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My son and I have taken lessons from Nick for 10+ years - from foundational theory and rudimental basics for beginners to practical application for gigging drummers, Nick teaches with humor and patience. Highly recommended!
There's an old adage that goes "Those who can, do and those who can't teach". Well, throw that one out when you consider Nick both as a instructor and as a drummer. Nick plays it all and teaches it all with an exceptional drum-side manner filled with patience and jokes. Some may believe Nick's chops came simply because he is the son of a drummer and has played since the age of four. But, I believe there is more than progeny and time on task that accounts for his exceptionality as a drummer, and more importantly to us as students of his, for his exceptionality as an instructor. Nick gives you the foundation, complete with vocabulary, fundamentals, playlists, videos of your lessons (for review and study), and more. Whether you are a young kid or a senior, a rank beginner or an advanced drummer, Nick meets you where you are and takes you from there either in the direction of your choice (rock, blues, country, hip-hop, etc.) if you already have a direction, or else methodically over a wide array of genres of music. Nick encourages us to not become so dogmatic in our studies that we repeat the mistake he made early on putting in the time and sweat of many practices (satisified with his hard work and time that led to such sweat) only to be greeted one day in the hallway by his dad who simply asked, "Do you ever just play to have fun?" Well, Nick internalized that lesson and encourages us all to never forget nor stop having fun in our own journeys to become the best drummers we strive to become.
I started playing drums when I was 12 and was gigging by 15 was gigging in places I couldn’t get into as a patron. College, work, family, graduate school, more work caused me to take a nearly 20-year hiatus from playing, until one day I said, “What am I waiting for? The time will never be ‘right.’” I started playing again, and soon was gigging again regularly with a jazz ensemble. My playing was better than it had ever been and then I got “stuck.” Trying to get “unstuck” is what prompted to look for a teacher again.
I couldn’t have made a better choice than Nick. He’s an excellent player and an excellent teacher (those two don’t always go together). He’s stretched me, making me do things and styles that I wouldn’t normally do. He’s super encouraging (a recurring phrase of his when I do something reasonably well is, “Oh I LOVE it!”) and immensely helpful. At this stage in my life and playing, it’s more coaching than teaching and it is EXTREEMLY VALUABLE. He observes my technique, tells me what to watch out for and offer correctives. Rather than being pedantic about technique, the end goal is always the sound and feel, and to the degree that he pushes a particular sticking or technique it’s to achieve that end goal. His book is practical and immediately useful.
I was skeptical at first of on-line lessons, but a $19 high-def camera, a set of cheap gaming headphones with mic, and two days of frustration disabling the sound suppression A.I. of Windows 11 that they’ve invented to “help” us, and it’s been great. No gas costs, and I really haven’t seen any disadvantage over on-location lessons. If I could give the experience six stars out of a five-star rating, I would.
I have been a student of Nick's for 5+ years. Nick is super-organized, very motivating and has an incredible knowledge of drumming. Nick is truly " World Class" . Hagerstown is very fortunate to have such a fantastic drum instructor.
My 9 year old started taking lessons about 6 months ago. Nick is great with him. He is encouraging and challenges him. Would highly recommend his lessons to anyone at any age.
My son is taking lessons from Nick now and we can't be more pleased with Nick's teaching. I would absolutely recommend Nick for anyone that wants to learn how to play the drums.
Nick is an awesome teacher. Very patient and great to work with. I would highly recommend him for beginners and any other level really.
Best instructor any drummer could ask for. I have taken lessons with Nick since 7th grade and I highly recommend his lessons to anyone looking to learn how to be a skilled and educated drummer. He taught me how to read sheet music of snare pieces and drummer pieces, all varieties of genres and rudiments. I leave every lesson with a feeling of improvement and would give Nick way more than 5 stars if possible. Thanks for everything you have taught Nick! I don't know where I would be without Ya!
My daughter started taking lessons with Nick about 5 months ago while she was still 5 years old. He is very easy going and has kept her very interested in her instrument. He is very easy to talk to and has an amazing sense of humor. I highly recommend him as an instructor for anyone of any age!
Nick, thank you so much for the great lessons you've given Clayton. I'm so impressed with the talent and desire to play.. I'm sure he'll want to be drumming on his desk at college.. Thanks again!
I took drum lessons with Nick Dahlberg for 5+ years, over which I learned much more than drumming technique. Nick creates an environment for learning with his humor, focus, and organization. With Nick I learned how to manage my time better and improve my playing. I recommend Nick to a person of any skill level, there is no defined path, he customizes everything to the individual student. Thank you, Nick!
I want to thank you for all your support in my music as well as with life. The lessons I have learned from you have helped mold me into the person I am today. I have always and always will enjoy drumming. Drumming will always be one of my passions. I wish you all the best in life and I hope all of your students understand how blessed they are to have such a wonderful teacher as you!
Anyone remotely close to Hagerstown that wants to learn the art of drumming; this is the man! Parents, if you want your money well spent...need I say more!
I took lessons with Nick for five years and he taught me from the roots of basic drumming up to advanced studies. Nick is an awesome and Inspiring teacher that helped open my eyes to new music styles, solos, techniques, and skill that I still use in my drumming today. Nick taught me how to read music and understand it in different music styles. Nick also corrected my music I wrote and suggest to make beyond regular beat that It was with skills he taught me. Nick is a funny, nice, patient, caring, encouraging and helped me focus on drumming when I went though hard times. He is a very awesome drummer and teacher. When I first started taking his listen I was a shy kid. He helped build my confidence that I have now. Nick teaches all songs you want to learn and show you new songs you never thought were possible. Highly recommend any skill level of drummer should take lesson with Nick. Thank you for everything you taught me over the years.
My son took lessons from Nick for two ½ years (and hopefully, when the schedule allows, will again).
We couldn’t have asked for a better instructor! Not only is Nick a very talented teacher, he is also a great role model and mentor. He is very patient and flexible. Spends extra time with students when they may be going through a rough patch.
I highly recommend Nick as a teacher. Hagerstown is lucky to have such a gifted musician that is available for lessons.