Everyone can play better...


Learning takes work but that doesn’t mean it can't be fun.

My approach to learning to play drums is based on twenty years of having a blast with rhythm and building good ears. It is important to listen to the rest of the band as much as to yourself. Of course, you've got to have good technique. You need to know about dynamics (how to play soft and energetic at the same time, and when to punch it) and you need to know about the power of leaving space in the music.  Whatever style you play -- jazz, son montuno, samba reggae, straight rock n roll, George Clinton funk -- you have to have solid time, and you have to know how to "set up" the other players.


Student testimonials

At our first meeting with Taylor, it became clear that he would become one of those teachers who help to shape the strong character of our son, Riley. Taylor is a talented musician and gifted drum teacher, and the bond between teacher and student was immediate. Taylor taught Riley to study, practice and master the drums, and he inspired our son to appreciate various musical genres beyond the rock music that Riley loved.
— Linda Loftus
We’ve had the pleasure of knowing Taylor for the past 7 years. During that time, he has become like family to us. (Taylor became our son’s drum instructor seven years ago when our son was in the 4th grade.) It’s a testament to Taylor’s abilities that our son was able to progress and achieve so much success as a musician, while still looking forward to every weekly lesson. with Taylor. Taylor is an amazing musician with a wide range of experience - able to challenge and develop budding musicians of all levels. He is also incredibly patient and kind, striking the perfect balance for our son. The summer before his freshman year, our son successfully auditioned for and was chosen for the Grammy award winning Mira Costa Jazz Band. Just before freshman year, our son went on to performed with his high school band at the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival, where the band they won second place out of 139 bands – the highest award given to a school from California. The following year, although our son was only a sophomore, he was selected to be the lead drummer. Taylor is caring and patient and builds confidence in his students. He relates incredibly well to kids of all ages. We strongly and enthusiastically recommend Taylor!
— Jennifer Svensson
Taylor has been not only an exceptional teacher to our son, but as important, a great role model and mentor. Our son began working with Taylor in the 6th grade and continued through his senior year at Mira Costa High School. We feel so fortunate and know that Taylor played a huge role in our sons success at Mira Costa (Jazz Band all 4 years), and as a performance musician.
— Julie Caravaggio
Taylor has been such an amazing inspiration and mentor to our daughter Sophia. She started lessons with Taylor a few years ago, and has gone from liking drums, to LOVING drums. He has taught her to have a strong work ethic, and has given her an in-depth knowledge of music theory, in a fun, caring way. He has taught her amazing technique, and has pushed her creativity to new levels. All of that being said, Taylor always has a good joke on hand, a heart of gold and truly cares about his students.
— Sarah Papouchado
Some parents are lucky to have kids who practice musical instrument without daily reminders; we are lucky to have Taylor who makes everything possible to keep our teenage son inspired and motivated to play drums every single day. This is the only thing we don’t have to ask him to do. Taylor is a great teacher, who is very creative and patient with our son, who is not the easiest student. He has just started playing drums but already plays in an advanced band at the middle school. We are truly thankful that our friend sent us to Taylor last year. Everyone in our family is a fan of him including our French bulldog.
— Marina Krasotkina
Taylor Kennedy has been my son’s drum instructor for the past 8 years, starting when my son was only 9 years old. He is an incredibly versatile and educated drummer and teacher, and he can teach his students to not only play but also read drum music and charts. Through the years, Taylor easily adjusted his instruction based on my son’s changing maturity level, ability and musical taste. He is extremely patient and encouraging and confidently guided my son to learn the basics when he was younger, helped him read and play more challenging material as he matured and improved, and successfully prepared him for important drum auditions in his teenage years. And because he is so versatile and knowlegeable, Taylor could seamlessly accommodate by son’s changing interests from rock to marching band to jazz to Latin to acoustic percussion to funk and hip hop. Finally, Taylor can also help advise his students about the finer points of performing—the drummer’s role in the ensemble, volume, set up and gear—things you can’t necessarily find in a book. Taylor truly cares about his students, and my son has been very fortunate to have him as his mentor and instructor for these last 8 years. We highly recommend Taylor for students young and old.
— Margery Sanwo

Beginners: You start with setting up a pattern. Learn to keep a steady rhythm, then add some fills. We also work on basic rudiments, sticking and coordination exercises. You will build up technique, control and 4 way coordination.

INTERMEDIATE:  Make your playing into music. Work on building up more complexity without losing your solid beat. We will work on making the regular beats more interesting and incorporating different styles of music.

ADVANCED:  All players get into habits; you play forms that you know will have the desired effect. At this point, you can deliberately change your style to accommodate different types of music. We can also break down some of the form that you play, and work on the underlying polyrhythms, so that your hands and feet become independent. Becoming precise with the fine points of your technique, time and touch will solidify your musicality. We can find elements of your playing that create a discernible drumming style -- something to differentiate you from the rest of the crowd.

I provide lessons in the comfort of your home. The lesson length varies by the student's goals and how far you want to take your ability.