School of Percussive Arts (SOPA)

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The School of Percussive Arts is about the students, their successes, and their accomplishments. My passion is to provide students with versatile, effective, and successful instruction in conjunction with a thorough curriculum of percussion education. Students focus on mastery of the fundamentals of music, drumming, and reading skills. Student success is cultivated through setting goals and learning to achieve the tasks necessary to reach those goals. The focus on objectives and aspirations will be a useful tool that will empower the student in not only his or her study of music but in many other aspects of life as well.

I established the School of Percussive Arts (SOPA) in August 1983, upon returning to Chattanooga, Tennessee, from my years with the USMC Band in San Diego, California. I realized a great demand for a complete percussion instructor in Chattanooga--one who could teach snare drum, drum set, timpani, marching percussion, keyboard instruments, symphonic percussion, and auxiliary percussion. Some teaching facilities and schools need several teachers to be able to cover all of these areas. I gained exponential experience logging more than 1,000 appearances throughout the West Coast with the USMC Band, performing in a variety of genres on drum set and all percussion instruments. This experience laid a solid foundation for my versatility in all musical situations, styles, and venues. That foundation was built upon with over 25 additional years of experience in the percussion section and on the drum set for the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. I successfully pass this wisdom and experience on to all my SOPA students.

SOPA has been the premier source for percussion education in the Chattanooga area since 1983. Through private lessons, group lessons, clinics, workshops, percussion ensembles, and year-round percussion instruction in many high schools and middle schools in the Chattanooga area, I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of drummers. My guidance and teaching methods combined with the diligence and practice from my students, have created an unprecedented success among Chattanooga area drummers...and the numbers continue to grow each year.

SOPA is a one-stop destination in percussion studies. I take great pride in having extensive teaching and performance experience on all percussion instruments, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree Cum Laude with a Concentration in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. There is no need for multiple teachers in order to cover all areas of percussion studies. With SOPA, there is no middle man to profit from lesson fees, and there are no registration or other hidden fees. I do not force you to give me a credit card number for monthly deductions, or payment up from for an entire term. I offer qualified, expert instruction for a reasonable price. SOPA is only geared to teach percussionists. Rather than a small, “learn any instrument” type facility, 100% of the attention and focus is on all things percussion and your needs as a percussion student.