The Zen Art of Drumming
This book is not a textbook or a “how to” manual. There are hundreds, if not thousands of those already existing that provide detailed instruction about how to play various drums and drum styles. On the other hand, this book is intended to offer you, the reader, a better insight into the world of percussion and drumming. It is a guide that will provide background information, historical context and significance, observations, advice, stories, suggestions, tips, and a unique Artist’s perspective. You may not agree with every statement or opinion, but the information contained within these pages is valuable and will assist some in their approach to drumming and enlighten others about a subject of interest.
This book is an aid to help the beginner get started, the intermediate to advance, and the professional to stay inspired. Not everyone is a drummer by birth, but everyone can tap into their inner rhythm. Drummers are born with an innate sense of rhythm. Rhythm is a natural part of our lives. We literally breathe, sleep, and (almost) eat rhythms. Drummers are the pulse of life. Not only do we make the beats for people to dance and sing, but the drums are also part of the soundtrack of life. It’s hard to find music that doesn’t employ the sound of the drum. After all, music is a combination of melody, harmony, and rhythm. The latter is where we usually excel.
A former Disney cast member, Marcus is the artistic director for Freedom Jazz Movement and bandleader/director of a 7-piece percussion ensemble called Project World Drum. Miller is also the founder/director of the Young Drummers of Los Angeles. As an educator, Marcus has conducted residencies throughout North America since 1994. Miller has served as the Artist-in-Residence at the California African-American Museum (CAAM) for the Target Sundays program. Over the years, he has worked with many organizations including, P.S. Arts (Los Angeles), Smart Art (San Francisco), the William Grant Still Arts Center (City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs), St. Elmo Village, the Skirball Cultural Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Kidspace Children’s Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), the Getty Museum, and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) facilitating educational drum workshops and music programs. He has also taught percussion at several Southern California schools, including Open Magnet Charter School, Community Harvest Charter School, Ocean Charter School, New Roads School, the Culture Learning And Success School, the Lawndale Elementary School District, Berkeley public schools, and Chesapeake public school system. Marcus currently lives and works in Southern California. He is an Artist/Percussionist who teaches private lessons and classes and facilitates drum workshop presentations. He is a writer for Heavy Harmony music and composes music for the stage and film. Miller serves as Music Director for the Lula Washington Dance Theatre. He is a touring artist who works internationally and nationally with the dance company and the Marcus Miller Ensemble. Marcus is continuously recording new music for his record label Universe Soul records. He has recorded and released 16 albums on the label. You can read more about Marcus at MarcusMillerDrums.com