Vance Nurkala – Drum Teacher


Quick Facts About Vance

  • Teaches drums
  • Works well with ages 6+ and all skill levels
  • Utilizes custom curriculum and a selection of books
  • Strengths: Extensive experience teaching and touring as a professional musician
  • Teaching for over 30 years
  • Drums and percussion studies throughout high school and college, playing for nearly 40 years

Schedule a Lesson with Vance

Vance Nurkala - Drum Teacher | Off the Wall School of Music

Learn More About Vance

General Teaching Style

Playing drums is fun and I like to share the excitement that I have for this instrument with all my students!

I gear my lesson towards each individual student's interests and needs.

All my students learn the basic technique, coordination, reading and improvisation needed to play the drums. I try to have my students play even beats and rhythms as soon as possible so that they can play along to music and have fun.

I feel I have figured out a great way to show important exercises and techniques and relate it to the songs that my students are going to learn.

I teach what works and what is needed for drumming in the real world!

Curriculum-wise, I teach using handouts that I have created and also books I have selected that have sticking patterns, drum rudiments, pulse and syncopation, and songs to play along with. I also have charted out drum parts to popular songs to learn as well.

Focus & Goals of the First Lesson

All students will start out on a practice pad and learn how to hold the sticks properly.

We will then learn how to play some basic sticking patterns.

I then try to have the student bring those sticking patterns over to the drum set.

After having them work on their hands and feet patterns, we try to play a basic drum beat. I turn on some music and have them try to play along to a song!

Unique Strengths

I am excited about teaching drums and I am very patient and understanding.

I've been teaching for 31 years -- 21 of them at The Drum Exchange in Seattle -- and have a good way of helping students stay excited and engaged in their lessons.

I have taught private drum lessons at public schools and through music stores and schools.

Additional Experience & Instruments

I have been performing and touring drummer for most of my life.

I know what it takes to play live in front of crowds night after night. Over time this has helped my teaching.

I know what really is important to know in order to play well as a drummer.

In addition to teaching the drums, I also play bass, guitar, piano, and vocals.

Most Inspirational Music Moment

Playing live in front of 1,200 fans at a sold out show was an amazing moment.

Top 3 Desert Island Albums

  • Exit... Stage Left - Rush
  • Kiss Alive II - Kiss
  • 5150 - Van Halen