Home > Drum Lessons With John Simmons


Teaching drum lessons is, for me, a great joy and a great responsibility. It is a great joy because I get the privileges of passing my knowledge along to my students, of getting to know them, and of watching their growth. It is a great responsibility because, through my teachers, I have been given a very precious gift that I must be careful to pass along safely.

My Teaching Philosophy

I seek to serve my students by teaching them not only how to play, but how to learn. I do not teach "beats and fills" to my students. If that's what a student is after, I'm the wrong teacher. Rather, I teach them how to understand what drumming and rhythm are, so that they can learn things for themselves. I believe that a student's course of study should be clearly planned and directed, with weekly assigned objectives and goals. This eliminates any confusion and wasted time. I want my students to get results, quickly if not easily. I want the skills they earn to last, and to lead them to higher levels of enjoyment and self-expression. I expect a lot of hard work from my students, and I expect their trust, knowing that the things I assign them to do will achieve lasting results in the shortest time.

My Curriculum

I believe that the traditions of the great masters of the instrument are still the best ways to learn the art of drumming. I do not believe in "reinventing the wheel". However, there are modern contributions to the art form that are useful, and I make a point to pass them along to my students also.

Since drumming involves both mind and body, my students spend time on purely mechanical exercises for the limbs as well as on academic rhythm studies, then we combine the two on the drumset.

The techniques that I teach stress the natural movement of the limbs and economy of motion. Drummers need to get the most out of the least effort, with the sticks and pedals doing the majority of the work. I teach my students what to work on to achieve effortless execution of their ideas.

I believe that rhythm is a language, and that a drummer should be conversant and literate in his language. I insist that students learn to read music. I teach them the "grammar" of rhythm and give them the means to increase their "vocabulary".

I think that the well-educated drummer should not be limited to any one style of music. Therefore my students learn rock, jazz and Latin styles from the beginning of their lessons with me.

Private Lessons

I am available for private lessons in the Houston area at my home studio in the West Houston/Katy area. Hour lessons are $50.00, half-hour lessons are $25.00. Payment is collected monthly. I offer a free introductory lesson by appointment.

Online Lessons

For those outside of my area, I am available for lessons over Skype. All the student needs is a computer and webcam. On my end there's high-quality audio and video and I will prepare and email a weekly assignment. Rates are the same as private lessons.


For those students who are out of my area who don't want regular online lessons I offer correspondence instruction. We will discuss what the student would like help with and I will record a video demonstration of the material and send it and any accompanying material through Dropbox. The price is $25 per lesson pack.

Tuning and Drumset Care

I will come to your home or practice space to tune your drumset and instruct you in the tuning, care and maintenance of your instrument. The cost is $50.00 (locally).

To contact me regarding these lesson programs, please email me here.

To view available lesson times click here.

For my payment and cancellation policy, click here.

To pay for lessons online, click here.