Don Kelly: Educator
As an Educator
In addition to performing in the epicenter of music history, such as New York’s famed Birdland, The Iridium, The Bottom Line, and Radio City Music Hall. DK has also had the tremendous pleasure of sharing passion and knowledge with the widest possible range of students, including toddlers and adults, novices and professionals, and pupils from China, Japan, India, Botswana, Argentina, Spain, France, the Dominican Republic and The Philippines, among many other nations.
Through games, performance, music theory, and personal stories of life as a musician, DK teaches students how to play each percussive instrument, while learning the history and origin of drums and percussion from all over the world. All kinds of percussion are used, such as hand drums, drums set, cymbals, xylophone, snare drum, shakers, conga, djembe, etc. In addition, DK teaches students, how to write and read music, ear training, dynamics, how to work together as a band, listening skills, tempo and meter, musicality, improvisation, and more. Every level is encouraged. This installs the confidence needed to want to learn and participate, as well as, be creative, perform, and have fun. This is something they can take with them throughout life, no matter what path they choose. Students will be exposed to all styles of music and rhythms, but above all, DK spreads infectious passion for the love of music and drumming.
DK composes percussion pieces for the class to perform. They receive a written part and a recording, if needed. The class is divided up into different instrument groups, much like an orchestra. When all the parts are played together, with practice, the class has an energetic and fun composition that they can play together. All students will be involved in the performance.
These percussion ensemble compositions are also available for purchase for teachers who already have percussion ensembles. The kit includes; a conductor’s score, separate parts per instrument / section, and a recording of the composition. Kits are offered for beginners, intermediate, and advanced groups.
DK graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hunter College in NYC (2015) with a degree in music. Also studied at The Drummers Collective, a world-renowned school in New York City. Graduated from The Center for Media Arts with a certification in audio engineering. DK was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but has had the honor to play and teach throughout the country and overseas, including a university course for students in Amsterdam.