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Completed on 05-24-16
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Mike Z. - Bongo and Drums Teacher

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$65per hour

Rock Drum Tutor

Mike's lessons:

Bongo, Drums

Bongo Lessons

The bongo drum is a cousin to the conga drum as part of the percussion battery/family relating to latin music. Bongo may be played with hands and sticks. Learn how to play and tune the instrument.

5 and Up

Drums Lessons

The principal core parts of the drum set are: kick drum, snare drum and hi-hat. Learn to play syncopation with hand/foot combination rhythms and to recognize drumming patterns and variations. Also learn drum fills playing tom toms, cymbal parts and how to hold a steady groove.

world beat
5 and Up


A little bit about my beginnings... Like many kids, I liked playing on pots and pans to the radio and my parents top 40 and golden oldies record collection. I always enjoyed listening to all kinds of music and have many fond memories of shopping for records and tapes with my dad (ha-ha that was way before mp3's and streaming platforms). My first baby sitter was pretty cool and played "air guitar" so we started a band. I played drums using a toy pair of "Lincoln logs" for my sticks as we turned up the stereo and jammed the night away. My grandpa gave me my first drum from Sears toy department and the next year in 1979 my parents took me to see KISS for my first concert on my 5th birthday. Then seeing Michael Jackson with The Jackson 5 backing him up on the "Victory" tour when I was 10 years old also made an impact on me. I got my first real Ludwig drum set on my 11th birthday and immediately joined my school band making music with new friends, learning fundamental snare drum rudiments, playing percussion in various ensembles and competing at regional and state music events, marching bands, jazz bands and orchestras well into my college years. I was very fortunate to have MANY great teachers who challenged me, helped me set goals, guided and inspired me musically, built my confidence and showed me how to turn failures into achievements. I was always playing in numerous jazz groups, rock bands and jam bands outside of school. I just couldn't get enough stage time and studio experience. So, I moved to Austin, Texas in 1997 to explore the rich music scene. I began teaching at a local music studio and playing with lots of different bands as much as possible. In 2000, I helped form award winning Latin-rock band, "Del Castillo" which got me recognized as best drummer in Austin for SXSW Music Awards (02/03). Del Castillo band went on to record with Willie Nelson, Santana, Robert Rodriguez and Los Lonely Boys among others (releasing 7 award winning albums and 2 live DVD's) while touring across Texas, USA and Europe. After all that, I still love to practice, study and teach as much as I can. I've also recently begun writing new music for my first original studio project. I currently endorse Pro-Mark drum-sticks, Zildjian cymbals, Evans drum-heads, Gibraltar hardware and percussion by SWAN & LP. Music is a long and winding road and the journey is the destination... Thanks for considering me to be your guide and help you or your child on their musical journey.

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Questions and Answers

What experience do you have teaching kids?

I've been teaching children at beginner level from age 5 to 10 and pre-teens for nearly 20 years. My main focus with new students is developing basic skills holding the sticks properly, working through simple syncopation exercises and slowly building confidence and comfort on the instrument. It's important for the student to feel comfortable behind the drums and to have confidence playing simple figures and rhythmic phrases. Most of all I like to focus on having fun, creating a musical experience that the student can build upon and grow from. I hope to work with you soon!

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How do your lessons for adults differ from lessons for children?

My lessons for children and adults are approached in a very similar fashion where I present the lesson material using a system that allows the student to grasp the material and slowly digest the lesson helping them to develop new musical ideas. I honor every student's own pace of learning, so I adjust lesson material to a student's individual needs in that regard. Thanks and hope to work with you soon!

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Why are you a music teacher?

I enjoy inspiring my students and love being inspired by them! In teaching drums and music I get to have that experience with all of my students. I love to help someone tackle a challenge. To face something they can't do, but by the end of the lesson they got a piece of it, they own it and have a sense of confidence from the process. I love working through this process and sharing inspiration feeds my spirit. Thanks and I hope to work with you soon!

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Why should I choose you as my teacher?

What do you do during the first lesson?

Photos and Videos



Aug 1997 - May 1999ACC/UT


May 1999 - Jul 1999Universidad Autonimo de Queretaro, MX


Aug 1994 - May 1995University of Texas Brownsville


Aug 1992 - May 1994Southwest Missouri State University


Best Drummer

March 2003SXSW Music Awards

Voted best drummer (Austin Chronicle SXSW Music Awards 2002/2003)

Languages Spoken

  • EnglishFluent/Native Proficiency
  • SpanishProfessional Proficiency


May 25, 2016
Drums Lessons

My son Shane wanted to play drums and like many 6 year olds he liked to beat on the drums but not play beats. Mike changed all that..My son started playing real grooves and more importantly enjoying it. Mike is a kid whisperer for music. I have been a professional musician for 25 years at the highest level and I recognize the gifts Mike brings to the table. Stevie Salas

Where would you like to take lessons?

Availability in:

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Teacher's Home
Lesson Locations
Teacher's Home Studio
Austin, TX
Near 290 West and Fitzhugh road
Your Home
Mike travels up to 20 miles to a student's home
Lessons held via webcam
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