University of the Arts
I am an artist, a musician, mentor and educator. People say I am an old soul with fresh ideas. I am a well-versed drummer and pianist in Philadelphia who has played with a variety of artists across the country. I studied music performance at the University of the Arts. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University. and have continued my education in clinical and counseling psychology at postgraduate level. With a background in special education, behavioral health and Music Education, I understand that each student has a unique learning process and learning style and my job is to teach them accordingly.
When did you begin playing and why?
I began playing piano at age five as I was instinctually mesmerized by the magic and mystery of sound and music. As I watched live music performances as a small child, I was drawn to the way musicians connected to one another while playing music. The television was constantly on in my house and I used to play piano by ear and try to figure out theme songs for tv shows and commercial jingles. I also listened to the radio and tried to learn songs by ear on piano. At age six I studied piano privately for a few years on and off.
At the age twelve I played a drum set for the first time and was enamored with the novelty and magic of creating beats. I received my first drum set at age thirteen and have studied drum set constantly since then.
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I studied with many teachers along the way as I became a teenager, I began playing drums with other friends and musicians and started a rock band. I continued to play piano and drums in bands. Currently I tend to compose and arrange mostly on piano and perform mostly on drum set and percussion.
What are your personal goals as a musician?
As a professional musician my personal goals are to better my relationship to myself and my connection to others through music. I look at music as a personal mediation and an ongoing communal activity that brings people together through healthy communication and collaboration. In order to reach these goals, I try to stress the importance of mastery of the instrument in order for me to articulate my musical ideas clearly. Additionally, I value the virtue of sharing my original music with the world I order to enrich and inspire other to create and collaborate and to ultimately unite people.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
It took me a long time to realize the importance of constantly playing music with different people in order to become a better player and to enhance overall musicianship. Music is a means of communication and a language of its own. One day it just clicked that just like learning a foreign language, I need to actually have a conversation with others in the language of music in order to improve my communication skills and overall musicianship.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your pasts (or current) teachers?
My favorite piece of advice from teachers is that are no short cuts in life not even in music. When it comes to disciplining yourself to become a better musician you have to put the work in and not overlook the aspects of musicianship that are lacking.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
My most challenging moment learning drums was learning to keep time and maintain a consistent tempo without the use of a metronome or click track It is the most important and overlooked concept because it is so simple to understand yet so complicated to master.
What is your biggest musical achievement?
My biggest musical achievement has been the ability to compose and perform my original music with musicians whom I admire most to an audience who respects and appreciates the music I offer them.
Favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is that it constantly clarifies and reinforces my knowledge and awareness of music. Every time I teach a student a concept in music, I try to explain the concept in a variety of ways depending on the student’s learning style, which consequently helps me to understand the concept more clearly.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
My advice to anyone starting to learn an instrument is to allow yourself to have a lot of patience and enjoy the learning process. Make practicing fun and play with other musicians whenever you can.
Personal music projects:
I Currently Play with an original rock band called “Souls in Fire”
I have my own jazz trio “Dave Pearl and Friends” and I am continually hired as a side man for ongoing projects with fellow musicians.