Fun Drum Lessons Ned Smith


Google Reviews (34)
Genbook Reviews (36)
2011 Student reviews (18)

What is "More Cowbell"?

Learn your favorite Styles of Music ...  

425 577 4777

 Lessons & Prices:

Meet & Greet Drum Lesson FREE

60 minutes
30 minutes
60 minute lesson at your home
120 minutes of entertaining drum lessons at your party

I'm a behavior mod guy, with an BA in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University in Boston.   I understand that my drum students must become drummers whether they have little or no practice in a given week, or not.  Kids and adults are busier now than they've ever been.  If you're super busy, what you need is a fun coach who can make your drumming inch ahead on the spot, not a typical assign homework, then test, then scold drum teacher.  You and I will grade my performance on how much I can help you improve during your lesson.  I'm always accepting of whether you have or have not practiced.  And you will improve a lot studying with me.  My focus is not on your performance in the lesson, etc. It's on work. I follow Carol Dewick's Mindset education system. Simply put, there are two mindsets, fixed and growth. With a fixed mindset, we feel like we either have it or we don't. With a growth mindset we feel like we can acquire skills through effort. Since I started using this system my students have becomve very confident and resilient. Parents and I have stopped saying, "Good Job." Instead, we praise something else: Work. Work during the drum lesson, and work at home. It's been incredibly gratifying. This is making for some very resilient young & older people. This is working on around 95% of my students. We never say, "See how all that hard work has paid off, now you're awesome at this or that." We focus strictly on complimenting and even bragging to others in front of them about how hard they work. The encouraging results are something we let the kids discover on their own. Work, our secret weapon. Even so...   You can't skip lessons certain weeks because you didn't get to work hard at home that week.  Attend, work hard in the lesson, and feel great as you move a couple of more inches forward! 

Karate, Acting, Dance, Singing, and Guitar classes with Robyne de Jong while you're here!
Robyne de Jong, an exceptional Karate/Acting/Dance/Music private and group teacher, teaches at our house weekdays and Saturdays.  Robyne is particularly amazing with toddlers up through elementary aged students.  So, siblings and friends can take lessons while they wait.  Or, you can drop off your drum student for longer to take additional classes.  It's foreseeable that you could drop your kid off for couple of hours of rewarding personal development.  Here's a bonus, you can split the cost with other students whom you'd like to recruit.  Your child can also join exsisting classes.

Robyne has been teaching and working with children for well over 20 years. She has worked as an ABA Para, working with special needs kids on social skills. She is exceptional and innovative at this work. She has a B.A. from Cal State Fullerton in Musical Theatre, and has studied dance at many studios including Danceworks International Summer School in London, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Los Angeles, and West Lake Dance Center right here in Seattle. She's spent many years teaching classes in creative movement, ballet, tap, jazz dance, music, drama, acting, musical theatre, and karate.  Robyne has a Bla ck Belt in Tang Soo Do Karate and a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.  She's registered with the World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF #05105768), and also taught Cardio Kickboxing to adults at True Martial Arts in Sammamish, teaches dance at Premiere Dance in Redmond. She has her own school, The Cool School, where she teaches Dance, Acting, Acting Improv, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Guitar, and singing. She plays locally and regionally with a rock band on the weekends, too. She works hard :).

A member of the Actors' Equity Association, Robyne enjoys her career as a professional performer.  Robyne has performed all over the U.S. in musicals and plays. She has sung with several jazz and pop bands, and has appeared in commercials and films. Currently, Robyne performs with Split Second Improv at Second Story Rep in Redmond. She also does children's theatre and musicals locally. She has spent a lot of time in the recording studio at McGraw-Hill creating voices for interactive learning videos.  She's been a trainer and teacher at The Little Gym, and is writing and illustrating a new twist on bedtime books--good morning books for parents to read to their kids at wake-up time.   

Is your child in the Autism spectrum?
My son is too!  He is in the Asperger's spectrum.  So, I love teaching drums to Autism spectrum kids.  I'm around spectrum kids and their various vision therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, ABA, and social skills specialists a lot.  I have a Clinical Psychology degree from Tufts University and love teaching spectrum kids, including my son.  I've taught drums to kids who have lower function, too, and hope to teach more of them.  I met Robyn de Jong when she was teaching tap dancing to my son.  So, I know from observation that Robyne is great with high functioning autism kids, and have seen her excel with ADD and ADHD kids, kids with vision challenges, and other challenges, too. She loves it, and the kids advance working with her. 

Student Reviews

" Ned is an amazing teacher. His dedication to his craft is inspirational. I've never had a teacher at any level in my life that cared so much about my development, interests, health (ergonomics, baby. Pain is NO gain!), and priorities. And talk about patience! I'm a living proof that he has a ton of it. Thank you, Sir!"

     Antonio M.

     Bellevue, WA

"Ned is a fantastic drum teacher and such an interesting person all around. He makes practices so creative. His ability to explain and teach the technical aspects of drumming are incredible. My son's drumming improved even after the first lesson! He's such an inspiration."

     Dena T.

     Redmond, WA

"Ned is an outstanding drum teacher. I have both my sons (one 8 years old, the other going on 18) in lessons with him, and I have taken a few lessons as well. He is probably the best drum teacher in the area by a large margin.

With his instructions, the most complex drumming is easy to understand. Want to learn complex beats from Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, or Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan from Avenged Sevenfold - no problem. Aching for some classic John Bonham or Ginger Baker - done. Having trouble with Jazz Swing beats or Bebop from Jimmy Cobb or Art Blakely - here's how to do it. From Heavy Metal to Bossa Nova/Latin and everything in between, Ned has the ability to make it all accessible.

If you have kids, young or old, Ned is your guy. Learning is fun and improvement just happens. I cant say enough great stuff about Ned - he's the source you have been looking for."

     Brett H.

     Bellevue, WA

"N ed is an all-around nice guy and a very experienced teaching professional.  His love for the instrument and for teaching is readily apparent within a few minutes into the lesson.  He brings a wealth of drumming experience and expertise to the table, and freely shares all aspects of his knowledge pertaining to technique, groove, and musicianship.  Ned has put a lot of thought and effort into his instruction methodology and materials to assist students across the full spectrum of ability levels.  He is also adept at developing individual training programs specifically addressing problem areas or ways to enhance the direction the individual player wishes to go.  Time spent under his tutelage is time well-spent. "

  Jeff Guthery
2007  WFD Champion World's Fastest Drummer
Pro jazz drummer and teacher, and Ned's student whenever he visits Seattle
Seoul, Korea


"Ned is an exceptional teacher, an amazing drummer, and a stellar role model for drummers of all levels.  His teaching is customized to your needs and desires for achievement and egos are checked at the door. He is always inspirational and ever-supportive. 

Thank you, Ned, for everything you've helped me with."

     Harold P.

     Seattle, WA

"Ned is a phenomenal drummer and a truly amazing teacher. As a teacher and a musician he is super open-minded, non-stifling (a lot of teachers are stifling), innovative, and a true out-of-the-box thinker. He makes learning fun, exciting and rewarding! Whether you're a total beginner or a pro, Ned will always have much to offer to improve your playing and musicality. I highly recommend him!

     Robert J.

     Las Vegas, NV

"Ned has allowed me to discover elements about my own drumming and musical abilities, both mind and body, which I didn't know existed before. He is patient and willing to adapt and change to meet my needs, but he also expects a certain level of success from me from lesson to lesson, and I feel constant improvement because of it.

He is also an amazing drummer with vast experience and knowledge. Learning from Ned is fun, and I always look forward to every lesson!"

    Brian M.

    Lynnwood, WA

"I'm a beginning drummer and took a series of lessons from Ned back in the day when I worked at Microsoft and had the time to sneak off for a quick lesson. I really enjoyed Ned's lessons and his approach to teaching, and found his lessons a great way to get started.

Highly recommended--and especially convenient if you work at Microsoft."

     Everett M.

     St Albans Bay, VT

"Ned has been an excellent teacher for my son and me and adapted well to our different learning abilities. I would highly recommend him."

    ShiSh S.

    Redmond, WA

"After getting drum lessons from Ned I've learned things on the drums I never thought I would be able to do previously. I've learned so many things on the drums and with Ned I'm always on the brink of my knowledge and capabilities so I'm always learning more new and more challenging things. Ned is a very inspiring and skill full teacher with a really great attitude.

I've gotten invaluable inspiration and direction in my drumming and out, and I've not only gotten direction in terms of where I can go with my drumming but what I can use my ever growing talent for in the future. No matter how much experience you have drumming Ned is an amazing teacher who is always willing and able to answer any questions you have, or teach you anything you want to learn."

     Jaden M.

     Renton, WA

"Highly recommended!  Ned has been my son's drum teacher for about 3 years. He provides a great mix of trying to challenge the student, while also keeping first and formost that playing drums is supposed to be fun. As a teacher of kids, he's first-rate, encouraging (requiring ;) parents to get involved, too.

Although we started drumming for "drum kit" lessons, my son gravitated towards more rudiment-based drumming (the kind you'd do in marching band or drum corps). Ned was right there with him, both helping him with his classical stick tecnnique and incorporating some of those drum elements into his kit playing."

     Brian S.

     Bellevue, WA

"Very friendly, fantastic teacher.. Can help you with any aspect of drumming: Teaching basics, proper way of exercising, transcribing music... He is great with different styles of music. Very accommodating of different learning paces.."

     Baris S.

     Bellevue, WA

"As a first time student and having never played any instruments and not knowing how to read music I was very nervous taking drum lessons. But one class with Ned and all my doubts were resolved. He has a great teaching style. Very natural and tuned into the skill level of the pupil. He doesnt try to make you change the way you play but rather works with your natural style and helps you improve your technique. I was amazed how quickly I was able to play after just my first 2 lessons. I am no longer a student but thats mainly due to time constraints. But I have a drum at home and with Ned's instructions I practice as often as I can. Ned is also very open to answering questions by email even after you are no longer a student so I get tips from him even now.

All in all Ned has great patience, is an excellent communicator and has a vast knowledge of music genres. He is also a real fun person to work with so take a class and you wont be disappointed!"

     Farah A.

     Kirkland, WA

"I have found Ned to be an excellent teacher and a natural, patient communicator, with the ability to break down and make accessible even the most complex techniques and concepts. He listens very well, always gets what I'm going for and finds a way to help me develop the skills to get there.

It really helps that he has a wide and deep knowledge of many genres of music and the talent and experience to play at the level of the greats. Buddy Rich or John Bonham, Miles or Meshuggah, nothing fazes him.

He is not only a great teacher but a consummate professional and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to any level of player, from a complete beginner to a studio artist."

     Andrew C.

     Redmond, WA

"Ned is more than just a great drum teacher, he's a human encyclopedia of percussion, an amazing analyst of style and technique, a really, really nice guy, and most importantly a great drum teacher. I started seeing Ned when I'd decided that after becoming pretty competent in Rock Band, I might actually try learning for real. I've always thought about drumming but never pursued it. In the past year not only has Ned inspired a love of drumming I never knew I could have, my technique and skills have vastly improved. Not only can I handle an acoustic set with confidence, I can kill at Rock Band now too :). I would recommend Ned for anyone in the greater Seattle area who is looking for a holistic drum teaching experience."

     E B.

     Kirkland, WA

"Ned's a great teacher, our son has learned tremendously working with him over the last couple of years. He takes his students seriously, and inspires rmotivation in middle schoolers which is a rare talent. Gladly recommend ned to anybody with a kid wanting to learn drums."

     kavi s.

     Redmond, WA

I have known Ned for years and he has worked with me on and off for most of them. I need to get back into my drums so of course I will go to NED to get me motivated and out of my musical dulldrums. Ned has always been patient with me and very encouraging. I would bring in music I was wanting to try to learn. He would graciously listen and try to teach me the basics of the songs. Most of the time I figured it out but mostly with his help. NED... I will be back :) Thank you !!

     chrisda h.

     Redmond, WA
     Updated - 4/27/2011

"My older son started with Ned when he was 6 - 2 years ago-. He loves the drums, but mostly he loves having drum lessons with Ned. Not only Ned is a great teacher but he is great with young age kids. Soon my other one (6 now) will start as well. Thank you Ned"

     Roberta C.

     Redmond, WA


Me with the Kim Archer Band in Portland, OR June 2006

I teach drum lessons in a very convenient location for Redmond, Renton, Mercer Island Bellevue, Kirkland, Newcastle, and Sammamish drummers.  Half of my drum students are from places like Seattle, Renton, Everett, Mercer Island, Burien, Kent, Woodenville, Bothell, Shoreline, etc,.  But they're here in Bellevue working during my drum teaching hours.  You'll only drive 15 minutes from Microsoft in Bellevue Square, or 10 from Issaquah to get to my home studio. I'm about 7 minutes from T-Mobile in Factoria section of Bellevue   It's probably the most effecient way to get a drum lesson if you work or live in the Renton, Bellevue, Mercer Island, or Issaquah areas.

My daytime drum students take a break from work at Microsoft in Bellevue and Issaquah, WA, T-Mobile in Factoria, WA, Boeing in Renton WA, etc, for a weekly lesson, or are local full-time-parents who either take drum lessons (while their kids play in our toy room), or who bring their children for lessons, or both.

Teaching Experience/Skills

Degrees in English & Clinical Psychology with honors from Tufts University, Medford, MA 1995

School Experience:
Teacher & Therapist in strong behavior mod environment for violent 4th grade children, Somerville, MA

Decades of Drum Teaching --Current back to the 70's:
Home Studio Bellevue, WA
Home Studio Redmond, WA
Home Studio, San Diego, CA

Home Studio, Newton, MA
Governor Dummer Prep, Rowley, MA
Hollywood, CA
Wagstaff's Music, Salt Lake City, UT
Home Studio & USU Fine Arts Center, Logan, UT

Lessons & Prices additional details:
First Drum Lesson FREE
60 minutes $77
30 minutes