Teacher Spotlight: Dario Esposito
1. Where are you located, and where do you teach?
I live in Rome, Italy and I teach in my own studio and in two schools in Rome.
2. How many students do you teach, and what is their range of ability
levels? I teach usually to 25 / 35 students of different ages and level from beginner to advanced.
3. What are your favorite teaching materials?
My own three Drum Method books, and Dante Agostini, Stick Control, Syncopation and Hudson Music materials (From Tommy Igoe – Groove Essentials from many videos – Antonio Sanchez, Benny Greb etc.)
4. How are you incorporating new media (DVDs, Mp3s, Internet, etc) into your teaching?
For many years I’ve been using a lot of mp3s. For me it is fundamental to keep the student playing in a musical-practical situation.
I also use videos to show the approach and movements of great drummers. Therefore I use videos to explain didactical concepts in a more complete way .
5. Do you have any funny anecdotes or stories from your teaching?
Some months ago, I gave a lesson to a girl from Turkey. I told to her “OK let’s start with a groove that you like with some fills”. She started playing a very good funk groove with a lot of complicated fills. At first she impressed me a lot and I thought that she was ok and maybe I didn’t have so much to teach to her.
So I thought: why don’t we try to play on a slow pop – rock mp3!? I choose the first mp3 of Groove Essentials 1 (rock style) and she found it so hard to play in that mood. By the way, she used a similar funk groove with the same complicated fills that she showed me at the beginning of the lesson!
So in that lesson I could speak about how to approach different styles with the specific physical attitudes and languages. In particular with that mp3 I could start from the approach to pop- rock style, how is important having a strong groove and playing less notes with the right sound and volume…and how to respect that language. Then I continued to analyze the approach of styles like jazz and others.
6. What are your general thoughts on drumming, teaching, music….?
Drumming is my fundamental way of expressing myself. For me is very important to practice many styles and experimenting to build my own sound and style with drums.
I teach because I love drums, I love playing different styles of music and I’m very curious to discover new solutions with my instrument. The strong love for drums creates in me the natural necessity to transmit it to other people.
About teaching I think that the first rule for a good didactical approach is build a good relationship between teacher and student. For me is really important “to enter inside” the problems of the student, and remember that everyone is different.
Having a good knowledge and a good method of teaching (I wrote my own drum method) is important for me, but using imagination, letting every lesson be different, using different methods, mp3, videos and technology, surely makes lessons fun for me and my students. I try to keep my mind open as possible by listening to new music, reading drum magazines, experimenting with new sounds and phrases on my instrument. All that helps to keep me an inspired teacher – I hope! I try to leverage the potential of the students and not overwork them with a lot of notions.
I think practicing, listening to and teaching music are all very important, because music is one of the most ancient forms of culture and communication that we have. Our brain is more prepared for music than speaking, in fact children first learn to sing, then learn to speak. Music also makes our life better, and I do believe that music often can save the lives of people.
You can visit my website www.darioesposito.com and My Space www.myspace.com/darioesposito . Coming soon new didactical and demo video on the Italian Drum portal “Planet Drum”.
Thanks for your kind attention. I send you my best regards and I hope to hear from you very soon!