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Additional Teaching Techniques

Lesson 7 from: Becoming A Music Teacher: The Art of Sharing Your Talent

Mike Johnston

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Lesson Info

7. Additional Teaching Techniques

Lesson Info

Additional Teaching Techniques

What is the light at the end of the tunnel so jack give me another subject that I could teach on the drum set anything ah well one that I know you've done the past be ah like latin or after cuban rhythms okay africa many rooms so let's go over the drum set so let's say for these purposes we're going to learn the song go so jack's like men like I'm really really into world rhythms ok cool man what do you like? Because world rhythms just see no is not latin world rhythms is the world so he might be like man I'm really into like you know japanese taiko drumming okay, well clearly I don't have a thong or a giant drum so we're not going to do that but if he said like I don't know I like like cuban stuff a lot okay cool well light at the end of the tunnel do you know how hard it is to learn this that's going to be really hard to teach somebody in a pdf so that means it's going to be a long, long, boring lesson. Now if I start teaching jack that I would say ok, jack here's what I need from yo...

u were gonna have your right hand play one in three one we're six months away from what I just played, but if I haven't played that yet how does he even know why he's going through all this work? How does he know why? Why I'm doing all this stuff there's no light at the end of the tunnel so the first thing that I'm going to do when he says man, I really want to learn like some some afro cuban stuff or like, you know, I want to play and I never know what to play when I'm on a gig and there's conga player there bongo player there cow bell player there it's like, oh, you know what a song that would be perfect for that, so if I don't show him the light at the end of the tunnel, I can't get him to commit to practicing because it's going to take him twenty, thirty hours of practice to get this thing down now the only thing that's going to allow him to keep doing it is the light at the end of the tunnel he knows what it's going to be he knows why he's putting in all the work all right last low earlier brought up a paradox and if you guys don't know if you're a friend of you guys aren't drummers apparently was a really simple rudiments that is really kind of one of the most known room it's in drumming it's very simple it's two singles followed by a double so you have a single hit a single hit and then two strokes on the next hand, so single single, double so single, single, double again, single, single, double, single, single double any mom at home right now can do this. Any dad can do this. Any grand parent, as long as they're sitting can do this. All right, so this is a parody it'll and that is what it is. Why would a child or a new drummer especially like fifty three year old guy just refire read retired from the police force he's going to play drones, and I'm like, ok, here we go, tom, are you kidding? He's like, no, I'm good. I'm going to go buy a rush dvd and figured out on my own. So I have to show him the light at the end of tunnel to get him to practice. So if that's the paralegal, then I have to say, dude, we're gonna learn the paradise today and it is dope was like, really? Because I've seen it on a rubber pad. It doesn't look that dope no it's dope here's a parody between the heights and snare this will be allowed and his eyes are kind of like that's cool man, I'm like that's cool, okay? Okay def con four johnny here we go so I'm going to play thirty second op areas between the rim of the snare drum because I'm missing a ride symbol and the high it would come down this narrow in two and four this will be allowed to now at this point if dude's eyes aren't bugging out that I'm like maybe you're meant for the flute because that was dope on and so I wouldn't I would never say that but that's like the light at the end of the tunnel now after that he's like all right so what is it it's right left and that's usually what happens? So what is it? Yeah this is what it is because I showed you the light in the tunnel so important for you guys to work on those things and think of I say the word and then you tell me what the lighting of the tunnel is let's imagine that's the system you know? And so you have to do that for yourself and say, you know all right dot nfl's light of the internal dot ethan started things that's three sixteen thousand won t and dotted eighth notes against this this will be loud golden golden you have a light at the end of the tunnel you know, boring daughter eighth notes are to teach oh my goodness they literally are a note with a flag with a dot and I'm like feast your eyes on that billy well, I gotta have a light at the end of the tunnel so they'll get excited about that stuff I need him to learn it but I gotta have a lot of the end of the tunnel so work on the light at the end of the tunnel work on figuring out what is the payoff why am I even doing this? All right let's do one more then we'll get to some questions that some good ok, so the next thing we have is a student's freedom and this is huge for you guys it's huge for everyone I didn't have this all the time and so in in the freedom thing what I mean is when I had my drum lessons like my normal drum lessons and then it was time for me to start moving forward into like the experts of the field in my tiny town of sacramento and I I went to one of the jazz guys and since I'm going to rip him to shreds will leave him nameless anyways, I don't even think he knows he taught me only taught me for one lesson and he didn't give me freedom and that's why I stopped I told my mom we're not going back to that guy was only like maybe twelve at that time so what happened was we came in and uh it was a jazz listen I was going to join the jazz band I think this was like seventh or eighth grade uh it's gonna join jasmine and I've been taken joan listen since I was five so I have been taking lessons for about six years so I I still was pretty terrible the instrument but I at least knew what was going on and it's ok play jazz beat for me and so I did and I played you know, saying jane getting jane good bang and I just train wrecked it and he's like, you know let's put some base from underneath that well, I was a rock drummer as a kid so I played hell up so I played with my heel up and I went does does the does does to do any plug his ears and made me feel terrible that I like ruined his life and then he said you cannot play with your heel up like that and I was like why not? They said because you can't ok first of all I'm a cocky punk like is soon as you tell me like you need to make your bed my first first thing I'm gonna say is why? Because not good enough I'm not doing it and then mom and I fight for an hour and so I need a reason why can't I play with my heel up? I don't understand that and he said, because it won't sound good that's like, well, why couldn't I practice it until it did sound good? And he gave me no freedom? He said, the only way that this can ever be done is with your heel down that's, the only technique that'll work there's no freedom in that, and I worked so hard to be able to develop a hell up technique that I could feather the base from with. I mean, this based room for those of you at home is wicked allowed in this room, and I worked so hard to develop a feathering technique with my heel up. So one, the spaceship is crazy loud, and this microphone is a condenser mike that is super sensitive, and I'm still able to play feathering bass drum with my heal up and it's fine, and why don't you give me that freedom? Why didn't he allow me to explore it for myself and that's? What you have to do with your students? They're not back till, as those questions like do the kid couldn't even hold the stakes right now? We'll figure it out. If he wants to, his body will figure this stuff out, he'll keep dropping the sticks, he'll keep killing his knuckles on the snare drum, it will hurt and bleed and heels will shape himself. But why didn't the teacher gave me the freedom to at least try and just give me these absolute it can only be this way you can't do that. This is an art form I'm so excited to find out what other ways you could do it than me. Here's what you want to give your student give them the desired result and that's what I call the desired result technique. Tell me what? Where am I going? What am I supposed to do? And then let me work my rear end off until I get there. And then when I get there will look down and see what it took to make that happen. Maybe it's hell up maybe it's hell down maybe it's traditional grip, maybe it's match trip. Maybe it's german timpani. Maybe it's french company. Maybe it's the new american group. It doesn't matter what matters is the desired result. What was trying to get if you saw the greatest picture that supervise ever took ember? But you never knew the technique that it took to happen. What does it matter? The result is what matters. What if what if she came back to you said just so you know that was on a kodak disposable? Does it matter? It still was the greatest pictures she ever took so it's the same thing with the drums desired result is more important than the techniques leading up there it's your responsibility as the educated to know those tech sneaks so that as they're happening say you know what, man you're really platt towing on base from speed I think if we went to heal up you might have a little better you know progress and you know what you should check out jo jo mayor he does this thing called the heel toe technique and see if that like clicks with you at all and then I want you to watch any videos that have drunk cam footage of dave weigel he does this kind of side to side you should check that out how am I going to tell you what's right or wrong for your foot when you're six foot nine size fifteen feet and then you have these little weird awkward cee lo green hands I don't get to tell you that my technique will work for you see low if you're watching I'm so sorry to dog out your hands bro I'm sure hands or killer so you give great massages so that's one of those things where it's like I don't get to tell you this stuff did you're six years old? You're this tall like how could I tell you like this is so it's going to be what I need to say is this is what's out there these are the techniques these the ones I use and here's why I use them but men I'm totally totally hoping that you will explore these things so a student's freedom light at the end of the tunnel expression all of these things are techniques that you can use to be a better teacher and I promise if you start to focus on them your students will notice they'll be like did you seem different it's like you know what? I'm taking this a little more seriously I'm not just trying to get through the half hour so I can get a paycheck I'm not just looking at the clock wishing this time was over I'm actually really enjoying explain these things teo and watching if you're retaining them or not and that's what you guys need to do at home and start working on that stuff and being able to give the student the freedom to try things out you know I mean the first thing I ever do when I teach a student for the very first time so this kind of goes back to laszlo's question I get a new student never taught him before I take him into the room and I said ok billy andi kind of tell a little white lie to say I'm gonna go make some photocopies real quick this room is totally soundproof so go ahead and just hit everything as hard as you want and I really, really would be excited if something was broken when I get back, and the reason I do that is because something that's never played the drums doesn't know the power of the drums, yet they don't know the sound, they don't know what we feel every time we stop on that bass drum, and that surge of low end goes through our whole body that's happening every time I play in this room, by the way, this room sounds fantastic. So that's, I want that kid to feel that like how I don't want them to have a memory of, like, day one of drums was a rubber, bouncy pad, I want them to just hit things, and then I want them hit the crash and one scared the crap out of themselves because no kid knows how a lot of cash and was until they hit it and they hit it, michael, but then I'm standing right outside the door, but I don't come in it's like, keep going, buddy could go on and he's like, and then he's like crack and scares him again, and I still don't come in it's like you're not in trouble, you're good, just keep doing it and then eventually is just hitting everything you know, going animal style and that's what it's like all right, I'll walk in there like oh my god it's like dude don't apologize man you're crushing it you're allowed to do that that's what this instrument does it also it could be really quiet you know one thing that people don't really respect about the drums if we get a camera on the drums let's listen to how loud the drums are they're not very loud they don't make any noise you make all the noise so they can be all the way to that that's how quiet drums khun b so we'll teach them dynamics and texture and groove and all that stuff later but first I got to get him excited so let's get some of our questions absolutely just a quick coming we've had student here his name is david goodwin he's out of atlanta he actually has world's tallest drummer dot com because he's seven foot two on and trying to teach him the same way that you would teach like no offence nicole would be insane. So I love the idea of having to personalize it and allow them that freedom that's it's key absolutely and gear and everything and say you know what, man, you're really tall like you should probably look into what other peddles these companies make because I don't think that I think this could be more comfortable for you so yeah, I mean that's that's huge so the question along those lines from max from germany says how do you find out the level of drumming oven new student how do you start out and just figure out where did well where to start? Yeah that's no it's a great question the first thing I do is I trade fills with them so um jackie want trade deals and you do it just sitting there we get a stool sweet so I know that I'm going to do it from here because I think there's like some lagrange point uh on astrophysics makes its way into creative life all right, you ready? So let's uh let's trade force about here I'll take the first four and three and four that's good. Okay, so what I learned from that I learned a ton one I learned that jack got a lot better since last time I saw him play. So congratulations so I learned a lot of things that we could start to work on first I learned what he can do that I also learned what you know is not putting into his drumming so what he can do is he's got a mix of multiple subdivisions so he's got a good handle on that. You know, there was thirty second it's involved it was sixteenth notes involved there was a few sixteenth triplets every time we played sixteen triplets it was always right left kick that tells me that he's not as fluent in that subdivision is and the others because it was always the same pattern of three notes also tells me that he's not used to going over the bar line or over the beat line. Everything always restarted on one. So was for one bar phrases instead of one four bar story. So immediately, I think you know what? Let's, start working on your phrasing. Let's, let's grow your phrasing. I want you to never stop on the downbeat of one until we've cleared four bars of time and then from there, it's like then I'd also say, and now, as far as the cool kid chops and that kind of stuff let's, start working on your sixteenth note. Triplet. You know, vocabulary let's. Build that up a little bit. So I'm gonna give you you're already good leg over the drum set and I'm gonna get my throne. So you played right left kick, right as you're sixteen, triple subdivision. So that means that he's fluent in this it's going to a little loud. Well, he's. Good at it. Why would we work on it? You know I want to give credit to the things that my students can do but I don't want to obsess on them did you already good at that let's find let's grow you into something new so let's reverse that to kick right left so I'll give him a little chunk of notes kick, right, left we're gonna work on that and more than likely if you can play right, left kick he's probably pretty good at that so we're going to mix that up with a different version which will be kick kick. Right, left, right, left which sounds like this and we're gonna call that first chunk of notes kick, right, left, kick, right, left which I assume he's probably pretty proficient at we're gonna call that a and then the new chunk of notes kick kick, right, left, right, left, little baby b b hey, hey, hey, hey! B b b b a k a the whole time there's a subdivision having one and the one. The two in the two and a three and a three and a four in the four in the one in the one in the two in the two and the three end of things and a foreign deformed that I want us to stick to, so this is all becoming part of this lesson. I'm going to send him home with this chunk of a and this chunk of b six no teach, I want you mess around with those. So now instead of his fill being this which is the same three notes over and over again, it doesn't take long for the audience to recognize. I think you're just repeating yourself everywhere. Now, he's got some variation so let's say that we did bebe a b so we'll do. Dakota bata, fukuda, fukuda, fukuda all right, let's, listen to that that's one variation of having this chunk of a notes and chunk of the notes and I'm leaving. I'm giving him the freedom to say this is the content. You come up with the orchestration, you come up with the arrangement of this stuff let's see where it goes and that's what it's all about it's just allowing the student have that freedom, giving them something to work on and its applicability to what he's doing? As far as like you said, how do I know what the student can do and can't do? We trade fours with them and you just listen to them improvise because all of their tendencies and all of their knowledge will come out when they're scared to trade for us with you. They'll pull out all the cool stuff they know and then within five or six trading for his, they'll run out of the cool stuff and you'll find out the rial version of them and then you say men that's weird! I didn't hear anything other than right left kick when you played the triplets let's work on it all. So you kept starting over on the downbeat of one let's work on longer phrasing, so within, you know, being with jack for twenty seconds and I haven't heard him playing a year, I'm able to give him an applicant lesson to say, hey, look, I'm really in your corner here, bro, I'm trying to help you grow and as a fan of drumming here's some of the weak points today, here in your play, next, next up we have somebody who's asking, what advice would you give a teacher for reading the students best way of learning each topic as well their overall learning speeds you gave us a bunch of different ways to teach people how do you figure out what's most effective that's, their that's, the retention part, recognizing what's going on with the student? And, you know, I think it I think it just comes down to especially your teaching music, you know, really it comes down to visual and visual doesn't mean just seeing you know and what it doesn't mean just seeing me play the drums sometimes visual to me is notation like when you see the music doesn't make sense that's definitely me if you played the coolest licking the world my first question with a you don't happen out pdf on idea is there any way I could see that? Because I really do need to be locked in a room all by myself no distractions and play the first note and then shaking you know I think it's a right hand on the floor tom and I hit it I mean that's currently that's how poor I am in learning something new hey big deal learning the drums is a struggle for me I think if anything it makes me a better teacher so I'm ok with it so I watched a student due to understand through the notes and they go yeah no cool play number one for me and then they miss the first note the first note is on the wrong wrist room like you can't read can you? They don't know like then why do you say you could? I don't know dude, I'm your big brother I'm not going to leave school do man, I'm in your corner just told me you can't read well work on it later so I'd be like, ok, so clearly see, music is not for you, billy. Then I'm like, you know what? I'm gonna program this? We have technology in a program program this into my d m one app on my ipad, my drum drum machine, one app was going program the pattern, just listen to it over and over again fifty beats per minute and just try to try to jam with it and if they literally can't even start playing, I'm like so do you not hear where it starts? Because they'll start, like on the end of two on the downbeat of three? And we do not hear where the one is now or they'll say, yeah, I'm like, really start on the one hand they don't like you don't know where the one is. Do you know? Billy, just be honest with me, bro it's ok, I'm not you're never going to get in trouble with me. I will never, ever be mad at you so it's like ok, so you don't hear it and the what about this? I'm going to play it right next to you. I'm gonna play it for ever jump in whenever you can and all of a sudden billy does it, and I'm like so you just needed to see me play and he's like to that helped so much it's like cool man, no worries. So at the end of all of our lessons were always going to stop about five minutes short and then going to film a little recap of your lesson, and I'll just email that to me, is that cool with you? Yeah, cool! You know what? Go grab your dad real quick, let's just tell him what's going on so he knows what's happening and then we'll just chip away at the reading thing over time and that's how you do it and you have multiple ways to explain everything. You have multiple ways to demonstrate everything and you don't get to be right that's, not your call it's the students call, however they learn is how they learned expose him to everything, and if they have interest, you follow those interests. But when it comes to teaching it's just about however you're going to pick this up is how I want to help you, because at the end we talk about the super ice thing in the photo. I don't care how you got there just show me an amazing picture just how would I know if I'm in a gallery and like that is awesome and then somebody comes over is like kodak disposable does that make it less awesome? Like did I don't know who are you? Where you hear what you so mad is? Sushi don't do anything you so it's like that's a rad picture, so I want my students to just be able to do it desired result that's all I care about next next up is from baseman seventy three I'm like, how do you teach students that say they want to learn, but then are resistant to learning and putting in the time? First of all, basement seventy three that's a dope name mom should have chosen that for me instead of mike, she was like mike bass man seventy three s oh, that's a really common thing to somebody comes in tons of enthusiasm, and then they realize, like I thought you'd just be able to kind of give me a magic pill like I thought I wouldn't have to work for this and it's like, no, I'm sorry to be actually honestly, but this is going to suck. This is a lot of work, man, but here's, what happens at the end of the work is this payoff because in drumming in guitar, in piano, in vocal lessons, you will start not being able to do something you will chip away and whether it be five minutes or five days. You will be able to do it, and it will teach you what it feels like to accomplish something. And when you can accomplish something, then you go like we couldn't do that in school. Yes. Could I do that in fitness? Yes. Same thing I'm currently out of shape. That's like ok, well, you won't be in shape tomorrow. They don't make anything at gnc that could do that if they did it be highly illegal. So what you can do let's, start working on your fitness, start working on your eating plans and start slowly chipping away and wait for a year to have some sort of family reunion. There was like, dude, you look like you're in great shape until you rat not talking about myself. I was a little thank you, but I'm just saying, like that's, that's, how it goes, you know, I mean, I have summer camps and I had a there. We had our female camp recently, and one of my counterpoints in this campus is this girl named sarah. I love sarah to death, but she's actually like my sister. So we just bigger but it's good, healthy bickering. So she comes in she's like she's like you look great and I was like oh thanks you know I haven't seen her in a year we haven't seen since last year I'm like u two and she's like you don't think you're hitting the gym way less looks good on you know it's like and she's like no, no, I don't mean like that I just met like that you don't have any more muscle and I was like, it's just getting worse just I'll see in a year and I'll be in way better shape my bad I just it's been a busy season than matt how for one so it's one of those things where you know you can see that progress and that's important. So as far as you know, I'm getting to all that kind of stuff when when you're teaching when you have a student it's like I don't I don't want to practice I don't want to do all of this stuff you just you just have to tell them what the lighting of the tunnel is I think that's the most important thing is showing them like, look, man, I know it's not fun to practice this stuff, but it will turn into something amazing please, but just put in the work because this thing that I'm doing that you really wish you could do, I used to not be able to do it and I chipped away at and I practiced it and I practiced it and then and now you're showing up and just seeing that I can do it, but you missed out on all the work it took to get there you worked out on the whole you missed out on the process, so get them excited about the process and let them know you're on the journey with him and I think that will help a lot fantastic uh see, I kind of like this one it might be a similar answer, so you can say, just see previous if you think so, drum ting says, how do you deal with a student that clearly has no passion for drums or music and may have been pushed by parents in tow lessons that's actually a really, really common thing and that's tough and that's also going back to the financial side of things, which is, do you go out and tell the parents in the lobby? Did your kid doesn't want to do this at all? One the parents couldn't disagree with you no, no, no, he loves drums well, he tells you he loves drums clearly this person doesn't want to play drums or do you lie to the parents and say, man he's killing it because I can't lose my rent money so he's killing it I would always push you towards the side of honesty just because it will come back around so let's say that, you know, I'm teaching. When did you start playing nickel hold re fifth grade nicole so I'm teaching fifth grade nicole, she comes in and there's no there's, no passion for the instrument. She doesn't really want to be there all of her friends or doing something else other than drums and she's like men. My parents think I'd be good at this and they said I needed a hobby and it's like ok, well, here's, what we're gonna do, we're gonna do my very best have fun with this with you and I always tell the students in the beginning, my my passion and my excitement for your lesson is one hundred percent related to your passion for this lesson. So if you practice and you put in the work, I'm juiced about it and I go home thinking about your future and what should I teach in cold next? And then if you come in, you didn't practice and you don't care, I'm not mad at you will never, ever be mount. You just don't care either it's a cool one practice because I could get in some licks right now let's trade some force and it seems like dude, that's really responsible no like I'm not going to force you to practice I'm not going to force you to fall in love with his instrument because that will never work what I'm going to do is I'm gonna wait I would say you know what don't give up just yet nicole like let me just keep trying to show you different styles of music and different things that maybe might crab on onto and the way that I know the student is ready his christmas christmas is always the key for all of you educators out there this is when you know the students ready to move forward and play this instrument get the student the room december seventh and go you know nicole, what are you asking for for christmas now the entire world is marketing things to her right now in december seventh okay, apple's got this new thing coming out sony's got the xbox forty seven they actually make the playstation microsoft has the xbox one thirty seven it doesn't matter they're all marketing, pushing billions of dollars of marketing in the coals face and she says, I really want like a twenty inch mina ll rise symbol what that's what you're going to ask for out of all the things that the world is telling you you should buy and that they're just throwing all this candy in your face and all this sweetness and all this amazing marketing color scheme just to trick your brain into thinking you need it and you want to ride cymbal so you had like every time I come here I play on your kid it just sounds amazing when I go home and I just wish mind sounded like that and say that's radical like I mean let's do this for the rest of our lives let's do it I'm your teacher so it's good stuff you know next that's often let's keep going so the next technique ihs boring drums equals history math, geography, language this is so huge for you guys as teachers and his future teachers is understanding that whatever your teachings doesn't matter of it's guitar bass piano vocals basketball badman we all of badman no matter what you're teaching that it has a history in drumming and music it does have math tied to it more than likely it has a geography must have started somewhere and there's different styles of music that come from different places and then it is a language music is a language and we know that there's been people that have made you know benny made the language of drumming dvd I think in the world of ted victor wooten probably has the best video of ever seen on language or music being a language but all of these things are super important so let's go back to the drum several quick and let's figure out each one of these so let's say that I've got, um we'll go with this will be a little loud, all right? So that is based off of brazilian samba now, it's pretty pretty run down version of it since I'm missing some key elements to the drum set but it's still based on the brazilian samba. So drums. Now, if I'm gonna teach that and I don't know the history behind it, I don't know what the geography behind it don't know the math behind it and I don't know what's trying to be conveyed through it the language of this how am I going to teach it? I'm a teacher pretty stale. It is this your foot does this boom boom, boom, boom boom when you feel like you have that you're gonna put in some of this chick boom boom chicka boom boom chick now do cool hot sauce with hands lesson over thanks for checking out, not mike's lessons dot com so you can't do that. You need to do your research, it's your job and here's the crazy thing. You don't even have to work hard for it. Type in brazilian samba right now to google, just open a new window and do it, I guarantee the first thing they would come up will be a wikipedia article explaining everything about brazilian samba well, just read it and read it again and then read it two more times and committed to memory and think like, how does that relate to what you're trying to teach? If you know that stuff it's going to get a lot better so first thing we have his drums equals history when did this show up? You have to figure that stuff out, you know, when did the drum set show up and who made it and who made multiplied drum shells and all that kind of stuff think about the history if I'm dealing with brazilian samba, you know, I want to think like, who are the guys that brought this in and how did this happen? You know, and I don't want to get into ah big history lesson, but learn about things like the slave trade that brought different people to different areas and then allowed religious ceremonial music to mix with the brazilian culture and allowed, you know, all of this stuff to start to grow into a certain area and then why why why did this thing happen? What is it used for? You know, knowing that this is a party thing, this is a kn, uplifting type of group that helps you not only teach it, but teach the student when they when the heck they should do it that's so important for them to be sitting there playing a ballad and so yes it's my first gig with christian christina aguilera we're playing beautiful everything's great I'm thinking on a street party song but now what dog and then christine to be like who's your drum teacher and it's like the jack love and no that's not the case because he would never tell you to do that but it's so important that it's like ok well here's when to do this okay and so that stuff's really important the math behind it okay that's the counting and the separation of the notes if you said ok I don't know music theory at all I don't know what sixteenth notes are I don't know what eight notes are ok things like this group of four notes three of them three of the four being played one is not so we have one, two, three, four one two three four one two three four one two three four one two three four one two the two is not being played bring that down one, two, three four one two three four one two three the base drone is being played on the one and the four one two three four one, two, three, four one the high hat is being played on the three one two three four one, two, three four one, two, three, four one, two, three, four now that is not how I would teach samba what I'm telling you is you need to know osama on that level of depth for the math side because what if they come to anything? All right? We're going to feel it's the sixteenth notes based rooms on the one in the and it'll be going on the cycle so it'll be one a two a three a four high it's going to come in on the end of one, two, three and four one and two and three and four and the students just looking at you like yeah I was looking for drum lessons I have no idea what you just said it's like that's when we go to the you know what I think of it like this say that word think of it like this said those words and then all of a sudden it's all possible so that's the math, the geography please please new drum educators stop calling brazilian stuff samba latin like everyone's I guess man, I love afro cuban stuff like the samba like do you have a map? I'm terrible geography but I can tell you that the samba is not afro cuban so look at south america look at brazil look at the surrounding countries, figure out what indigenous rhythms made their way into brazil and what rhythms came through the slave trade into brazil and mixed in with these cultures and gave us what we have and learn that history. The other thing is the language we talked about this as far as you know, somebody playing a street samba, you know, where the body count of feel in christina aguilera is beautiful, bad choice. So the language, what are we trying to communicate here and the reason why this is so important? Because you guys might be playing a gig say, how many church storms we have here? One, two ok, so if to church drummers now I cover a lot of church gigs on dh when I'm doing that, the terminology that gets thrown to me is never drum terminology, ever. First of all, they never want to stop doing this the base they're like, you know, can you just let me guess? I'll play four on the floor? I'll be happy to do that all freaking night now. The other thing is they'll say things they'll use adjectives, backto language. Well say it just needs to be, like, happier, okay, so when we get to the bridge, I just need to be happier and I'm looking down like, I cannot find a happy button anywhere. I don't even know, does this make happiness. What does this do that it doesn't work like that, but it has to work like that because you want the next gig in the next game, and so you have to think, like what I have that's, happy, upbeat, they're happy, so I'm gonna put some of that in there. You know what the samba has that party feel, okay? You want the bridge to be uplifting. All right, let me try this, see church, be so fake of the language. Think of what are you trying to get across with his instrument? What is it, speaking to the audience, those air so important, having the ability to do that allows you to make the audience connect and that's a really, really important thing.

Ratings and Reviews

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Mike is such a great educator. He is well versed in all aspects of teaching and also branding and making a living with it. He is a passionate and truly dedicated teacher. I also really liked that he made it clear that teaching is not a plan b for him but his true calling and it can be such a rewarding experience. I got a lot out of this session and I truly recommend it to anyone who is interesting in taking this path.

a Creativelive Student

Mike, thank you for your wonderful teaching. I have been a performer and vocal educator for over 20 years and I've learn so much today to add to my own personal instruction. These teachings are so transferrable and your passion is simply awesome. I see you and I see a reflection of myself. I'm going to study you some more by purchasing this session. It's been awesome to watch. Thanks for the inspiration!


This is the most brilliant class. There are so many great points in here, it is an information overload; but explained it such a simple way. I watch one of these videos almost every week, just to top up on what I should be giving my students - it serves as a good reminder and an even better teaching aid. Mike; time and time again, he releases great media that everyone must see. I can't speak highly enough of this.

Student Work