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Eric Okamoto is your Teacher's Teacher.



Back to Percussion Instruction

My Teaching Methods:

  1. Right now, I only take students that have long term goals, as opposed to just taking it for curiosity.

  2. My teaching methods require the students to accomplish fundamentals and basics first. I do not teach by ear or feeeel, commonly known as, the "Suzuki Method", which has been used to teach three to five year olds. For me, the youngest age for starting lessons is 6 years old, but there are exceptions

  3. I teach by having the students learn to read and interpret rhythms on the snare, then branch out to the set with hand\foot coordination, or stick control. It takes a while because its like learning a new language, the language of rhythm, which you can apply to any instrument.

  4. Rhythm literacy is for our communication. When I assign something, instead of having to repeat it a thousand times and have you memorize everything, I have them practice what I write out. I talk the language of rhythm, instead of " this bit here, plunk that, boop boop be doop." Start by practicing 1 page a day [easy], Monday through Friday, then rest on the Weekends, instead of practicing 1 hour one day, then skip 2 days. I need to make this known so that there will be no misunderstanding in the teaching direction.

  5. It's all a step by step process, one leading to the other, without jumping from one point to another, leaving holes in your understanding. The student learns at his\her own pace because of each person's learning curve, although I do have a number of students competing and winning 1st Chair placements in All-County\District\State Bands, but that's another subject. They are hand picked first to be trained to be 1st Chair in their School Bands, Honor's Bands, School's Drum Corps or Jazz Ensembles. I go the Academic route, instead of "mimic me and hopefully catch on." You should be able to explain what you have learned to others, if not, what were you doing? But, to each their own.

  6. Also, I have a grading system. Each week, I will post a grade in the student's notebook of their progress as follows:

A= 100-95

B= 94-90 [probation period]

Below 90, lesson ends

If this is what you are looking for, I'll need [please give in order of preference]:

1) Days you are available

2) Earliest\latest times that you can be there for your session.

3) I teach from Monday virtual and Tuesdays in Studio