Teacher Profile: John Odom

John Odom

John Odom

Instrument(s): Drums, Percussion

City: Orlando

Education: Berklee College of Music, Valencia College

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    About John Odom

    John Odom is very passionate about playing and teaching the drumset and percussion instruments. He has spent countless hours practicing and continues to make a focused effort on learning more about playing and teaching this complex instrument. When John was 10 years old he asked his grandmother if they could setup his uncle's drumkit so he could play them. Grandma was more than happy to help out so once the drums were setup, John started playing along with a gospel quartet record. The drummer for the quartet (Gary) was also the drummer for their church and he became John's Drum Teacher. Later on John played snare drum, bass drum, and hand cymbals in the symphonic band throughout his junior high and high school years, learning how to read and understand music . Some years later after playing and practicing with different bands and musicians, John made the decision to become a Drum Teacher. He completed the Drumset Fundamentals course with Berklee College of Music in 2012 taught by Professor Yoron Israel. He completed the Introduction to Music Theory course at Valencia Community College in 2014. He has attended several drum clinics by many top drummers and teachers including Steve Gadd, Tommy Igoe, Pat Petrillo, Chris Coleman, and others. He has learned much about how to improve and be creative as a drummer from these clinics.

    After high school when he was in the Air Force he played in the Drum and Bugle Corps. They traveled around Illinois and Indiana, performing at corn festivals and marching in parades. They won several awards for excellent musicianship. After finishing his time in the service John played the drums for his church youth group for three years. During this time he also played the drums for his church, splitting time with the pastor's son on Sunday mornings. John has played in other churches and has been the Worship Drummer at his current church for the past six years. He has played in three Christian bands and he currently plays in a Christian rock band called "Just a Few Frogs."

    John started teaching the drums in September of 2012. He named his teaching program "Groove With Passion." He believes that a musician should put their heart and soul into the music they are sharing with others. John has learned and grown as a teacher and he continues to do so. He tells his students that he is a "lifelong student of the drums." This approach allows him to set a great example to all of his students to keep practicing and growing as a budding musician. In January 2016 he was instrumental in setting up the percussion program at Orlando Fine Arts Academy in Lake Nona. He is still teaching there and is very active with the academy. John also teaches some students privately, both in home and online. John is also affiliated with several teaching organizations. He is a member of the Professional Drum Teachers Guild, the Sabian Education Network, and the D'Addario Education Collective. He is also a Drumeo and Drumsense certified instructor. Drum Teachers in these organizations are well known and put a priority on music education.

    John has a very practical approach to teaching the drums. He has the ability to break down the different elements of playing this complex instrument so that even complete beginners can understand how this works. He teaches proper technique with holding the drumsticks, how to strike the drums and cymbals properly, how to read drumset music, and how to coordinate the hands and feet to start playing your first drum grooves. John teaches his students to play music, not just patterns on the drumset. He communicates very clearly with students and their parents, confirming that they understand what they are learning. He also confirms that the students and parents understand what the homework is and what they need to work on to have ongoing success. John also offers assistance to parents and adult students to choose a drumset that will work well for their student. John is always looking for ways to improve his teaching and this is a priority for him. He puts a premium on taking a student who starts off not knowing how to hold the drumsticks and within a few weeks is playing their first song.

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