"Don O’Keefe studied with me online on and off for about two years and we still do some consultation from time to time. I know that Don and I have a few things in common. We are both forever-students of the instrument and we also love to teach and share whatever we learn that is positive and true with our students. I have watched a video of Don explaining one of my exercises and I was very impressed with how well he teaches. That is a gift.”
Henrique De Almedia, Professor,
Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
"Don is a master percussionist. He has the technical facility to get to the the core of rhythmic drive and expression, and the musical passion of a true artist."
Stephen Michael Smith, Conductor
"I've been taking drum lessons from Don for the past 3 years and I can always look forward to learning something new each week. He tailors his lessons to the students interests and I have been able to work on fundamentals, while also delving into more complicated concepts like 3 and 4 way independence and ethnic styles of drumming. The best part of lessons each week is being able to sit down at the kit and practice various techniques along to artists that I like to listen to such as The Beatles and Blonde. Don really cares about his students and makes sure they leave each lesson feeling proud of what they've accomplished and with a clear idea of how to move forward."
"Studying with Don has been a real pleasure. At the stage in life that I am, my free time is at a premium. He understood exactly what I was hoping to accomplish on the drums and focused on that from day one. Being in my 50's, I accept my limitations on my ability to do certain things musically but I wanted to play with my church band and Don made that happen. While doing this, he would always push me and encourage me to work on things like my technique and my reading, but the bulk of our time was spent working on the actual songs I needed to perform. His teaching style is extremely accessible and I am happy to have found him."
"We are so impressed with how far our daughter's come in a short time with Don. She looks forward to her lessons and is at ease with him because he's so encouraging. She's willing to try improvising and take risks (like never before) because she feels safe, like she's playing for one of her biggest fans. Don has a fabulous combination of expertise and patience that brings out her best. He's willing to meet her wherever she is each week. Sure, he has a solid methodology with great building blocks and a foundation that will take her far, and always throws in some hand exercises and rudiments. That's important. However, when she's focused on pieces for her various ensembles and can't get to his material, he switches gears and works on those with her. That's huge for her, and makes her week easier. He's also not opposed to just letting her have fun and experiment with something she wants to try when she needs an occasional break. His ability to keep changing things up and still teach her something new keeps it fun for her. Very cool, in a world where kids are losing more and more of their "fun" time, that her lesson time feels like recreation time for her -- especially after a long day at school."
We started drum lessons with Don when my son was 8 years old. Almost a year later I am thrilled with the progress he has made but even more thrilled that Don has managed to teach him while keeping things low pressure and a lot of fun! We love blasting our favorite songs in Don's studio while learning to play along!
Tosha, Owen's Mom
"Don taught me most of what I know about drumming. I took lessons with him for the better part of 3 years, both at a music school and at his home studio. He always challenged me to step out of my comfort zone by practicing new techniques and visualizing/thinking about the music in a different way. Some lessons would aim to enhance my technical skills while others would focus more on developing my own unique style of playing. Many lessons would end with the 2 of us jamming out and trading 4's which was always a blast! Don was an absolute pleasure and I'd highly recommend him to anyone looking to enhance their skills."
"Before taking lessons with Don I loved playing the drums. But now I ADORE playing them! He is kind, generous, gentle and modest. His playing is inspirational yet he has no ego about it. All this makes him a GREAT teacher. I loved that we did not always use books. Some of my favorite parts of the lessons were when we would just play together. Doing that made me more confident about my skills and abilities as a drummer. I learned so much from him. Basic skills like griping the sticks properly at the fulcrum and using my fingers to get more speed, as well as more advanced concepts, like using the high hat and the bell of the ride cymbal to get that upbeat feel. I am grateful for the lessons I had with Don and will always remember something he said to me, "Just remember, there are many things you still have to learn, but there are also many things that you already know." It made me realize just that." :-)