Private Percussion and Drum Lessons – David offers private music lessons online and at his studio in Western Colorado.
Teaching Methods and Philosophy – David meets his students at their personal skill level with patience and support, and guides them toward their chosen level of achievement.
Styles & Instruments offered – David’s drum lessons cover a multitude of styles of music, drums, drumming, and rhythmic concepts.
FAQ’s – When, where, what, why, who?
Testimonials – students share their experience of studying with David.
Private Percussion and Drum Lessons^
For people of all ages.
All of David’s private lessons have a specialized curriculum for each individual student for where they are at in their rhythmic journey and what their interests and aspirations are. Currently David is offering online lessons via skype, zoom, or we can send you a link to a lesson. David is also currently seeing a few students in person in his outdoor studio in Hotchkiss.
David offers private rhythm and drum lessons on most percussion instruments and in most styles, see below for detailed list.
Drum Set: any and all styles
Snare Drum: basics of stick drumming, stick control, note reading, etc…
Auxiliary Percussion: shakers, tambourines, triangles, etc…
Hand Drums: especially Frame Drums
Groove Language/Solkattu: ways to embody rhythm through rhythmic vocalizations from South India
Marimba: especially Zimbabwean styles or school band applications
Odd-Times & Mixed Meters: playing and feeling music in less common time signatures such as 5/4, 7/8, 15/16, 11/8 etc…
Found Percussion: how to find musical sounds and pure tones from everyday objects
Percussion & Drum composition: how to compose percussion or drum set parts for any style of music
Poly-rhythms: more than one different steady rhythm happening simultaneously
Groove Potential: really feeling the pulse, subdivisions, shapes, as well as funky tension and release ideas
Improvisation: how to play with your body what you hear in your mind without any lag-time
Musical Ally-ship: intro or continuation of learning and application of different musical skills – how to have music as an ally for life long musical enjoyment
Teaching Philosophy ^
David’s teaching philosophy and intention is to help his students find a deeper connection with the universal concepts and creative aspects of music, silence, rhythm, percussion, artistic freedom, groove potential, and the art of learning. By pointing at natural body movement through unlearning tension, and by providing a supportive and fun environment which promotes awareness and growth, David shares with his students all the tools, techniques, and aesthetics needed for students and aspiring musicians to delve deeper into their relationship with music and rhythm and to develop the skill and artistry need to reach their musical goals. Creating the capacity for his students to embrace the embodiment of these universal, practical, and artistic concepts that naturally arise within music making, David allows them to transform music and rhythm from theories and thought into direct personal experience. David is a musician who not only loves playing music, but also loves sharing music (and ways of making music) with others.
Styles offered ^
David’s drum lessons cover many styles, from standard drum-kit Rock ‘n Roll, to Brazilian Samba, to drumline style snare drumming, to advanced middle-eastern frame drumming styles, to syncopated New Orleans funk and second-line, to “odd-time” rhythms from the Balkans and Eastern Europe, to orchestral symphonic and concert band percussion, to North and West African hand drumming, to South African and Zimbabwean marimba, to Solkattu, the rhythmic language of South India, to the intermingling and mixing of many different rhythms from many different cultures and beyond. Instrument focus is usually drumset, snaredrum, frame drums, marimba, hand drums, shaker and other auxiliary hand held percussion, mallet percussion, found percussion, vocal percussion, body percussion, or melodica, as well as general music, rhythm theory, and ethno-musicology studies.
- What ages do you teach? — All ages welcome. (Some younger kids might need an adult present for online lessons).
- Do you teach young kids? – Yes, young kids are welcome. They love experimenting with the sounds and feels of different percussion instruments. For younger students, David says, “My focus is not only to impart a love of music and rhythm in a young student, but also to impart a lifelong love of the process of learning music, meanwhile, planting rhythmic seeds for any of their potential future musical, artistic, or athletic endeavors.”
- Do you teach adults and those in their golden years? – Yes, of course. The older generation is more apt to understanding the subtle, yet powerful healing aspect of learning to slow down enough to engage in a meaningful rhythmic practice.
- What skill levels do you teach? –All skill levels are welcome.
- Do I need a instrument? – Not to start lessons. For online lessons David can teach rhythm and drumming on any item that you have next to you (until you figure out which type of drum is best for you to purchase). All the universal concepts of rhythm and percussive sound production can be learned with stepping, clapping, vocalizing, and playing on whatever is around you. For in person lessons, David has plenty of drums in his studio for use during lessons. If you have your own instrument already to practice at home that’s great, if not, David can help you find the right instrument for your musical goals.
- What do you charge? – Depends on location and length of lesson. Discounts for long term commitments. Sliding scale and some scholarships available.
- How long are lessons, and what is the commitment? – Variable for student’s needs, aspirations, attention span, and willingness to practice.
- Where do you teach? – David teaches drum lessons in western Colorado at his studio near Hotchkiss. He travels locally and regionally to teach and also takes students if time allows while he is on the road. He has also started teaching online lessons in 2020.
- Why should someone take drum lessons? — “It’s fun and the concepts learned are universal. Everything in life has a rhythm to it. The more we can notice and tap into these universal rhythms, the more we can be fully in rhythm and in sync with ourselves, each other, our surroundings, our work, our play and the music itself. The deepening of our relationship to rhythm will make every experience that much smoother – be it playing music, painting a picture, dancing, writing a book, building a house, driving a car, walking, talking, listening, traveling, inventing, playing sports, watching stocks, under-water basket weaving, stealing picnic baskets, or whatever it is that we do in life. Being in rhythm enhances all experiences.” -David
“My son has been taking lessons with David for a little over a semester. He is only 7 and I am amazed at all that he has accomplished already. David is incredibly patient with him. He is always happy to rephrase anything not being understood by a young mind. He is an incredible musician and his passion really shows. They have played around with some different styles and when my son expressed his interest in a certain style David searched and helped us find the perfect fit for my little guy. My son absolutely adores him and looks forward to every lesson and practicing all he has learned in between. I cant say enough great things about this experience for my son and what an amazing instructor David is.” ~Heather
— “Great, fun, genius musician. Yay I can drum!”
— “Good teaching – amazing how much I learned, and lots of fun. No pressure. Learning could always be like this!”
— “Had a great time!”
— “This class was very helpful and fun.”
— “I appreciate David’s comprehensive teaching, making rhythm accessible even as the complexity unfolds before us.”
There were two bits of advice, offered by a former mentor, David Alderdice, Schwieterman would pass along to those who might listen. “First, say yes to expand your horizons and learn about, and from others.” Schwieterman expounded on the virtues of seeking knowledge from so many people in the community who have so much to offer. “Secondly, if something is hard, it’s only hard because it’s new. Don’t be afraid to learn by conquering your fears.” -Delta County Independent – December 2019