FAQs

What are your rates and policies?

See my rates and policies link in the menu above.

When are kids old enough for drum lessons?

Every child is different, and even kids of the same age are at different cognitive and maturity levels. So, the easiest answer is to talk to me, and we can assess the situation. Also, don’t forget that the first lesson is always free. That means that, with most kids 8 years old and under, we use this time to assess whether private lessons are right for them.

In general, though, it’s fair to say that many kids under the ages of 8 or 9 are more comfortable learning in a group environment, like music or drumming classes, as opposed to a private lesson.

What differentiates Miguel from other private drum teachers out there?

There are three aspects of my teaching practice that are unique:

  1. Music-first approach
  2. Performance coaching
  3. Listening process

MUSIC-FIRST APPROACH

With the music-first approach, I focus on students playing the music they love from their first lesson. There is no ‘waiting’ until the student has achieved a certainly level of technique. While I certainly work on technique with my students, that’s never the primary concern. Making music is the primary concern and I make that the focus of our lessons. This not only makes the technical sections of the lessons more relevant, but it’s much more fun and engaging for the student.

PERFORMANCE COACHING:

I do performance coaching while I’m teaching drums privately, which means I spend a fair amount of time accompanying my private drum students on guitar/bass/vocals during their lessons. This gives them ongoing, ‘real-world’ band experience.

This also culminates in our twice-yearly student recitals where each student plays in a band. The band consists of Miguel (on guitar or bass and vocals) and other guitar or bass students and/or professional musician colleagues.

For students this has huge benefits over typical drum lessons. Most importantly, it’s much more fun! Also, the ensemble coaching helps to contextualize the technical instruction they receive in their lessons, making abstract concepts much more real and tangible.

With music programs being reduced or eliminated this is a great way for students to get ‘real-world’ performance experience and coaching from a professional musician.

LISTENING PROCESS

The ‘listening-process’ is also unique. This an adaptation of oral teaching techniques from traditional cultures like those found in West-Africa and Brazil. I’ve adapted these techniques for today’s student who wants to learn Rock, Pop, Country and R&B songs on drum set. The approach works wonderfully and can accelerate a student’s development. These techniques have been used effectively for centuries—all I’ve has done is adapt them for the students of today.

What do students get from this process? New students are able to learn the songs they love faster. The step-by-step process also gives more advanced students a clear path to improvement and getting past challenges. It is also a very effective way to develop command on the instrument.

What do you love most about teaching?

My favorite thing as a performer is making the song ‘come alive’ from the drummers chair. So, it makes sense that this is also my favorite thing as a teacher—seeing my students think musically, play boldly and make their music come alive.

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