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"Because all my classes are electives, the students are here because they want to be. Most of the classes are experiential, but they're also nuts and bolts as far as technique and drum material."
"What drives people to percussion is that experiential thing. It's hitting things. Drummers tend to be people who want to do things, to build things, who like to use their hands."
"I want the students to come away from my classes with a real good idea about how to play their instrument and also how to function in the world out there, not just on their instrument. A lot of the analogies I use don't have to do with drums at all."
"There's a class that I teach, Basic Time and Pulse, in which students learn to play colors and feelings. We'll listen to Charles Ives and then we translate that symphonic piece to the drum set. We go for a walk in the park and then the students come back and play that experience. Big questions that we keep circling back on are, 'Why are you playing and what are you trying communicate with the music that you play?'"
"I like to be able to see the students from when they enter—like in the audition process—to when they're in the classes, to when they graduate, and then, years later, they'll come back and knock on the door, and I'll see what they're doing or I'll read about them in magazines. Because I've been doing it for so long now, I've seen a couple generations of students go out and do well. For example, Michael Shapiro is in his 19th year with Sergio Mendes. Todd Zuckerman does a lot of work in clinics and he is also with the rock band Styx. Shadows Fall's Jason Bittner—he's the metal drummer of the last two years—was in the double bass lab that I taught here. Also, my student Dave Languth is with Nelly Furtado."