I started playing the drums at a rather ripe age, as I came from Japan, on my seventeenth birthday. I didn't speak much English then, but I loved rock music. I saw drumming as my calling, and by attending many concerts I soon found music to be a unique connection that brings joy, and sees no barriers or distinctions among people. I was communicating and making friends immediately through the drums! After all, as Longfellow said, music is the "universal language!” As I became more serious with the instruments, and began to consider my career as a drummer, my choice was to study at Musician's Institute (PIT) in Hollywood, CA. Later, I studied as a performance major at the prestigious Berklee College of Boston, and then I studied privately with notable teachers throughout the country. These fundamentals were invaluable, however, I consider my real education my "on the job training", having performed with countless bands of all genres. You can learn and grow from every situation imaginable, whether at clubs, festivals, weddings, or by giving lessons. There is always something for me to learn from my students, as well as to teach them. I came to teach at iSchool almost 6 years ago where I have been providing instruction weekly, and I continue to do so to this day. In addition to the Syosset location, I have the privilege to also instruct teenagers with special needs students at a boarding school in Harlem. With the aid of their staff, the drums became somewhat of an outlet for these students to express their emotions, as well as to boost their confidence in accomplishing something as simple as a simple rock beat. Music is a gift, and now I am simply grateful to pass down the torch of drumming, so to speak, to the next generations of hopeful and bright students. After 30 years of drumming, you can still find me hitting hard in all places in New York City and the festivals around the country, most recently with recording artist Rob Balducci at BB Kings, the Dallas Guitar Festival, and the NW Freedom Festival in Portland, Oregon. I enjoy providing percussion for all styles of music, ranging from, but not limited to, rock, pop, jazz, blues, cabaret and musical theater. In addition to the trading all drum kit, I have recently been accompanying regularly on the cajon for singer/songwriter Tim Di Pasqua, and for Kaylin Lee Clinton's Blue Opal Jazz band at weddings and corporate functions. Never a dull moment! Passing down the torch (Or, I should say, passing down the drumstick!).
- Has been playing drums for over 30 years!
- Studied at Musician's Institute (PIT) in Hollywood, California.
- Later studied as a Music Performance major at Berklee College of Boston.
I have been involved in music since the age of 5. I originally wanted to play guitar, and being at such a young age, my parents skeptically indulged me in some lessons. They had thought that after one lesson I would move on from this 'phase'. However, week after week, I kept practicing and staying on top of my assignments. My teacher claimed he had never worked with anyone so young that was able to retain all the information from the lessons. Although that particular instrument didn't wind up being my main instrument (I moved on to trumpet sometime after, the violin, and finally drums), I will be always be grateful for the opportunity from both my parents and teacher for putting me on the path that has brought me to where I am today. Throughout my school years, I was a part of a wide array of musical endeavors. Concert bands, NYSSMA, marching band, pit orchestra, symphonic band, and more. I am also a graduate of the Drummers Collective. I always had public and private teachers to help guide and inspire me through my musical journey, and so it comes as no surprise to me that I would want to give back the very knowledge, excitement, inspiration and motivation that was given to me. I believe that music is a universal language, and that helping another individual express themselves through the language of music will help develop creativity, passion, awareness, joy and a profound sense of freedom. Hopefully they in turn will be able to bring these positive attributes to others as well.
- Graduate of the Drummers Collective, a music school based in NYC.
To me, music is a prime means of expression, communication and innovation. My passion for music blossomed when at the age of 12; I was driven to teach myself to play the drums. Not long after that, I also learned to play the guitar. Playing with a band just a few years later showed me how truly worthwhile it is to play as a group to work toward a collective goal. I have been a member of that band since 2013. Being a part of my band has offered me tremendous opportunities, such as playing at venues throughout Long Island, New York City and large music festivals throughout the country. I received my education from Nassau Community College, then, later, Nyack College in Music. While there, I studied other genres, such as classical and Jazz music. I had the opportunity to perform at the Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center in April of 2015 as the drummer of their Jazz ensemble. In teaching privately since 2013, I have developed my own approach that not only harnesses a love for music in my students, but a thorough understanding of how to produce music by means of extensive music theory training and ear training. My experiences as a musician only further my drive to teach others to love what they are learning and to never give up!
- Draws influence from hip-hop, jazz and rock and roll.
- Has performed in the Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center as part of Nyack College’s Jazz Ensemble
- Multi-instrumentalist music instructor.
I am a multi-instrumentalist music instructor by day, and an actively performing musician by night. Specializing in drum set/percussion, fretless electric bass, and guitar, I am comfortable playing and teaching concepts in multiple genres. My innovative, goal-based teaching style revolves around in-depth listening, efficient technique, expressive improvisation, as well as connecting theory to enjoyable songs. With over 8 years of teaching experience, I have worked with students ranging from ages 3 to adult, along with various special needs and handicaps. I firmly believe there is a method that will work for every student- it is my job to find it and put it to the test!
As the youngest in a creatively-inclined family, I have been involved with various musical ensembles since the age of 8. Graduating from Bayside High School in Queens, NY, I was an integral member of their jazz band, concert band, and percussion ensemble. I pursued an A.A. in audio engineering from CUNY Queensborough.
I am actively performing and recording in multiple bands, and can often be found on venue stages throughout the Tristate area. Some notable locations I have performed at include:
Disneyworld (Disney Magic Music Days), MetLife building, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, Gramercy Theater, Irving Plaza, Highline Ballroom, Madison Theater, The Bitter End NYC, The Knitting Factory, among numerous others. I have also recently had the honor of teaching music overseas in Chongqing, China. The experience was absolutely incredible and a valuable asset to my teaching approach!
With all of these factors combined, the students also gain a hands-on approach to the art of entertainment. I have coached and accompanied hundreds of students (as young as 4) through the recital process, helping to bolster their self-confidence and skills along the way. My ultimate goal is to guide the students to develop a passion and respect for the art form, which will inevitably transfer to the world around them. Of course, having fun and making memories is part of the equation as well!
- Recently taught music lessons overseas in Chongqing, China
- Holds degree from CUNY Queensborough
- A Multi-instrumentalist music instructor
I have been surrounded with music since a very early age. My parents were from Ireland and loved their native music. I remember going to New York's Erin's Isle, East Durham, in the Catskill Mountains where they would enter me into talent contests. I won many of them as a singer and had a blast just sitting there watching the bands play, but I always wanted to be a drummer. (After all, while I was an infant, my mother told me the family band needed one.)
At the age of 13, I played my first paid gig for my brother and sister's newly formed band, Shannon Breeze. (Granted, I was the replacement drummer… theirs had gotten into trouble with his parents.) My Father and I drove up the NY Thruway, met my brother and sister halfway, transferred the drum kit (and me) into the "Band Van" and headed for the gig at the famous Irish Music Festival in aforementioned East Durham. We performed well and had a lot of fun. But then, they handed me my pay afterwards. I couldn't believe I could get paid for something I loved to do! I was hooked.
From then I went on to play in the band full time. By the time I entered high school, I was already performing every weekend, all the while performing in various ensembles in Holy Cross High School under the tutor of Michael Lipsey, who is now the Percussion Dept. Director at Queens College. When I entered Holy Cross, his newly formed percussion quartet, Talújon, were artists-in-residence. We had a fantastic percussion program and performed very challenging material by very well-known composers. I was lucky to be there, learning so much at such an early age.
After earning my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Percussion Performance, I have returned to what I love the most: drum set and singing. I now play drums/percussion and sing, simultaneously and separately, with multiple artists all over the NY area. I have been a member of the Kenny Ford Band under Hank Lane Music Productions since 2003. I also perform in numerous cover bands including Rockjunky and 3BD. I am also the lead singer of the Soundgarden Tribute Band, Jesus Christ Pose. I have performed and recorded numerous jingles and songs with various artists around the tri-state area. I can be heard on radio and TV and now perform live usually at least a dozen or more times a month. I'm very thankful to be able to make music my love and life, and I hope, through my experience, I can inspire my students to love music as much as I do. And maybe make some money in the process!
With the unique experience of having orchestrated music not only for drums, but guitar and vocals as well in an original band, I offer a distinct perspective when it comes to drumming. While teaching music, I am easy-going and strive for inspiration. I value teaching multiple styles of music and appropriate technique, but am extremely adaptable and tailor my lessons to fit the interests of each student. In addition, I believe all students should understand how the drummer is more often part of a larger picture. To give students an appreciation of this context, I frequently play the guitar along with them during lessons. I believe this helps to develop a greater perspective of the music being played. (Not to mention the students invariably find it more enjoyable.) My musical training began at an early age and includes classical studies with members of the NYC Metropolitan Opera, Binghamton, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras and various other notable artists. I also have an extensive academic background, acquiring a Doctorate degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University where I received the Stuart I. Gurman, MD Award, which is "given to that graduate of high scholastic achievement who best showed a continuous interest and activity in art, music, literature, or the public interest, realizing that living and learning go together."
- Holds a Doctorate degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Medicine.
- Composed a piece called “Doo Wop in the Restroom” featured in an independent film called “What Happened Last Night.”
- Performed at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (opening for 5 Seconds of Summer) and The Paramount Theater in Huntington.
I am a lifelong student of music and for me, it is not just a career, it is a part of who I am. Like life, music always keeps us learning and searching for the next step. Music has made me who I am today and I cannot imagine my life without it.
At the age of five, I began playing drums when I got my Mickey Mouse drum set. (This is not just a saying it actually was a Mickey Mouse drum set...) I messed around here and there and wasn’t really a “drummer” until my friend in elementary school who played guitar asked me if I played an instrument. At the time, I was ten or so and hadn’t really taken any lessons, but I had played drums before, Mickey Mouse drums, so I just said, “yeah I play drums” and we just started jamming together playing punk rock.
When we began playing, it was very hard to make anything sound good because I had never played drums with anyone before. Luckily this friend’s older brother was a drummer, and he had some instructional videos laying-around. We watched them and I began teaching myself drums through the videos. It wasn’t long before I asked my parents for drum lessons and the rest is history. I have been studying and playing drums ever since. We continued to play music together, and I later went on to form my own rock band during middle school that went into high school, until I later went to college and discovered blues and jazz. I was lucky enough to attend Five Towns College where I acquired a B.A. in Music Business and later The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where I studied performance.
I was never the best test-taker in school and believe that I am a very visual learner. I am very empathetic to the learning process and love to introduce my students to new music that they have not heard. From my own learning and my teaching experience I understand that everyone has a different way of breaking things down so they can retain the information.