Teacher Feature: KEATON

Rockdale teachers are the real deal—we make sure of it! We select our teachers here carefully (think CIA application process but harder), making sure that our team meets three key criteria: 

  1. Must absolutely shred on the instrument they teach 
  2. Must be excellent motivators 
  3. Must be able to work patiently with students of all ages.

Today, we’re chatting with Keaton who teaches drums, percussion, piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, and flute.

We talked with him about why he became a teacher, the importance of performing as a new musician, and the music he’s listening to lately.

How long have you been teaching music? 

I have been teaching music since I was 15, when my teacher asked if I could teach some of his students. Have loved teaching ever since!

How long have you been teaching at Rockdale?

I’ve been teaching at Rockdale since 2017 and it’s my favorite studio and community that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

What was your motivation for becoming a teacher?

My favorite part about playing music is the sharing of it with people. The joy and love that comes from music is something that I love being able to share with the future generation.

How long have you been playing music and how did you get started?

I’ve been playing music since I was around 12. I started on guitar and played saxophone and woodwinds in school. I got started because my cousin who was babysitting me had an acoustic guitar and I kept bugging him to teach me something.

He taught me one song and I was hooked. I started bands and had a hard time finding drummers, so I started playing and fell in love.

What advice would you give to a new music student?

Listen!!! Listen to LOTS of music. ALL the music you can get your hands on. There is so much to learn from listening to different styles of music. Beyond that, PRACTICE!!! Practice doesn’t make perfect, there is no “perfect”. Practice makes progress and that’s the name of the game.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Rockdale?

The fact that it’s a performance-based program is super important. We get a lot better from practicing alone but playing music with other people (and for other people) is what truly motivates us to keep getting better and keep working towards that common goal. And let’s face it, performing is the most fun!

What have you been listening to lately?

I’ve been listening a lot to Andy Shauf, The Aretha Franklin Anthology, lots of Brazilian Bloco bands, field recordings from Africa and India, Asian psych compilations from the 60’s, Haitus Kaiyote, The Buddos Band, Charles Bradley, Wu Tang, Rhumba….I listen to ALLLLLL the music!

What’s a fun fact we might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m Indian and was born in England. People assume I’m from South America, I think because of my profound love for their music. I also don’t sound or look British but there it is!

Do you have any projects that you’d like to share?

I recently released music with my band The Dawn Drapes and we have more stuff in the works. Currently working on some solo explorations, which I’ll be excited to share with the world. Other artists records I’ve played on include Ali Awan, Danny Black, Kalob Griffin, Ali Wadsworth, Matt Kelly, Fantasy 15, Petite Sketches, Kirby Sybert and more.

Learn more about all of our Rockdale teachers and contact us for a trial lesson!

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