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The Coolest Teacher in NYC: Barry Manilow's Drummer Gives Out Free Lessons

The Juilliard musician also shares his plan to record an amateur drum ensemble, the meaning of BUSK, and the importance of music in his life
As a performer, David Rozenblatt has done things other musicians only dream of. As the percussionist for Barry Manilow's band, he's played some of the biggest stages and under some of the brightest lights in the world; yet he still makes time to share his lifelong love of music and his Juilliard-trained expertise with serious students, both in New York City and online. This summer only, David will be providing a serious of classes on Learnivore to pique the interest of every percussionist, whether you're just a kid with a dream of starting a band, a teenager fighting to stand out at the conservatory audition, or a seasoned performer looking to incorporate new styles and techniques.

If learning from a guy who regularly plays to sold out arenas isn't enough, for a limited time, David is currently offering free trial lessons to ANYONE who is serious about working with him, no matter your age or ability. He'll use that time to evaluate you, provide insight on technique and development, and leave you with a new beat or rudiment to work on. Where you go from there is up to you. And that's not all he's teaching this summer. Take a look and then send him a message on any of his class pages if you're interested.

Percussion Ensemble Project (PEP) - Students will learn to play together, improvise and compose music in a state-of-the-art recording studio in Brooklyn, ultimately recording a track for each to take home and share with friends and family.
Beats U Should Know (BUSK) - This group class prepares you for any musical situation, developing your ability to be an exceptionally diverse and sought after drummer.
Pre-College and Conservatory Audition Prep - Explore the psychology and philosophy of the audition process and develop the repertory knowledge and confidence to excel in auditions.
Intro to Rock Drumming - Beginner students of all ages leave their first lesson having mastered a full on rock beat. The first session is entirely free!
Intro to Jazz Drumming - Beginner students of all ages leave their first lesson having mastered a full on jazz groove. The first session is entirely free!


We also had the opportunity to chat with David as soon he completed his most recent international tour with Barry Manilow. He discussed what inspires his love of music, what he expects out of students, and what he likes best about drums and percussion. We've included an excerpt here.

When and how did you get into drumming? What about teaching?/o:p
I started playing music longer ago than I can even remember, banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons while my dad played the piano. By the age of 5, I was playing drums every Saturday night in my dad's Brooklyn nightclub. Shortly after, I was accepted into pre-college at the Juilliard School but wasn't given enough scholarship to attend. 3 years later The Lucy Moses School gave me a full ride, where I started formally studying drums, percussion and piano. And 3 years after that, I was seriously considering a career as a concert pianist. Yet playing drums made me so much happier! After graduating from LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, I took the Juilliard college division percussion audition and was accepted to the one undergraduate spot available that year. At 18, I joined the Lucy Moses School faculty and taught there for the next 10 years, the same school that took me in as a wayward student, 9 years prior. While I was gaining experience as a teacher, I was completing my Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Juilliard.

What do you really want people to know about being a drummer?
Drumming is an extension of your body. It's an extension of whoever else you're playing with, too. It's so important to put musicianship as your first priority and know everyone's part so that you can make your part the best it can be.

What is your favorite thing about being a drummer? 
My primary love is to perform. I enjoy the thrill of playing for 20,000 people, but I also enjoy intimate, smaller venues, as well. You can't lie when playing your instrument: what you get is what you get. It's an honest, open language that can be understood throughout the world. A musician could travel from Brooklyn to Zimbabwe, pull out a drum and make a friend for life. It's just universal.

Other than teaching, what are you working on right now?
For the past 12 years, I've been touring as Barry Manilow's percussionist. I'm also finishing a commissioned composition for Complexions Contemporary Ballet and working on a pet project that I hope to complete in 2016.

Who is your favorite type of client? 
I can ask a simple question and instantly assess how interested a person is. Some kids are forced into taking music lessons. I'm really not into that. I like students who really want to play.

If (somehow) you need any further reason to pursue lessons with David, take a look at the stellar reviews he's received from members of the Learnivore community. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
 - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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