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Drum lessons at Octopus Music School are taught using our proprietary OPUS curriculum (Octopus Poly-Instrumental Units of Study). OPUS consists of ten grade levels, each with a requisite assessment and certification. From the beginning, we emphasize reading, aural training, proper posture, rhythm skills, and playing along to a diverse repertoire of music. Students will learn all about rudiments, stick control, and hand-to-foot coordination. In addition to private study, all students at Octopus, will have the opportunity to participate in group ensemble classes, which allows students to collaborate and make music with their peers, an experience which is particularly important for those studying the drums.


With consistent practice at recommended intervals, our carefully designed curriculum prepares students to quickly advance from day one by equipping them with the necessary tools and scaffolding to build a comprehensive understanding of the drum set.

Lessons are still tailored to individuals' unique learning needs, and repertoire remains flexible so that students are able to learn music which interests them, however the core content and benchmarks have been standardized to ensure fast and steady progress for students of all ages and skill levels.

AJ, Drum Teacher


AJ studied Jazz Performance at New Jersey City University and has taught the drum set for many years. He plays an eclectic range of styles including jazz, rock, R&B, and musical theatre. AJ is equally at home performing in a band or in a pit orchestra on Broadway. His passion for playing and teaching music is contagious to all who study with him.

Evan, Drum Teacher


Evan completed a BA in Jazz Performance and minor in Music Technology from Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University, studying under the legendary Victor Lewis. During his time at school, Evan worked closely with such luminaries as Robby Ameen, Mark Gross, and Kenny Davis while performing in a wide variety of musical groups including rock, Latin, and jazz bands (both small and large ensembles), as well as musical theatre pit orchestras. A regular performer at various venues around New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia, he continues his pursuit of performing eclectic styles in a range of musical formats.

Jamie, Drum Teacher


Jamie is a professional, classically trained pianist, vocalist, and drummer and holds a B.A. in Music Education K-12 with a concentration in voice, and a minor in piano from William Paterson University of New Jersey. In high school, Jamie was involved in a variety of award winning ensembles including concert choir, chorale, Madrigals, men's choir, all-state choir, concert band, wind ensemble, marching band, and jazz band. In 2007, the drumline, of which Jamie was co-section leader, earned the title of Grand National Champions.

After graduating WPUNJ, he worked at Pompton Lakes High School as a Marching Band Tech and sang as a hired choir section leader for Trinity & St. Philips Cathedral in Newark, NJ, and for Trinity & Episcopal Church in Cliffside Park, NJ. In the summer of 2018, he was hired by Lincoln Center for their Mostly Mozart Festival. Jamie was the Assistant Conductor for the William Paterson University's Choir Tour in 2018 where he conducted and sang through Austria and Italy in places such as the Vienna State Opera House and Melk Abbey.

Mike, Drum Teacher


Mike has studied under numerous gifted drum instructors with varied fields of expertise; at Mason Gross with the legendary drummer Victor Lewis and classical composer Joe Tompkins, at the New School Veneto Jazz Workshop with Jeff Hirschfield, and at Julliard with classical percussionist Greg Giannascoli. Studying both classical percussion as well as jazz drum set has given Mike a unique outlook on both the creative fundamentals of improvisation and soloing as well as the importance of the drums in larger ensemble settings. His ongoing performance credits include the Rutgers Jazz Ensemble, the New Jersey Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the WM Jazz Quartet.

Nick, Drum Teacher


Nick began playing drum set with renowned jazz drummer Joe Aiello and studied numerous styles such as rock, funk, metal, jazz, and Latin. He would go on to study classical percussion with the acclaimed percussionist William Trigg at The College of New Jersey and completed a BA in music performance for percussion. While in school, Nick spent much of his time studying contemporary music, while performing in The College of New Jersey percussion ensemble, jazz band, orchestra, as well as numerous solo recitals. Nick was also a performer in the indoor marching percussion group "East Coast Percussion," and was taught under numerous world-class Drum Corps International Alumni. His strong background in rudimental drumming has led him to teach marching percussion at various high schools. Nick has also been the percussion manager for the Central Jersey Music Educators Association, as well as a performer for the Doylestown Symphonic Wind Band in Pennsylvania. Nick is passionate to share his knowledge and expertise in drumming in hopes to inspire students to find their unique passion in music.

Shane, Drum Teacher


Shane is a multi-instrumentalist who has been a working musician and instructor for over a decade. While earning his BA in jazz performance as a drummer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, he studied closely with preeminent musicians including Ben O’neill (John Legend), Kevin Hanson (The Roots), Marc Dicciani, and Erik Johnson. Since then, Shane has toured the world with artists such as River City Extension, Remember Jones, Billy Walton Band,
and Cranston Dean and has played drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, and vocals on dozens of records for artists around the country. He was also a member of the PA All-State Jazz Band in 2010 and performed in the Uarts Transfusion Ensemble. As a teacher, he has a wide breadth of knowledge stemming from real world experience in everything from improvisation to songwriting, marching band to music production, and so many things in between.

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