Matt is the most dedicated and passionate teacher I have ever known. He has guided my journey from a beginner drummer to an advanced student, assisted me to purchase my first Tama drum kit, to play live shows in a rock band in NYC, and record my first album with the band.
Having spoken with many of his other students, it is clear he is able to work with drummers of every skill level, assess and analyse strengths and weaknesses, and devise an appropriate well-thought-out curriculum to meet both short term and long term drumming needs for drummers of all levels.
Matt’s talent for drumming and drum teaching, gained from years of experience and knowledge, encompasses technique, reading, improvisation, all genres of music including rock’n’roll, heavy metal, jazz and funk, and extends beyond that with his generosity of heart and the constant encouragement he provides, which is an essential element for any competent and caring teacher.”
– Wilma K. (drummer for The Toxic Femmes)
Matt Ritter is great news for any drummer who is looking for top-notch instruction. From beginners to seasoned drummers, Matt has something to offer all of his students. Through Matt’s extensive knowledge of drumming, he not only teaches his students technique and composition, but he encourages his students to tap into their own individual creativity. His encouragement toward his students is always positive, knowledgeable, and motivating. He is a true mentor in so many ways!! His method of teaching is unique and fun and is a testimony to his hard work and dedication.
I picked up my first pair of drumsticks when I walked into his studio 5 years ago. I am proud to say that what started out as an “outlet” has turned into a true passion! I just finished my first summer tour and can’t express the gratitude I feel for his endless inspiration!”
– Tricia P.
I was 29 years old when I decided that I wanted to learn how to rock. I had played the drums only once in my life, and knew I needed lessons. After the first lesson with Matt, I knew it was going to be a great experience. I felt very comfortable with him, and felt secure in expressing my strengths and weaknesses. Through this, he tailored personalized lessons to help me reach my goals that are thorough and analytical, yet spontaneous and fun. He is great at communicating his vast experience and knowledge in order to build the necessary fundamentals of the hand stroke as well as musical basics. With this strong foundation, combined with his patient, yet challenging teaching, in less than a year, I was playing in a band and felt that I had already learned more than I would have imagined, not only about drumming, but about music in general. All of a sudden, I was a drummer, all of a sudden, I was a musician. Sure I worked hard, practiced a lot, but without his honest and enjoyable teaching which was both encouraging and very inspirational, I wouldn’t be able to rock like I can now. Matt Ritter is a great teacher, great musician, and great friend.”
– Anthony D.
I have been taking drum lessons with Matt since June 2009. I was an absolute beginner with little to no drum experience. What started out as a few lessons taken on a trip to NY has turned into regular weekly lessons. I had gone through 3 teachers in a 4 month period before finding Matt. What made him stand out from the rest was his passion for teaching. He made learning the drums fun and approachable. He was able to demystify a lot of what my previous teachers taught. If a certain exercise was difficult for me to learn, he would come up with alternative ways of learning that exercise. His curriculum is well structured with many mini goals to achieve that eventually lead to the big goal of drumming well! He also holds 2 recitals each year which lets you showcase your hard work to your friends and family. As much fun as the lessons are with Matt, he always challenges you enough to help you realize your potential. His wealth of knowledge, positive attitude, enthusiasm and generosity make him the best teacher I’ve ever had.”
– Judy W.
Matt Ritter has taught me to become drum literate. Since elementary school, I had been unable to draw any parallel between lesson booklets and Bonham’s pounding bass drum. For me, Matt’s approach to learning broke through where a handful of teachers and a dozen books did not, really. There is continuity to his material and the way that he presents it that is not found in other books. After two years of lessons with Matt, I am confident to attempt to read or write anything. He has given me the tools to figure it out. His lessons are always inspiring and have included reading studies, performance practice, theory discussions, transcribing, group recitals, and observing legendary drummers visiting NY. No doubt, I will achieve my goals as a drummer with Matt’s continued direction. Thank you, Matt Ritter.”
– Chris O.
I’d been talking about learning to play the drums for years, but it wasn’t until my sister-in-law gave me a gift certificate for a lesson with Matt Ritter that I finally took the plunge. I went to my first lesson not knowing what to expect and an hour later I was hooked – I’ve now been taking lessons with Matt for 6 years. Matt introduced me to the drum kit immediately, which was key to building my confidence as a new drummer. Instead of spending months on a drum pad, he emphasized the importance of getting comfortable with the instrument first. He had me playing basic beats at my first lesson and I left feeling like a drummer! Matt has developed an extremely comprehensive drumming curriculum, which he has broken down into chapters of study that build naturally on each other. Each chapter includes some music theory, basic drum history and drumming logistics and lots of technique and drills. Matt challenges me, but also lets me set the pace at my lessons. He takes the time to make sure I’ve mastered a new skill set before moving to the next level. And like only the very best teachers can, when I’m struggling to understand a new technique, he always finds a way to break it down and explain it in a way that makes sense to me – to the way I think and learn. One of the most important things Matt has done for me as a drummer is he’s made me get out in front of people and play. He coordinates fantastic student recitals twice a year, which are both a great time and truly inspirational. Matt Ritter is an exceptional drummer and a gifted teacher who keeps drumming fresh and fun, while encouraging his students to work hard and invest in becoming the best drummers they can be.”
– MC V.
I knew from the first time I spoke with Matt on the phone that I would work well with him. His approach to teaching was exactly what I needed: an intuitive, holistic approach to playing; no punishment for not practicing; and a clear message that I was there to enjoy the instrument. We were able to set goals that spoke to how I wanted to play but were still realistic and achievable, and we met them. We concentrated on one skill until I truly mastered it, and I didn’t really understand what real mastery was until I got there. After two years of working with Matt, I have transformed from an anxious drummer with erratic time into a relaxed, steady, confident player — and that was with me not practicing nearly enough!”
– Ivan D.
Matt is a great teacher – patient, clear, funny and motivating even when you are a grown-up beginner who knows double-plus zero about drumming with the exception of your own Sheila E. idol worship. He creates lessons that are engaging, interesting, and suited to your own pace. It’s super fun, do it!”
– Carda B.
Because I felt weak and underconfident in the area of rhythm, I originally came to Matt to learn basic rhythms such as Latin and swing in order to help with my piano playing. Over the months, however, Matt’s talent for teaching and his deep knowledge of drumming affected me so much that I decided to learn to be a real, full-fledged drummer. Many times I have been discouraged, primarily because I felt I hadn’t prepared enough for my weekly drum lesson. But Matt always finds a way to make each drum lesson meaningful, and I’ve never left his studio without feeling I was a better musician than I was an hour earlier.”
– Robert G.
I’m a 20 year old art student and when I started drumming lessons with Matt about a year ago I had never so much as taken a cursory piano lesson, much less anything to do with percussion. A lifetime of secret fascination with drumming and drummers finally forced me to find a class near me and try it out. Before the first lesson I was a nervous wreck and sure that I had made a mistake. An hour later as I was walking out of Matt’s studio I had the makings of a full blown addiction, and a year later with his help I got my first paid drumming gig. Matt always brings energy and positivity to every lesson and his enthusiasm is infectious. He is able to explain complex musical concepts with simple straightforward language that makes sense even to a complete novice. I highly recommend his class whether you want to try drumming for the first time or expand the drumming skills you already have.”
– Zoe R.
Matt is an awesome drum teacher. His method syncs up perfectly with the way I look at things. He doesn’t teach from the top down – by teaching an entire song, or a particular fill, or a particular groove – but rather, from the bottom up. He gives you the basic elements that go into any song: first, the most basic rock patterns; then, how to add a crash on any count; how to add a bass drum on any count; how to start a fill on any count; how to add a snare on any count; how to add a hi-hat open/close on any count; etc. Having learned this way, I can take any song and learn how to play it. Is there a crash on the 4th beat? I don’t have to ask Matt how to learn how to do that for this particular song – he already taught me how to crash on any beat! One also learns how to do every exercise with both the left and the right hands, leading to a real ease around the drum set that I can’t help but think those who have to cross their hands when they’re playing are lacking. And, every 6 months there is a great (and fun) opportunity to learn to play a song well and really get all the details in (and perhaps pick up some new tricks that didn’t come up during regular lessons) for the bi-annual recitals. If ya wanna learn to drum well, and have fun in the process – better talk to Matt!”
– Claudiu S.
Matt Ritter is an outstanding drum teacher/coach. He is extremely knowledgeable but is also very approachable. Matt clearly cares that students walk away with a solid understanding of the basics, respect for the music and inspires us to achieve and surpass our goals in a fun and laid back environment. If you’re looking to play the drums with confidence and understand your instrument well, you can’t go wrong with Matt as your guide.”
– Sarah N.
I did not try to play drums until I was 40. I then tried to teach myself, assuming that because I knew how to read music, I could just practice what was on the page of a drum primer. It was a frustrating year and I made little progress, despite sticking to a practice schedule. I decided I needed professional help.
I saw Matt’s ad at a music studio. It caught my eye because in it Matt claimed to have successfully taught other older students. I have since spent more than two years taking bi-weekly lessons from him. It has been well worth it. He is able to zero in on technique problems that would have taken me months to discover by accident and has made sure I work on developing basic skills to eventually allow me to develop further on my own. Matt also keeps the process of learning to play drums interesting. Every lesson with Matt leaves me more determined to progress and more confident that I can achieve the competence to play with others.”
– Jamie R.
Matt Ritter is a passionate drum teacher who is passionate about the drums. He is a well rounded drum teacher and his coaching is professional and highly skillful. I believe that whatever your vision is for playing the drums, whether it be for your career, to add to your skills or just a hobby, Matt is guaranteed to get you there.”
– Wilma K.
When I took my first class with Matt, I had never touched a drumstick before in my life. Drumming was completely new to me, but something I had wanted to learn for a long time. I knew that, this being New York City, there were a lot of outstanding teachers out there. So, not knowing which one to pick, I just went for the first website that popped up on Google. Since my first class, Matt’s abilities as a teacher have never ceased to impress me. My goal was, and still is, to learn jazz drumming. For this, you need to acquire an excellent stick technique and learn a great deal about music theory. Fortunately, Matt is extremely knowledgeable in both of these fields, himself being a master drummer and a passionate jazz fan. Now, it’s been almost two years since my first class and I have already gone from learning how to hold a stick to playing the 40 drum rudiments, writing and reading music and performing in recitals. There seems to be no limit to what Matt can teach me and I really hope we’ll go a long way together.”
– Leonard G.