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Completed on 03-30-17
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Ben R. - Drums Teacher
$30per hour

Ben R

Ben's lessons:


Drums Lessons

7 and Up


Growing up in Washington, D.C., Ben begged his parents for a drum -- any drum. One Christmas, his aunt bought him a shiny, stainless-steel snare. Whether she intended to nurture his love of music, or just needle my parents, it's never been clear. Either way, he became a drummer for life.

A few years cobbling together homemade drum sets gave way to proper lessons, with DC-area teachers Steve Larrance and Chuck Ferrell. Ben got his start performing at school, eventually winning several competitions as a member of the Sidwell Friends School Jazz Ensemble, from 1999-2003.

It was also as a high school student that he joined his first band, played his first gig, and recorded his first record. Anchoring cult DC punks The A.K.s gave Ben a window into a world of do-it-yourself rock and roll that was instantly appealing.

Though he studied English in college, he was never far from the kit, and continued to perform and record. His Star Wars-themed campus quartet So Long Princess was featured on Season 3 of the CW reality show "Beauty and the Geek" -- though not because of their beauty.

After relocating to San Francisco in 2007, Ben continued to play both live and in studio, joining a succession of working bands in the city’s vibrant scene. He recorded as a session player at Motor Studios (owned by Fat Wreck Chords label head Mike Burkett), had the chance to tour up and down the west coast, and eventually to travel farther, performing in North Carolina, Germany, and Finland. From a recording standpoint, playing on Wild Eyes’ 2014 release Above Becomes Below was a personal and professional highlight during this time.

In 2015, he began studying at Los Angeles’ Musicians Institute, where he earned an Associate of Arts in Drum Performance. Though he had been playing drums for fully 20 years when he started at the school, his playing was transformed by the knowledge and patience of its faculty, particularly Albe Bonacci, Kevin Stevens, Jon Rygiewicz, Ronen Gordon, and Drum Performance chair Stewart Jean. Through MI, Ben also had the chance to pass his knowledge along as a volunteer drum teacher in a local middle school with the SLAM! Music Education program.

Happily combining years of DIY experience with a musical education, Ben is eager to bring his drumming to the stages and studios of Los Angeles.

Lessons with Ben

Though my teaching career is just beginning, I'm eager to share over 20 years of drumming experience with students of all ages. Learning an instrument is a fun, fulfilling challenge, and I hope to ground my instruction in solid fundamentals without ever losing sight of the joy that comes from hitting things with sticks.

Each student can expect to learn technique, reading, and performance in a manner tailored to his or her ability level and unique approach to the instrument. I am comfortable with any contemporary style, and want to make sure that my students are learning how to play the music that they're most passionate about.

Some of my strengths include:

VERSATILITY -- from gypsy jazz to grindcore, learn the styles that YOU want to play!

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE -- Now more than ever, musicians can take advantage of technological tools to improve their practice and their playing. I am keen to pass on my familiarity with these tools to my students, especially my mastery of Polynome, a revolutionary music practice app that has transformed my own playing.

PASSION FOR TEACHING -- Many great players teach lessons, but many do it grudgingly. In my brief time teaching, I've found it to be an exciting and rewarding way to share my love of music with other people -- something that's an end in itself, not just a means.

Photos and Videos


Associate of Arts

Oct 2015 - Mar 2017Musician's Institute

Bachelor of Arts

Sep 2003 - Jun 2007Harvard College


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North Hollywood, CA
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Ben travels up to 20 miles to a student's home
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