Teacher Spotlight: Peter Gregory
1. Where are you located and where do you teach?
2. How many students do you teach and what is their range of ability levels?
I currently have fifteen students ranging from complete beginners to intermediate players.
3. How are you incorporating new media and technology into your teaching?
I have video cameras positioned to give overhead and kick-drum views of the student and instructor’s kits, and tripod-mounted cameras are also set up for special shots. The images from the cameras appear on three flat-screen color monitors, which can be split to show side-by-side views of teacher and student hand or foot movements. The monitors can also show instructional videos, videos streaming from the Internet, and more. This is particularly compelling for younger students, who are comfortable learning in a video-based environment. It’s also just fun!
The cameras allow recording of the lesson, which is burned to a DVR so students can take the lesson home for review on their own. There’s also a live webcam by which parents can watch a student’s lesson via the Internet from anywhere. My studio is also equipped with microphones, mixers, headphones for independent mixes, midi drum controllers, digital recording equipment and drum machines with click track capabilities. Students can bring an mp3 player, I have an extensive iTunes library, or we can find just about anything without too much trouble on the Internet.
4. Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes from your teaching?
One of my favorite moments is when a new student (who is also new to the drums) is behind the kit at my studio and starts to experiment with the various sounds available. Some of them are quite gentle and even methodical as they strike every cymbal, tom tom, snare drum, etc. Others, start to play the kit the way they have seen their favorite drummers do – from a video usually. Regardless of what they do, they get to start by doing what they hear and then the look on their faces is priceless!
5. What are your general thoughts on the future of music, teaching, etc?
To me, drumming, teaching and music all go together. I’m a big fan of musicians who play for the music, regardless of the instrument. I believe that different styles and musical situations require different approaches. I love hearing music where I don’t even notice the drummer – it just fits. I try to convey to my students how important that is – to listen to the people they’re creating music with and react and contribute to that group and song right then and there. I think that the future of music is exciting and changing all the time. I find it inspiring to hear players and groups that I’m not familiar with. I appreciate my students, because they help me grow by suggesting their favorite artists. My goal is to stay open with them and hope that they can do the same when I ask them to listen to something “new.”
Reach Peter at his website at http://gregorytechdrumcenter.com