Featured Teacher: David Stanoch

Where are you located, and where do you teach?

I live in the Twin Cities metro area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

How many students do you teach, and what is their range of ability levels?

As a faculty member of the McNally Smith college of Music I teach approximately 60 students in classroom and private lesson settings.  The range of ability is wide – no absolute beginners, but many self-taught entry level players as well as several with a background of private instruction.  My private teaching practice has been minimal the past few years, due to my busy schedule but typically consists of professional level players looking to deepen their nuances.

What are your favorite teaching materials?

Too many to list! First of all I think it’s important to do a lot of listening to music, so that figures in no matter what.

A few resource staples:
DVDs: The Groove is Here – Steve Jordan,  Up Close/In Session–  Steve Gadd, Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer– JoJo Mayer, The Art of Playing w/Brushes – Nussbaum/Smith, etc.
Books: 4-Way Coordination – Marv Dahlgren & Elliot Fine, Drum Wisdom – Bob Moses, Time Awareness for All Musicians – Peter Erskine, Master Studies I & II – Joe Morello, Single-Stroke Rolls & the Open/Close Technique – Gordy Knudtson, Double Bass Drumming – Joe Franco, Mastering the Tables of Time– David Stanoch

Play-alongs: Turn it Up & Lay it Down (all), The Drumset Soloist – Steve Houghton, The Code of Funk David Garibaldi, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band

How are you incorporating new media (DVDs, Mp3s, Internet, etc) into your teaching?

At the school and in my private studio there is internet for itunes, CD’s, DVD’s, websites with viewing screens, as well as Logic with mics & mixers to record and digital cameras as well.

Do you have any funny anecdotes/stories from your teaching?

In my first private teaching undertaking in college I had a guy come over for his first lesson with a copy of Led Zeppelin IV& Van Halen’s Fair Warning LP’s under his arm and wanted to learn to play “Black Dog” & “Unchained” respectively, from each LP – in one lesson. He had never held a pair of sticks or played a set of drums in his life.

When I gently tried to explain the process and the discipline required he became irate and said “I wanna jam on these tunes at a party this weekend – are you gonna show me how to play them or not?!” So I cranked up the stereo, played along with each then invited him to sit at the kit, handed the sticks to him and said “Okay, your turn!” He flailed about halfway through “Black Dog” with no rhyme or reason, swore, threw the sticks down and stormed out of the house!
He didn’t pay for the lesson before he left but I never saw him again and he forgot the LP’s so I considered us even.

Your general thoughts on drumming, teaching, music?

I have been fortunate to pursue my artistic passion as a career. I’ve witnessed, studied and communicated with the best of the best. Almost every great artist I’ve encountered has graciously taken the time to answer my questions and help me improve my abilities. Many have opened doors for me in the business.

I’m fortunate to do what I love for a living and support my family. As a working professional drummer I’m constantly in the company of world class musicians from many different cultures and musical directions. I try to soak up as much as I can, enjoy every minute, and turn around and mold it into something I hope you’ll dig too. I am grateful and consider it my privilege, in the tradition of my heroes, to pass it on in my own teaching.

David’s Bio: David has performed globally with a highly eclectic array of talent including Sheryl Crow, Richard Davis, Herb Ellis, Robert Goulet, Col. Bruce Hampton, Scott Henderson, Shirley Jones, Keb’Mo’, Jack McDuff,
New Kids On The Block, Bernard Purdie, Bonnie Raitt, Don Rickles,Martin Short, Ben Sidran, Clyde Stubblefield, Timbuk3, Butch Vig, and Mary Wilson, among many others. Locally he juggles live and studio freelance work with regular duties for several bands including the progressive trio TRIPLICATE, described by DRUM! magazine as being “so good that it’s intimidating.”

Since 1999, David has co-produced several critically acclaimed CD’s on his own Rhythmelodic Records label. He has studied with master drummers Max Roach, Alan Dawson, Jeff Hamilton,Ignacio Berroa, and Chad Wackerman, and has been a faculty member, and percussion curriculum co-author, at the McNally Smith College of Music since 1990.

David endorses Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks and products by GK Music,Gauger Percussion International and Hansenfutz. David is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, and a contributing author to MODERN DRUMMER, DRUMMER (UK) magazines, the Drummer Cafe website, and the Vic Firth Educational Artist Program.

In 2008, David released his first method book, Mastering the Tables of Time, Volume 1, to instant critical acclaim as one of the essential drumming books of our time. Mastering the Tables of Time was voted Best Educational Book in the 2009 Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll.


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