Parker Olson


Lesson Fees
from $35.00 / 30 Minutes


Some people ask me why I chose percussion, and I just tell them that percussion chose me. I love explaining to people what it is I do and that is play numerous instruments in an orchestra. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and had the honor of studying with Bill Wilder, Charles Settle, and Tom Sherwood in the Atlanta Symphony. I placed 2nd in the Modern Snare Drum Competition in 2015, played in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra for four years, and attended the Juilliard Percussion Seminar.

I moved to Boston to study with Dan Bauch of the Boston Symphony at the New England Conservatory on a Presidential Distinction Award for my Bachelor’s degree. I have performed with the New World Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic, the New England Philharmonic, and the Boston Civic Symphony. I’m also currently a substitute percussionist with the Billings Symphony, The Orchestra Now, the Asheville Symphony, the Cape Symphony, the Savannah Philharmonic, and the Cambridge Symphony. I’m pursuing my master’s degree at NEC studying with Will Hudgins and Matt McKay on a Dean’s Scholarship.

I’ve spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival studying with several teachers including Ed Stephan, Cynthia Yeh, Markus Rhoten, Jonathan Haas, Doug Howard, and Joseph Pereira. For 2021, I performed in the National Repertory Orchestra under the direction of Michael Stern and Carl Topilow.

I’ve played under great conductors, such as Hugh Wolff, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, Cristian Macelaru, Ludovic Morlot, Benjamin Zander, and Matthias Pintscher. I have performed in several masterclasses including at the 2017 PASIC in Indianapolis for Rob Knopper. Others include Jake Nissly, Tim Genis, Jauvon Gilliam, Dan Druckman, Colin Currie, Chris Lamb, and Jay Ritchie.

As a drummer, I played for the Peachtree City United Methodist Church, studied with Bill Wilder, the drummer of the Atlanta Pops, Jim Gwin, the drummer of the Boston Pops, and have taken lessons with Peter Erskine and John Riley.

As a teacher, I currently teach middle and high school students privately and work at the NEC Preparatory School as a percussion coach and was an ensemble manager for three years. I am also a percussion instructor at Natick Public Schools in Natick, MA and work with middle school students. I love sharing what it is I do which is make great music with great people!

I have had the opportunity to teach students privately both while I was in Atlanta and now in Boston, and I enjoy working with both younger and older students. Each student is unique in their interests, their personality and learning types, their current level of playing, and their work ethic and how they approach their instrument. I gear my teaching towards where they are now, where they want to go, and I how I can support them in the information I give them. Some students are super serious and want a lot of information. Other students are doing this because they like music and want to be involved in something at school. Both are great, but as a teacher I want to be able to offer them information and support that is meaningful and applicable to their interests.

As for percussion, it is such a diverse instrument that some students just want to focus on classical percussion and others on drum set, and this sort of specialization makes it interesting for me as a teacher to guide them in their interests. I have a great deal of information to offer, but I can share this with students for a student rate and not a professional rate.

New England Conservatory, BM Percussion Performance 2017-2021
New England Conservatory, MM Percussion Perfomance 2021-2023

Parker Olson Percussion Teaching Method

Percussion, Timpani, and Drum Set

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