What is your teaching style? My goal as a teacher is to help you become the musician you want to be. While I will always promote concepts that will give you a solid foundation in drumming, I also encourage my students to tell me what interests them and what types of skills they want to learn. I put a lot of emphasis on creativity and musicality. I sincerely believe that even though drumming requires a certain amount of technical and intellectual skill, it is ultimately a form of artistic expression and I want to give you the tools to express yourself in the best way possible.
Do I need to have any previous musical experience to take drum lessons? Absolutely not. Whether you’ve never picked up a drumstick in your life or you play every single day, I’m confident we can find a lesson plan that works best for you.
How old should I be before I start drum lessons? While there is no magic number for how old someone must be before taking music lessons, learning to play any instrument proficiently takes a lot of time and focus as well as a degree of physical development. I believe that anyone aged 6 and up is an ideal candidate for drum lessons. However, I’m willing to consider younger students as long as I feel they are motivated and have a genuine desire to learn and practice.
Do I need a drumset in order to take lessons? Ideally you should either own a drumset or have access to one while taking lessons. But if you’re trying out drumming for the first time, you may not want to commit to buying a full kit until you’re sure it’s something you definitely want to pursue. Fortunately, as long as you have sticks and a practice pad, you can still make a lot of progress in your lessons. I’ve had students use their bed and pillows as a makeshift kit and it worked out perfectly fine. With a little creativity, you can get a lot out of our sessions even if you don’t have your own kit.
How long are lessons and how much do they cost? I provide both 30-minute and 60-minute slots which cost $130 and $260 a month respectively. Due to shorter attention spans, younger students tend to do better with the half-hour sessions while older students appreciate the focus of an hour long lesson.
When do I pay? Tuition for each month is due at the first lesson of the month. I accept cash, check or PayPal.
How often should I take lessons? In order to keep students motivated and learning quicker, I suggest weekly lessons. I’m also willing to accommodate other schedules as long as we both feel that you are able to achieve your specific goals.
What is your teaching schedule? Currently, I teach in the late afternoon/early evening Monday-Friday but can discuss other time slots. I try to reserve Saturdays for possible makeup sessions. Call or write today to check on my availability!
Where do you teach? Until recently, I taught in my home in Takoma Park, MD but now that I have a baby I primarily do house calls or teach at the Richardson School of Music. If you prefer to go through the school please contact them here.
What should I expect at my first lesson? I like to start by having a brief conversation about your previous experience and musical goals. After that, I’ll invite you to play the drums so we can establish a baseline and assess further skill development. Don’t worry if you’ve never played a drumset before! This first lesson will be used to introduce you to the anatomy of the drum kit and give you an opportunity to explore it in a no-pressure environment. Once we've done this, we can establish an appropriate lesson plan for your particular skill level, goals and needs.
What materials will I need? Drumsticks: All students will need at least two pairs of drumsticks (I prefer Vic Firth or Pro-Mark, sizes 5A, 5B, 2A, or 7B). Before purchase, I recommend visiting a music shop and trying out different sizes to see what feels the best for you. Resist the urge to buy less expensive sticks because they tend to break easily and need to be replaced often. Also, there are both nylon- and wood-tip sticks. Nylon tips sound a lot brighter on the cymbals and seem to last a little longer than the wood tips, but either kind is perfectly fine for our lessons.
Practice pad: You will also need a practice pad. I will provide a practice pad for our lessons but you will need one for your home practice. I am partial to the HQ RealFeel pads, but it’s also worth visiting a music shop to try out different brands to see what feels best to you. If you're stuck on which practice pad to purchase, I am happy to walk you through the options.
Notebook and folder: I recommend that all students purchase one spiral-bound notebook (college ruled) as well as a folder for handouts.
Metronome: I have a metronome for your lessons, but you will need one for your home practice. I recommend a digital metronome that can be connected to headphones so you can hear them better. Many people also download metronome apps to their smartphones.
Books: Beginning students will benefit from the following books:
What if I need to miss a lesson? I understand that things come up and I try very hard to be flexible with our schedule. With that said, every student or guardian is required to read and sign a student policy before taking lessons. The policy explains what to do in case of absences, how to set up make up lessons, cancellations and more.
How can I get the most out of my lessons? There are many ways to make the most out of your drum lessons, but here are a few quick tips:
Make time to practice a little bit every day. Practicing 10 minutes a day for a week is much more productive than practicing for only an hour once a week.
Work on everything slowly and solidly first, then work on your speed later. Try playing with and without a metronome.
Always count to yourself as you play. This will help with your reading and it will help you keep time.
Be mindful of dynamics and musicality.
Feel free to experiment with your lessons and keep things varied so that you develop and deepen your interest.