A native of Auburn, NY, John comes from a family of drummers. He began playing drums at age four, learning rudiments from his grandfather. At a very early age, John was exposed to and taught about the lineage of great drummers, such as Jo Jones, Dave Tough, Sid Catlet, etc..
While in High School, John took private lessons with Len Carey of the Syracuse Symphony and was selected to the NYS All-State Jazz Ensemble. He was also house percussionist for the Merry Go Round Theatre for six seasons.
John majored in music education at Berklee College of Music, studying drums with Joe Hunt and vibraphone with Ed Saindon. While at Berklee, he led his own Big Band featuring trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. Away from school, he studied privately with drumming masters Joe Morello and Alan Dawson.
His professional performing career spans four decades and includes a national tour with R&B singer Bobby Freeman. He has performed with CNY legends Lyman "Butch" Strong, Bobby Doyle, Frank Mucedola, the Cayugans Big Band and enjoyed a twenty year association with pianist Bob Barbuto. As a member of the group "In Flight", John was honored to perform for former President and Mrs. Clinton.
John began his teaching practice in 1989 and opened his own studio in 1999. He has performed numerous drum clinics and jazz workshops at area schools and colleges. He is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the Percussive Arts Society, the Vic Firth Private Drum Teacher program and is a facilitator for the Percussion Marketing Council's "Percussion In The Schools" program.
It is with great pride and satisfaction that John continues the lineage of drumming by helping a new generation take root. He is committed to his students' growth, not just toward the betterment of their playing, but in the joy they take from it.
John's style of teaching is based on positive encouragement and motivation toward the student's musical growth. This is not a "one size fits all" approach, as each student presents a different skill set, personality type, level of dedication, and of course, end goal in mind. John has taught students from age four to sixty four, and has patiently laid solid foundations for beginners; Yet has also pushed and challenged the limits of experienced professionals. Through his many years of teaching, he has become expert in presenting the right material, at the right time, in the right manner to his students.
Beginners: Intro to instrument, components & applications
Grips, hand position. Fulcrum development
Full Stroke, 1/2 stroke, Control strokes
Tempo matching, Beat subdivisions
Meter and Notation comprehension
Body positioning, Natural movement
Foot pedal techniques
Essential practice habits
Major scales through 3#'s/ 3 b's
Tuning and maintanence of instruments
Listening and analysis
Intermediate: Sight reading, prepared pieces
All 40 Rudiments
All Major and minor scales, 2 octaves plus arpeggios
Balanced tone production, control , full dynamic range
Song form recognition, adhearence
Intro to Ear training, interval recognition
Intro to Transcription, rhythmic dictation
Lineage of drum masters
Self investment/assessment. Goal setting
4 limb independence
Versatility, genre authenticity
Advanced Harmony, chord scales, voicings. modal interchange
Phrasing, improvisation, soloing