09 Apr Dorothea Taylor, Drummer: Interview
The Music Industry is full of creative people. From the musicians on stage playing music to the artists that make the posters that the promoters use to get people to the music venues. All the different people involved in making the music industry work have skill sets to be celebrated.
One of the most important groups of people that don’t get celebrated enough are the music teachers. For those of us that have had a great music teacher in our lives, we know the value of someone that can help us understand complex concepts while keeping our attention. Its also important when starting out to find the best acoustic drum sets that works for your need, or more specifically the best acoustic drumset for kids.
For those of us that have had a bad music teacher in our lives, know just how delating a bad teacher can be. For many children especially, a good teacher is the difference between whether or not a child will stick with an instrument (or anything for that matter).
When it comes to great teachers, no one has seen as much success and celebration as the internet’s beloved mother of drum teachers, Dorothea Taylor. I first discovered Dorothea when a video of hers was shared on Instagram by virtuosic drummer Tony Royster Jr. and was blown away with her skills, both as a drummer and as a teacher. I found myself spending hours drumming along to her videos on my practice pad. It didn’t take long for the international drumming community to recognize her talent and charm.
Dorothea has been featured on Drumeo along with the world’s greatest drummers and regularly finds her Youtube videos going viral as she defies the expectations of what a drummer “should” be.
We are grateful that Dorothea took the time to sit down with us to discuss her journey as a drum teacher.
MM: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MUSICIAN AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET STARTED?
DT: I started playing drums when I was 13 years old. I loved drummers in parades and on television and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I always watched Buddy Rich when he was on the Johnny Carson Show.
MM: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MUSIC TEACHER?
DT: I didn’t go to school to be a teacher, it just happened that I started teaching other young drummers coming up into the Drum and Bugle Corps that I joined at 13. Since then I have taught many school drum lines and private drum students.
MM: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A GREAT TEACHER?
DT: Understanding that new students need to start slowly and have things explained clearly so that they understand the concepts that you are trying to teach them. It is also important to teach the fundamentals that will be used as they progress on their drumming adventure.
MM: WHO IS/WAS YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER AND WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THEIR TEACHING STYLE?
DT: I have been following Drumeo for a few years as they have guest artists that share their styles of music and now I am lucky to be one of the Drumeo Coaches for the second year. Drummers like Benny Greb, Steve Smith, Larnell Lewis, Anika Nilles, Todd Suchermann, Chris Coleman, Jojo Mayer
MM: WHO WAS YOU FAVORITE PERSON TO TEACH AND WHY?
DT: Probably one of my drumline students named Aarian Land. He loved it so much and was so talented that he just absorbed everything that I showed him. He was so excited to learn and now he is a fantastic Gospel Drummer.
MM: MOST GREAT TEACHERS ARE ALSO LIFE LONG STUDENTS. WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO STUDY WITH IF YOU COULD TAKE MUSIC LESSONS FROM ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD?
DT: Buddy Rich
MM: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A MUSICIAN THAT WANTS TO START TEACHING?
DT: Be patient, teach all the important fundamental drum rudiments so that the student will have everything he needs to become a good drummer.
MM: WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS OF ALL TIME AND WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL?
DT: I love John Mayer because he is an awesome guitarist. Vinnie Coliauta and his bandmates are amazing to listen to. I love any band with a great drummer and other great musicians. Its all about the music for me. I don’t really care is there is a singer in the band. haha
MM: IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
DT: I play piano and a little guitar so I would say that I would like to just be better on those instruments as well as on drums.
MM: FOR THE SERIOUS MUSICIANS OF THE WORLD, IS THERE A REAL PRO TIP YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE, BE IT AN EXERCISE, A LICK, A PRACTICE HABIT, LIFE ADVICE, ETC.?
DT: Be willing to listen and learn from others. Take your instrument seriously and practice your butt off to be the best you can be.
MM: WHAT GEAR ARE YOU USING THESE DAYS? FEEL FREE TO SHOUT OUT SPONSORS, DISCUSS NEW ADDITIONS OR FAVORITE OLD GEAR. CAN BE YOUR MAIN INSTRUMENT, ACCESSORIES ETC.
DT: I am endorsed by @Paistecymbals @D’Addario @Evansdrumheads @ProMark sticks and @Tamburo Drums. I am so happy with all of my gear. My drums sound amazing, my Paiste Cymbals are great and so much fun to play.
ABOUT DOROTHEA TAYLOR:
“I joined a Drum and Bugle Corps in 1964 and learned my drum skills with them. I started playing in bands at 17 after graduation from high school. Since then I have played in many different bands and different types and styles of music. In 1984 I Started teaching our local high school drum line and have been working with the middle and high schools ever since.
I spent 10 years playing in our local symphony orchestra. For several years I played several musicals in a local theatre group here in town. January 2021 I started as a Drumeo Coach teaching live virtual lessons once a week and also was asked to do their coaching program again this year 2022.”