Laura J. , Drums Teacher , Bergen County
I believe in an eclectic, flexible yet comprehensive teaching method that focuses on musical enjoyment and improvisation from the beginning steps. Each lesson I teach is completely different. I encourage music reading through playing and simple steps, but will challenge students who progress quickly. I believe that music is about expression and enrichment and that constant listening and self-analysis is important.
I provide set lesson plans, which we write in a book weekly for record keeping, but depend on each student for input on overall direction, as well as equal voice in discovering and solving musical issues. I also focus on material that students are comfortable with and use that as a foundation to learn other concepts that might seem intimidating at first. This helps to build not only a solid technical foundation, but the self confidence in playing from the first lessons that makes a great improviser/composer, minimizes performance anxiety, and liberates creative impulse. Even beginning students will play along to music, work on some basic fill writing, and eventually learn to transcribe drum parts. Students learn the basics along with some playing by ear, which can come from material and albums that the student selects.
I also have experience working with special needs students (ADD, autism, cerebral palsy), and have a great deal of education and psychology coursework under my belt. Especially if you have a younger student that has had a negative teacher experience in the past, you may want to try me out for a more positive student/teacher relationship. I am very patient and believe that any student with the correct guidance and a strong work ethic has the potential to play on a professional level if that is his/her passion. If you are an adult and have struggled with music or reading in the past, I will try to analyse your learning style and work with that. I am proud to use educational psychology in the way I structure lessons (ie, if a student is a visual, aural, kinesthetic type of learner).
All of my students who stick with it have strong reading and basic technical skills, and if possible learn the keyboard percussion and hand drum instruments as well. Reading proficiency is important for homework and recording your ideas. Finally, I am willing to work with people who need somewhat flexible scheduling.
To inquire about Drums lessons with Laura, please fill out the Inquiry Form on this page, or call us at (201) 546-5568.
- Adjunct Clinical Professor, New York University, 2006-2007. Classical Percussion Department
- Music and Arts, Ellicott City Maryland, Drum Instructor, 2004-2005
- Free lancer - orchestral, rock gigs, musical theatre. Toured internationally and recorded playing frame drums and Bodhran.
- Modern dance accompanist (hand drumming improvisation), 2000-2005.
- Long Island Conservatory, Faculty 2008-current
- Bronx Conservatory, Faculty 2008-current
- Graduated, Highschool arts diploma in percussion performance (Highschool arts diploma), North Carolina School of the Arts 
- Graduated, Percussion Performance (PhD), New York University (PhD) 
- Graduated, Master of Music in Percussion Performance (MM), Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University 
- Graduated, Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance (BM), Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University 
- Jon Metzger 
- John R. Beck [1999 - 2001]
- Robert van Sice [2001 - 2004]
- Myron Bretholz, bodhran [2004 - 2005]
- Kumar Das, tabla [2008 - 2005]
- Simon Boyar 
- Jonathan Haas [2001 - 2008]
- Kenneth Trapp [1999 - 1996]
Seminars and Workshops Attended:
- Zeltsman Marimba Festival, Princeton 
- Julliard Summer Percussion Seminar, Julliard 
- Paris Perkumania Festival, National Conservatory of France 
- Paris International Marimba Competition, National Conservatory of France 
- Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Indianapolis 
- North Carolina School of the Arts Career Development Grant - North Carolina School of the ARts 
- Peabody Career Development Grant - Peabody Alumni Office 
- Semans Art Fund Grant - Semans Art Fund 
- Menachem Zur (composer) - "Translations for Percussion and Electronics" 
- Ensemble Galilei - "Alta" 
Student Reviews for Laura
(5.0 out of 5 stars)
highly recommended - January 23, 2012
By Sara - New York, NY, Drums Lessons
Laura is a wonderful and committed teacher. She has high expectations and works diligently to help her students. She is enthusiastic and patient. My son, who has high functioning autism, has made huge strides in his drumming technique and willingness to take gentle correction.
Laura - January 21, 2010
By JENNIFER - NEW YORK, NY, Drums Lessons
Our daughter has been taking lessons with Laura for several years now and we have always been extremely pleased with the enthusiasm and quality of the teaching she has received. We wholeheartedly recommend Laura to anyone wishing to learn drums.
Amazing drum teacher - December 16, 2009
By YUVAL - ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ, Drums Lessons
Laura started teaching my son (10 years old) about 6 months ago. He has made a lot of progress in this time, and Laura did a great job teaching him.
Laura is very professional & knowledgeable and obviously has a strong musical academic background, but she also manages to communicate very well with my son and make the lessons fun - every week he is looking forward to meet her and learn new things.
I strongly recommend Laura as a Drum teacher.
Drum lesson Gift Certificates make great gifts. You can get them in packages of 4, 6, 8, 12, or 16 lessons.
If you need the certificate instantly we can send it to you by email as a PDF file. If you'd prefer the old-fashioned way, we'd be glad to mail it either to you or to the person who'll be taking lessons.
About the Drums
By the 1950s big bands were becoming uneconomical and jazz more obscure, thus rock and roll became the leading music genre. In 1964 drumming became more popular when Ringo Starr of The Beatles played his Ludwig kit on American television.