Rochester Contemporary School of Music - Sean Jefferson

Sean Jefferson - Drums

Sean holds a masters degree in music and music education from Roberts Wesleyan College. He has studied both modern and classical percussion in addition to a lifetime spent mastering the infinite, ever-expanding vocabulary of jazz. A professional working musician and composer himself, Jefferson is active at the front lines of contemporary music and teaches from the perspective of an innovator who is up on today’s sounds. On the other hand, he comes at his lessons with an equally strong appreciation for the depth of jazz history and music history in general. Sean has always been fascinated with cultural rhythmic systems, and the reach of his curiosity extends to a broad variety of musics from around the world. As he strives to understand music from so many diverse perspectives, he brings a palpable, contagious sense of curiosity and wonder to his lessons, as well as an ability to render music – and make it understandable – via an infinite range of shades, colors, and textures.

 
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Lessons with Sean encompass the fundamentals of drumming and rhythm, as well as a thorough, comprehensive analysis of theory and foundational musical concepts. But, where Sean does feel that these aspects are essential to a musician's understanding, he also puts a clear emphasis on the individuality of the student. His belief that "technique should never interfere with artistic expression" lies at the core of his teaching philosophy. As a drummer who continues to devote himself to achieving command of technique, Sean stewards his students towards rigorous practice. But he also encourages his students to develop their chops to the point where they don’t have to think about them, so that self-expression always takes a front seat and the chops flow automatically, from the gut rather than the head. His sense of music as a holistic, all-encompassing way of life also plays a prominent role in his teaching style. Jefferson attempts to instill an awareness of music as it touches on all aspects of being. He helps his students become attuned to the musical nature of their own movements, speaking, listening, and other daily activities. He also stresses the importance of a thorough understanding of body mechanics, and of one's own body – its rhythms, its relation to the instrument and the other players, and its ultimate harmonic place in the world. After all, the body and mind are our primary instruments! Moving from the body to the spirit, Sean guides his students to the source of their creativity. And, because he approaches the drumkit as a kind of microcosmic orchestra unto itself, he encourages students to pick the drum and percussion components that suit their individual personalities and serve their artistic vision.

Integrating all of the aforementioned principles, Jefferson has come up with his own unique teaching curriculum - Drumset Rudiments: A Research-Based Sequencing of Fundamental Movement and Coordination Skills for Beginner and Advanced Drummers.