DRUM LESSONS AT OCTOPUS
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.
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.
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 has been playing and teaching the drums for almost two decades. He graduated magna cum laude from the William Paterson University Honors College, with a BM in Music Education and Jazz Studies and is a NJ state-certified K-12 music teacher, and recently taught 4th and 5th grade Instrumental Music in Livingston public schools.He has taught a diverse array of private students ranging from complete beginners to college students, some of which have gone on to study music at college programs such as William Paterson University and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His passion and expertise is the drum set, with a strong background in all styles including Jazz, Rock, R&B, and Afro-Cuban music. He has performed at venues such as the Bowery Ballroom, NJPAC, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has traveled to France, Spain, and Colombia for both teaching and performing opportunities. Nick also has a background in classical percussion and has performed with Wind Ensembles and Percussion Ensembles such as the New Jersey Wind Symphony, the Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, and the William Paterson University Percussion Ensemble.