Month: November 2012

Christmas in Singapore CD review on Straits Times

Christmas in Singapore review on Straits Times

As stated above, check out the paragraph titled “Any Good?” The track I played on “December By The Isle of You” written, arranged, and produced by Singapore-based Mauritian-French singer-songwriter, Jonathan Meur, is described by the reviewer as “luminiscent!”

Album is now available in cd format at all Starbucks outlets as well as in digital format on bandcamp.com. All proceeds go to the Rare Disorders Society of Singapore.

Rudimental Snare Drum Technique Course

I’m launching private instruction in Rudimental Snare Drum Technique for concert and marching band drummers, as well as drumset players looking to have an in-depth study of the rudiments and their applications on the drumset.

This is a very streamlined course that focuses on studying all the groups of rudiments: Single Stroke Roll and Ruffs, Double Stroke Roll and Short Double Stroke Rolls, Paradiddles, Flams, Drags, Ratamacues, and Hybrid Rudiments.Sight-reading of Snare Drum pieces will be included in the lessons.

I will be teaching at the Home Ground studio located at 45 North Canal Road, Lew Building, 2nd Floor (facing Hong Lim Park and Clarke Quay MRT Station Exit A)

Call me at 98291901 to book a free trial lesson and for further enquiries!

Drum Studio To Be Up And Running On Nov 26th 2012

Dear peeps,

A short announcement:

My teaching schedule will start proper as of the above date. My existing private students are all moving to Home Ground and I’m deeply grateful to them for their great support, without whom, I wouldn’t have dared to get into this venture. New students are slowly but steadily coming in.

There are two sessions to view the entire Home Ground space over the weekend:

Saturday: 5pm

Sunday: 3pm

Most of my students will be there, if anybody else would like to drop by, please send me a text message and indicate the day.

Oh yes, I’ll be taking pictures today of the studio as it looks now and will post them up soon!

Keep Groovin’!

Goodbye Rhythm House, Hello Home Ground

Well…today was my last day of teaching at Rhythm House and I just got back home. Last class ended at 9pm. All my current private students and soon-to-be private students are excited about  moving over to the new place for their lessons. It took almost 5 months of planning and execution.

As I locked the entrance door to the studio for one last time tonight, my heart weighed heavy. I spent 3 years (which were the most difficult 3 years since 1992 to 1995) teaching in the studio and I enjoyed every moment of it. Mark Boatman, founder of Rhythm House and highly accomplished drummer, has my deepest gratitude for inviting me one weekend evening down to the studio in late 2009, after we established contact only a couple of months prior, to chat with me about teaching there. He didn’t even audition me as would be his standard practice. It turned out that he went by intuition after seeing me perform at the Crazy Elephant (at that time I was playing with a Classic Rock covers band called Dorian Roach) and thought I’d be good enough to teach. And he gave me a very good deal I couldn’t refuse.

Once I commenced my job in Rhythm House, and started getting to know the co-founder, David McGuire, it simply became the best working environment I’ve ever been in up to this point. Here was a company, finally, that I felt exercised fairness in all its business dealings.  All the decisions Mark and David took with me as far as renting out the studio to teach to the use of their drum and sound equipment served to benefit me as well. Out of this, we developed a mutual trust and bond of friendship that I’m very proud to maintain for good. I’ve also learnt alot from both of them along the way about running a private teaching business well, and I’ll certainly miss all the times we hung out after our last classes joking and chatting about drums, music, teaching methods, drum books and videos, politics, culture, online marketing, and the list goes on…Who says drummers are a dumb bunch who can only make a whole lot of noise banging on things?? You can’t find two drummers more well-informed, more well-read, and just plain intelligent than Mark and Dave!

I wish Rhythm House every iota of success with their future plans henceforth.

And now…Home Ground…my new “home” come last week of November. What’s Home Ground?? No it’s not related to sports, it’s instead a one-stop hub conceptualised by a young visionary, Seow Yi Zhe, founder of Pulse of Music, for music education, music production, retail of music instruments and accessories, and sound system installation. I never expected I’d be working professionally with him but life does have  some very interesting plans for us…

I’ll be a partner with Pulse of Music who, besides running my own teaching business in the dedicated room built for me in the Home Ground space, will also assist the company in managing their teaching faculty. There’ll be lots of administration work to do including managing the teachers’ schedules, being the point of contact for all student enrolment matters, balancing of accounts, and taking care of the teachers’ needs.. Am I prepared for all this?? I will give you a resounding YES and I will prove it to my doubters (if there are any..). Updates on the latest developments at Home Ground will be posted on this blog, so keep a lookout!

To conclude this post, I’ll say what I’ve said before to close friends, “I chose the best job in the world!”

Stay tuned and DON’T STOP THE GROOVE,

Jason.

Frequently Asked Questions Before A Student’s First Lesson With Me

Hi folks, I’ve compiled a list of questions that I get alot from first-time students:

Q1: What should I bring to my trial lesson?

A pair of drumsticks if you already own one. If not I’ll lend you a pair.

Q2: How long is the trial lesson and what do we get to cover?

The trial lesson is a minimum of 45 minutes in duration. The aim of the trial lesson is for you to check out my teaching approach to see whether it fits you and for me to assess your learning abilities as well as psycho-motor co-ordination. The trial lesson will also be an opportunity to enquire in person any concerns you have.

Q3: What do I bring to my first lesson after I have signed up with you at the trial lesson?

Bring along these things:

1) Drumsticks – 5A sized drumsticks is great for beginner drummers. Reputable brands include Vic Firth, Vater, and Pro Mark, which are all carried by Music Theme on the basement level of Excelsior Shopping Centre, No.5 Coleman Street (City Hall area).

2) Fee for the first month which will be quoted to you at your trial lesson

3) Fee for the course books, Alfred Drum Method and The Total Rock Drummer (S$50 in total)

4) A notebook or music manuscript book to document your weekly practice assignments. Bring this along to every lesson thereafter.

An A4 sized file will eventually be very handy for storing all supplementary printed materials given to you.

Q4. I don’t have a drumset yet. How do I go about practising my weekly assignments?

You can practise in the following ways without a drumset at first:

1) Make a makeshift drumset using everyday home items: Old books, pots, pans, tins, pillows, e.t.c

2) Invest in either a single practice pad or a multi practice-pad setup

3) You can book one of the two smaller rooms at Home Ground for individual practice on an acoustic drumset anytime of the week. More information will be given to you at your lessons on ho to go about booking the room.

Q5: I cannot afford to have an acoustic drumset at home due to noise. What alternative is available for me?

Either of the two: Electronic Drumset with headphone output or Multi-Practice-Pad set up. For electronic drumsets you can start out with the entry level model offered by either Yamaha, Roland, or  Alesis. Contact me if you need to know which shops to get them from or log onto to the forums section of soft.com.sg for good second hand deals under the “Drums Buy/Sell” category.

Q6: Am I required to sit for a drumset exam after each level of learning?

No. It is entirely up to the student to take drumset exams or not and if you should decide to, I offer guidance in both the Trinity/Guildhall and Rockschool drumset exam syllabi. More information on this can be given to you at your lessons upon request. Please take note that I only prepare students for the exam and am not involved in registering the students for the exams. The students will have to register as private candidates at the relevant exam centre.

Q7: Do I need to be a fast learner in order to play drums well?

Not at all. Pace of learning has nothing to do with playing the drums well. Regardless of your learning pace, you need commitment, dedication, perseverance, and a lot of patience to develop your drumming skills to a level where you can comfortably play with other musicians.

Q8: Do I need to have prior musical experience to start taking up drums?

Not at all. I can take students from ground zero.

Q9: I’m afraid I may not have a good sense of rhythm in order to take drum lessons.

Well, that’s why you take drum lessons! To help you improve your sense of rhythm! My drum lessons although pre-structured can be customised to fit the needs of the individual student, so you have nothing to worry about!

Q.10: Do you teach kids?

Yes I do. From age 6 onwards. Bring your kid down for a trial lesson!

Q. 11: Why should learn with a private instructor when I can learn online?

Firstly, it is definitely possible to learn anything, and I mean anything, you want to learn about drumming online. But ask yourself, who is going to guide you when you inadvertently form bad habits as you learn try to learn independently especially at the beginning stages?

Secondly, drumming is a very physical activity. You need to get together with a teacher who has solid technique to help you achieve the same so that you play the drums without hurting yourself. This applies to any other instrument that you choose to take up. Technique is one of my fortes and I have helped lots of students improve their technique. I can give you great insight into how you can adapt standard drumming techniques to your physical type so that you can play the drums in a totally NATURAL way.

Thirdly, online videos and even “live” lessons cannot give you that personal touch to the lessons that make your learning experience more enriching. By personal, I mean in-person and IMMEDIATE feedback on your progress, as well as in-person advice. The human interaction element in any learning environment is not to be understated, Making music, especially great music, is a communal activity, which means there is interaction, and it is always in-person, not through a computer.