Whether it was a roundtable full of former newspaper journalists, a single drum set student in studio, or 16 senior citizens hand drumming around a large circle, I’ve held some pretty interesting leadership positions across eastern and central Massachusetts for more than 25 years. I feel very blessed to wear diverse hats today in the music industry and formerly in journalism. Now a self-employed musician, I encourage my own students to do the same. Follow your dreams, learn a second instrument, be open to that more challenging rudimentary drumming book, write songs, and compose a solo. Above all else, be true to yourself. Gratefulness and kindness are the keys to success. In drumming, I teach all the fundamentals and require students to learn how to sight read musical notation whether they are in a school band program or not. It’s a critical component of not only drumming, but also understanding how music is designed to work. Any early resistance quickly fades away as the student begins to notice that by sight reading, they are also improving their chops and confidence on the instrument. For the past 15 years, I have catered my virtual and live solo and group drum set and percussion lessons to the specific interests of the student first. Helping students master school band program charts is a natural focus area. Teaching jazz and world rhythms is infused with rudiments, snare technique, and percussion tutelage. Beginner drummers start on snare and then cross pollinate to the drum kit and other percussion as soon as they are able to. Learning both bass and treble clef are important factors as well as transcription, composition and general knowledge of songwriting. Ear training with me playing piano or playalongs is vital, especially for students who do not benefit from a formal school band program.