F.A.Q

Where do you teach?
Lessons are available at two locations across the city.

Fort Knox Studios: This is a pro-level rehearsal facility with plenty of parking, a large waiting area, and clean toilets. It’s within a few blocks of the Montrose Blue Line stop, the Mayfair Metra stop, and the Montrose/Cicero intersection.

Beginning in late-Spring, 2022 I will also be teaching from a studio in Lincoln Park, just off of Lincoln & Diversey. It is a 5-minute walk from the Diversey Brown Line stop. Please enquire now for the wait list.

What materials will I need?
To get started everyone will need a pair of sticks, a practice pad, and two books (one snare drum, one drumkit). Details can be discussed after the introductory lesson. The sooner a student has access to an actual drumkit, the better their progress will be.

What is a good age to start lessons?
The answer to this has to do more with maturity and ability to focus. Many students have come my way at a young age who frankly, probably should have waited another year to get started. While the drums are an awful lot of fun it’s important to realize that this isn’t play time. The lesson is a structured educational environment where the student is expected to demonstrate and develop their skills.

How much should I practice?
Like anything else in life, the more you put into it, the quicker you’ll improve. A suggested approach for beginners would be (3) 30 minute practice sessions per week at a minimum. If a student is not progressing that means they are not practicing at home. A lesson is not practice time.
For younger students it is often a good idea for the parents to set designated times for focused practice sessions

I’m an adult, is it too late to…?
Never, get your butt in here. Over the last several years the number of adults coming in for lessons has grown significantly. Whether you’ve never played before, or just want to dust off some dormant skills I’d really enjoy working with you. If you have a real job and bills you owe it to yourself.

I can’t, because…
Incorrect. Anyone, yes, anyone can learn the drums. You just have to show up.

How long will it take before I can play really good?
Everyone develops at a different pace, in different ways. In the first lesson you’ll learn how to lay down a basic beat you can take straight to the garage. Where we go from there is up to you.

What about reading music?
Music is known to have existed in written form for about 4,000 years. To be fluent in any language requires that you can read, write, and speak (or play) it. Reading will help you comprehend the material quicker, and enable you to articulate things clearly. This is a large part of what you’re paying for in any music lesson.

What should I look for in teacher?
Not every teacher is right for every student. Regardless of whether you choose to study with me or not there are some commonalities you should look for in any teacher.
– Find someone who is actively gigging. If someone hasn’t had their gear out of the basement in years there is something missing.
– Make sure they’re teaching you how to read. This is how you become an articulate musician that can communicate with the rest of the band.
– Avoid the multi-instrumentalist. Work with someone whose primary instrument is the drums. This is critical for learning proper technique and good habits.
– Finally, watch out for gimmicky approaches. The only “secret method” or “hack” to becoming a better drummer, quicker, is to practice more.

Will I learn faster if I take two lessons a week?
While I’m flattered that some people have wanted to come in more often, it’s best to leave it to one lesson per week. What we’re doing is training our arms & legs to do new tricks. That won’t move along any faster with an extra lesson. The time is best to devoted to extra practice at home.

I’ve spoken to schools that “teach songs” only?
The truth is that all music lessons focus on songs, because that’s what we’re investing the time for – to make music & play songs. When confronted with marketing jargon such as this take a closer look at what is really being offered. The most important thing to get from any music lesson is a solid understanding of the fundamentals and proper technique. It’s one thing to recite a passage, it’s another to understand what it means.

One place told me their students do better because they have this special App?
The great thing about music is that it takes us away from technology and creates a shared human experience. An app can be a very effective way to transmit information. However, it will not make anyone a better musician. In fact, it will do quite the opposite. If someone has their head stuck in an app they’re not engaged in making music. The only tool any musician needs is their ears.

Do you still practice?
Not as much as I should, but yes. Most of what I run through is the very same lessons I have been working on since high school. On occasion a gig will require me to pull out some skills that have become rusty. I’ll focus on those as needed.

What do you charge?
Standard rate for a single 45-minute lesson is $100.
Packages of (4) 45-minute, weekly lessons can be purchased for $340. That’s 15% off the regular rate!
Please enquire for group sessions and seminars.

Terms and Conditions?
All lessons must be prepaid 7 days in advance.
Lesson times are not guaranteed until payment is received.
An invoice will be sent via Paypal – Cash not accepted.
Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice and no-shows are non-refundable. They will be charged in full.
We reserve the right to remove students with chronic-absenteeism from the roster.

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