Dena is currently accepting students for private lessons. Her experience as a pop/rock and Broadway drummer give her years of invaluable experience on which to draw in helping educate drummers. Her approach offers exposure to a variety of styles, with her focus on technique and popular styles (R&B/funk/rock), as she has a strong love of and experience in this genre of music.
As an adjunct professor, Dena’s curriculum has included both music appreciation and intro to percussion. Additionally, she has conducted clinics and taught at the Institute for the Musical Arts in Massachusetts. In each of these settings, she has used a variety of techniques to engage her students, including listening exercises, articulating what they are hearing and, leveraging what they love as the springboard to creativity.
Dena believes it is important for students to listen, in order to create parts and fills that work for the song. Being in a band is like a team sport – it’s about the sum of the parts. Music is not created in a vacuum, so all musicians must be able to articulate exactly what they are hearing – what they do or do not like – in order to effectively communicate with their band mates. This is especially critical for the drummer, who is the foundation of it all.
Dena uses what the students already love – a particular band, drummer or genre – as the vehicle with which to keep them working and inspired. While it is a requisite for all of her students to read music, she incorporates this aspect of the lesson to keep them motivated and also to practice “real life” playing; therefore, the lessons are comprised of reading and rudimental playing, as well as working on being able to play along to favorite songs, styles and drummers.
For more information, including rates and availability, please contact Dena below.