Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
One on one private classes.
Lecture demonstrations, etc.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Talk one on one with your potential teacher, ask questions, and if you can, go to see him-her play at a show he-she may have. I think you should like the way your teacher plays, and remember if you are not having fun throughout the whole process, you should ask yourself if it is the right teacher for you. Some people charge a lot for classes because they are or were famous, that doesn't make them good teachers, it may still be a fun experience to meet them and take a lesson with them, and been able to say: "I took a lesson with so and so," but your real music teachers are going to be the ones that take you gradually through your improvement... Ohhh! another advice: have a decent instrument to practice on! (If not I will advice you on your purchase.... (:-)
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. All drummers should buy a metronome device to practice and allow for their timing to get better.
There is tons of videos and Youtube material out there, but nothing replaces a good experienced teacher, simply because the player on the video does not come out of the screen to correct you!
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I approach every student as a very unique individual with his-her own abilities and handicaps, I determine short and long term goals intended
for that "potential musician" to get better gradually and I encourage them
to enjoy playing drums right away.
Whether your goals are playing in a Band, your Church, or just at your living room to pre-recorded music, I provide my students with the tools to be musical. Learning rhythms it's just one aspect of this.
I have students that have been with me for 5 or 6 years, some of them play professionally and they still come for more lessons!
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I work at my house studio. I make my living exclusively with matters music related, performances, teaching, workshops and clinics, lectures, recording sessions etc.
What I love about the teaching aspect of my career, is to see how music affects my students positively just as it did to me.
I always feel better at the end of a lesson, so do my students.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Question: How long will it take for me to be good at this?
Four 1hr. lessons should be sufficient time for you to know a few rhythms and produce decent sounds on your drums (IF YOU PRACTICE BETWEEN CLASSES.)
Been "good at this" takes years of practice...
That's just the same as with any other instrument!
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. In a group lesson taught at Cazadero Family Camp I had a senior student that suffered from a noticeable Parkinson's disease syndrome... His hands shaked, but somehow when he would rest them on the drums he was able to learn the sound techniques and keep the rhythms with great timing... Drumming didn't help or cure his condition, but he certainly played equally or better than some of the other students in the group...
At the end of a week course we did a performance and I awarded him for his patience and perseverance. When there is a will there is a way,
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I dreamed about been a musician at age 9.
I live my dream and love what I do.
It's a true blessing.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. First I became a student, as I developed myself musically, it was a natural thing to do to start teaching. I do not advertise much, it's all through recommendations by clients and students, or people who see me playing and want to take lessons.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I go to Cuba as often as I can (7 times as of now, two of them to play with my Band.) I go to NAMM, National Music Market Show in Anaheim, California, every year to meet with my peers and friends at the LP (Latin Percussion) booth as well as with many great drummers
and share thoughts and "hang."
I also sit daily and practice, even if just for an hour, to stay connected with the instrument, mainly congas.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Once I am good enough at my instrument: How can I get into a Band?
Getting in a band is a whole "different animal all together"... Lets say you know you want to play Salsa Music and Latin Jazz, first I would say to try to find out if there are some outlets more friendly and welcoming to
new arrivals (players) than an established Band, for instance a Church, a Music School or Community Center, ask your friends around, post a listing on social network pages. If you are at a high musical level and you feel you really want to be late at night playing Clubs and such (not an easy living let me remind you!): Go to see the Bands, talk with the band leaders, give them your card, ask them if they would please send you a Cd of their latest material and tell them you would be willing to audition. You can learn two songs really well and ask them to sit in at a low key Gig. Buy and bring your own recording device (it doesn't have to be expensive,)
ask permission to record the band and learn the material as they play it live.... Always befriend the musician who is playing the instrument you want to play in the Band he-or she may call you to sub out one day,
and be patient, very patient... THERE ARE MANY WELL TRAINED FULL TIME PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS WITH OUT A GIG OUT THERE, SO KNOW THAT IT MAY TAKE SOMETIME FOR YOU TO JOIN A BAND.