Brad Gibson holds a BMA in performance from Cornish College of the Arts (2008) and has been on staff at the Seattle Drum School since 2004.
In lessons with the student, I seek to inspire a command of snare and drum set through reading, technical exercises and transcribing music directly from audio. Focus is placed on the fundamentals in a manner that is tailored to the individual student and which includes language/repertoire, tone control, and posture.
My teaching style does not rely on a set curriculum. I prefer instead to allow the student space in which they can explore the many facets of music. Music, while rich in tradition is also a personal practice. I believe that relying on a flexible, situation-based curriculum allows room for the individual student to explore and experiment within the tradition. Ultimately, my intention is to guide and enable the student’s innate curiosity and desire to learn in a manner that will serve them for years to come. As such, progress greatly depends on the student’s willingness to practice. Drumming is a holistic discipline, requiring great commitment, and which ultimately incorporates both intellect and body.
In my life, I place emphasis on lineage. Who has taught me has been equally as important as what I have been taught. This is not a superficial manner of thinking. Rather, through working together, the character of the teacher is often imparted onto the student. Because of this natural process, I hold my position as a teacher with high regard.
For the past several years, Denney Goodhew has been my mentor. Mr. Goodhew has taught me musicianship, composition, drum performance, and piano. Furthermore, I have studied snare drum with Matthew Kocmieroski and Lorne Watson, drum set with Toss Panos, (SDS owner) Steve Smith and John Wicks, Afro-Cuban conga and batá drumming with Matt Dressler and Michael Olson, and composition with Jim Knapp.
Drum lessons with Brad Gibson started as a supplement to my son’s music education when he started middle school and they grew into a consistent safe haven for my son throughout the turbulent teenage years. Through drum lessons, Brad has offered my son positive mentorship that he can rely on. Brad has made it fun yet also has set expectations and followed up. His method has provided a natural forum for development of the kind of skills needed for success in a responsible adult life. At times, my son accepted input and guidance from Brad when he was less receptive to input from his parents. He now calls it his “drum therapy” and at age 18, still looks forward to weekly sessions with Brad, who accepts him as he is and continues to offer fun learning experiences. Overall, Brad’s patience and skill as a drum teacher and mentor has truly been a gift for my son.
My son, Bradon has been an Honored Student at the Seattle Drum School for almost 2 years. During this time he has had the privilege of taking private drum lessons from Brad Gibson.
Brad has the ability to challenge my son weekly with his lessons, while nurturing his interests. We started out with half hour lessons and eventually expanded to an hour. The hour gives my son the chance to work on his middle school band music and the opportunity for learning new techniques and jamming.
Brad has been a very patient and positive influence on my son’s musical experience. I highly recommend Brad as a music instructor and the Seattle Drum School as the destination for those who are really interested in learning music.
– Marty Blackstone, Seattle Drum School Parent
I’ve been studying drums with Brad for a little over two years now. He has been an excellent teacher, being both energetic and patient. Brad exhibits a genuine love for his art, which comes out in his teaching style as well as in private conversations with him. He has a knowledge of drumming, its history, techniques and players which is both broad and deep and he encourages his students to expand their knowledge through their own extracurricular studies, going beyond merely learning the mechanics of the art. One way he does this is by exposing the student to a variety of drumming styles early in their training and providing not just examples and lessons on specific techniques but also background on where the style came from, how it evolved from other styles, how it is used musically today and suggestions for artists to listen to. He also shows how these various styles can contribute color and technique to whichever kind of music you are interested in.
Since he is also a practicing musician, he has helped me find local artists and venues I might find interesting. I’ve watched him play in both indie pop and jazz environments and he brings the same kind of energy to his professional playing as he does his teaching. It’s a real thrill to watch him play and I find it personally inspiring as well. As a student, getting out into the scene is critical to understanding the music in its performance context, and Brad is always suggesting venues to go to and shows to see.
I’d strongly recommend Brad as a great instructor for anyone who is interested in starting drumming or improving their drumming skills, regardless of age or experience. His infectious style and energy will keep you going back for more and his depth of knowledge and love of the art will always ensure there is more to be learned.
– Cliff Hudson
I’ve been a student of Brad’s for about two years, and I’ve always enjoyed both Brad and the way he teaches. Brad is very nice and energetic, always in a good mood and he’s very funny. I love my drum lessons with Brad because he’s so fun! I’ve learned so much from him in the past two years–I am able to roll, play a steady beat throughout entire songs, and to switch beats quickly without stopping. I was chosen to be the drummer in the middle school band over other drummers because of these skills Brad helped me achieve. Now, whenever I hear a song I like, I try to figure out the drum beats and thanks to Brad, I can! Brad is a great drummer and a great teacher. I’m really lucky to have him as my drum teacher. Thanks, Brad, you’re boss!
– Pauly Seibert, 12
My daughter took drum lessons with Brad, and really enjoyed them. She gained a strong foundation with which to progress much further on drums, while perfecting her sense of timing and rhythm. Brad was conscientious and detail-oriented, with extensive professional experience and talent. I could really tell my daughter was gaining immeasurable value from his lessons by how she approached playing with such calm focus and confidence, and her solid skills on the drums. There are many music teachers out there, but few who can combine the musicality and creativity that Brad has and then communicate that so effectively with his students.
Brad is a fantastic teacher and role model for my son! My son loves going to his lessons and gives Brad a BIG THUMBS UP! When asked what he like best about Brad, he says he is an awesome teacher and makes drumming FUN!! From a parent’s perspective Brad seems to have great patience and is always very encouraging.
“Prior to studying with Brad I had no experience playing drums and very, very little formal musical training at all, but even after a short time working with him my confidence in playing music grew exponentially. His approach to teaching is hands-on, accessible, and practical. In just a few weeks I had a grasp on both technical skills and music theory and was able to experiment on my own as a drummer. Lessons with him are helpful, insightful, and fun; he’s always happy to answer questions and point out different resources. In other words, Brad is rad.”
“In the time I took lessons under Brad I learned more per minute than with any other teacher. Brad really cared about my learning, with always lessons that went a bit too long, and general interest in the development of my drumming. Always with the extra patience to help me on my slow days, and with a bit of sting on the days that I needed to be pushed. He helped me develop positive habits that have stuck long after I stopped seeing him. I would recommend anyone to take lessons from him very highly, to not just step up their drumming level, but to learn and forge habits that will last.”
— Micah Ketola
“As a kid I never felt ‘naturally rhythmic’ or capable of taking up percussion, so I never did. But as I got older I decided to revisit the original assumptions about my rhythmic capabilities by picking up drumsticks at the age of 32. As I’m only in my first months of instruction, it’s too soon to tell whether I will be able to release my inner percussionist, but just practicing basic rudiments has been good mental exercise akin to running or meditation. I was nervous about my own capability going in, but have been extremely pleased with Brad’s open, patient, and non-dogmatic but informed approach to instruction. I would totally recommend Brad to any beginning drummer, of any age, who was looking to start from scratch.”
“Drum lessons have provided additional fun and activities for our son and his friends, aside from watching/playing video games, etc. Also, our family has occasional jam sessions which are incredibly fun and fulfilling for us parents!”