and consider everything a student brings to the lesson: general understanding of music, listening skills and playing/performing experience (if any). As I get to know the student, we develop a course of study blending both wants and needs to create an exciting and engaging environment for learning music.
I start with the concept of an entire song — be it a recording or a song we improvise a song on the spot. We’ll still end up covering traditional areas of study like technique and reading. Each song offers a unique opportunity and challenge to understand and play it with musical meaning. Over time we explore songs in a wide variety of styles and cultures including rock, blues, R&B, jazz, classical, Latin and Brazilian, Greek and Middle Eastern, and African.
Beginning to Advanced Percussion Ensemble(s). The ensemble experience enables students to make music in a favorable and supportive atmosphere. Small ensembles offer a more intimate and interactive involvement, unlike the larger groups generally found in many school music programs. All ensembles stress improvisation and group skills, such as rehearsal techniques and performance preparation.
Ensembles meet weekly. Participation is by audition or invitation. More advanced groups prepare for performances at local public and private schools. Less advanced groups are more “lab” oriented and perform in our concerts.
Semi-private lessons combine the best of private instruction with the small ensemble experience. a dynamic and economical alternative to each.
Occasional classes I also offer occasional classes on a variety of subjects. Past groups and classes have included:
- Rock/R&B/blues and jazz ensembles
- Introduction to Improvisation
- Careers in the Music Business
- Sound System Operation and Recording Studio Experience (which tells you how to produce your own demo in order to book playing opportunities).
- Special “mini-workshops” with guest artists. Subjects have included Jazz Improvisation, Introduction to Timpani, Timpani Stick Making, The Art of Drum Soloing, Rock, Funk and Jazz Drumming, Brazilian Percussion Ensemble.
If you have a young child 5 and younger, and you would like to provide an opportunity for music learning, we recommend Sally’s Music Circle classes. These classes, provided in an atmosphere we call “informal instruction”, and allow for your child to gain a rich preparation for the more formal demands and expectations of later music lessons. Click here for information.