Featured Teacher: Paul Marcil

tip-logoEach month, we take a closer look at one of the teachers involved in our Teacher Integration Project.

This month’s teacher in focus is Paul Marcil.

Read on to learn more about Paul and his teaching practice in Westerly, Rhode Island..and if you’d like to be considered for the teacher of the month spotlight – please click here to complete our application form!

Where are you located, andwhere do you teach?

I am located in Westerly, Rhode Island. I have a private sound proof teaching studio in the lower level of my home. For years I rented space in a downtown location, but it became too expensive and not cost effective.

Paul Mercil
Paul Mercil

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

I currently teach 35 students per week. Some are hour students but most are half-hour students. They range in age from 10 to 55 years old and all ability levels from beginner to advanced.

What are your favorite teaching materials?

Stick Control, Master Studies I & II, Syncopation, Advanced Techniques (Jim Chapin), John Riley’s Jazz Book, Ron Spagnardi’s Rock, Jazz and Paradiddle Books, Pat Patrillo’s Book Hands, Grooves and Fills, Advanced Funk Studies Rick Latham, Funk Masters James Brown Book, Haskell Harr I & II, Alfred book I & II, Mark Wessel’s Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (Students love the CD), Funky Primer I & II.

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

I own over 70 video’s/dvd’s that I share with my students. My students practice rudiments on the Vic Firth Web Site. They can play along at a tempo appropriate to their development. I own over 2000 Cd’s in Rock, Jazz and Blues that we play along with.

Paul's Drum Studio
Paul's Drum Studio

Any funny anecdotes/stories from your teaching?

I was teaching a student a chart and was conducting in front of the drum set. The black steel music stand was in front of the bass drum leaning forward with the front leg in the air. I accidentally stepped on the leg and the razor sharp top edge of the stand came whipping up and caught me in the bridge of my nose. I continued to conduct the chart until the song ended, bleeding all over the place. That happened over 20 years ago and every time I run into my old student (who is now in his 30’s) he talks about that incident and we both laugh.

Your general thoughts on drumming, teaching, music…

I love teaching. I am a perpetual student myself. I continue to take lessons from Joe Morello and have been for years. He is my greatest influence and I even smoked the same brand of cigarettes he did in hopes it would make me play like him. (I didn’t). I practice 2 to 3 hours each day for myself in addition to working on new things to give my students. I’ve been doing this for over 35 years (I’m 61), I experienced a great run of playing starting in 1962. I still play occasionally although the jobs arn’t as plentiful as they were years ago before DJ’s. When I was younger every club, restaurant and bar had live music and I played in every one of them over the years.

Multi-media workstation
Multi-media workstation

Drums have kept me alive literally. I spent two years in Vietnam when I was 20 years old, and if I couldn’t focus on playing and teaching when I came home I don’t know what would have happened to me.

Leave a Reply