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Lesson quotes

Quote from drumming great

Steve Smith (Journey, Vital Information)​

"I have taken private lessons for most of my career as a musician. I believe studying with a good teacher is crucial if one wishes to be a knowledgeable, versatile, professional musician. What should you look for in teacher? A musician who has studied with good teachers and has learned in such a way that they are connected to the tradition of the instrument, can read music, has an organized and systematic way to guide a students progress, and is a professional working musician. Key jobs of the teacher is to give clear and immediate feedback to the student -- at each lesson -- regarding their technical development, this requires an understanding of the mechanics and motions that go into drumming. In addition, instructing the student how to practice is a vital component of good instruction.

Mike Vanderhule embodies the qualities of a good private instructor. In the early 90s I was Mike's private teacher so I know that he is a disciplined and motivated, practicing musician. Mike continues to improve both as a player and teacher each year, which is the proof that he "practices what he preaches!

​​Steve Smith (

Quotes from Mike's Students

​​"I studied with Mike for 10 years. His passion, patience, and teaching skills are unparalleled and his influence as a mentor not only made me a better drummer but a more confident young adult. Even after graduating from Berklee College of Music, Mike is still my go-to guy for lessons and drum knowledge. He truly has a gift for teaching and his love for drumming comes across the second you start talking to him. He's a tremendous player with a feel and technique that channels drumming's very best players and I feel lucky to have studied with him."​

​​Nicole Wright (Berklee College of Music Graduate)

​​"Mike Vanderhule is an excellent teacher. He understands how to teach to different personalities and learning styles. He's also an amazing drummer in his own right. Studying with Mike is what turned drumming from a hobby into a passion for me. Mike showed me how to play different styles and techniques that I would never have considered learning on my own. His instruction allowed me to get in to Musicians Institute and provided me with the well rounded education I needed to succeed there. Even now, with a college degree in drum performance, I consider Mike to be the biggest influence on my playing. He's a great teacher and a great guy to know.​."

​​Michael Scott (drum performance degree Musicians Institute)

​​"I took drum lessons from Mike for many years, and I’m a much better drummer for it.  Mike is a great teacher, and has helped me learn to incorporate other styles of playing into my own.  With a background as diverse as Mike’s there’s always something new to learn from him, regardless of your skill level.  I’d recommend his playing to any drummer I know.​."

​​Kevin Swartz (Archer, Bottom, Burning Monk, Forgotten Gods)

​​"Mike is a real power house with fat greasy pockets and member of the world class rock group, Y&T, and  he really knows how to lay it down, his playing experience of many years covers a wide variety of styles from, Big Band, Straight ahead Jazz, Fusion, R&B, Rock & Soul ect. Mike is a terrific drum trainer/educator, working with him is fun and easy, like two bud's hanging in the shed . He has helped me to improve my drumming, reading, musical confidence and understanding. Visit his studio in San Jose Ca. and he will make a big difference in your playing too."

​​Wayne Castillo (San Francisco Bay Area Freelance Drummer​)

​​"Being a pro drummer for 30 years, you rarely have the pleasure of finding a teacher that encompasses all aspects of the art of drumming, but also shows a passion for his students. Mike Vanderhule displays all these gifts to his students and walks them through each step of any musical style thoroughly and with positive efficiency. I was taught some invaluable lessons with Mike on Time, Feel, Rudimental Placements and Groove Applications that I use continuously in all my sessions and live touring. Thanks again for everything Mike!"

​​Jimmy Wells (Journey Unauthorized, Terry Lauderdale Band)

​​"I've been taking lessons from Mike for several years now. Mike is the real deal. He is super professional and communicates difficult concepts with ease. He has the patience necessary to guide students of every level to reach their potential. Mike always seems to have something new and amazing to teach me, even after all this time. On top of that he is an unbelievable musician with great feel and technique and a broad background. Want to be a better drummer? Study with Mike."

​​Chris White (Ballistic Cats)

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