Andrew Nittoli – Drum Teachers

Drums, Piano, and Mallets
M.M. Jazz Studies
University of the Arts
Classical, Jazz, Rock

I teach Drums, Piano, and Mallets. I currently teach private lessons in Philadelphia and throughout the suburbs to students of all ages. I began playing drums when I was eight years old, which lead me to learn how to play piano and mallets. Growing up in Rochester, NY, I was fortunate to be able to take lessons through the Eastman Community Music School, eventually earning a Pre-College Diploma of Advanced Achievement in 2009. I graduated from the University of the Arts with a Masters degree in Jazz Studies in 2014. Since graduation, I continue to teach and perform at venues all around Philadelphia.





When did you begin playing drums, and why?
I began playing drums when I was 8 years old after many years of listening to music and wanting to be able to play/recreate what I heard.

What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I have been playing mallets since I was 12, and studied vibraphone at University of the Arts. I also play marimba, xylophone, bells, timpani, auxiliary percussion, and piano/synthesizers.  

What are your personal goals as a musician?
As a musician, my goal is to constantly be growing as a performer, educator, improviser, collaborator, and producer.

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?
I remember when I became comfortable with transcribing. This really helped to develop my ears.  

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
“If things aren’t going the way you envision in 5 years, give it another 5 years.”

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
Learning how to play the song “Rumples” by Chris Potter on vibraphone was extremely challenging.

What is your biggest musical achievement?
As of now, my biggest musical achievement would be co-writing the music and performing in the play, An Octoroon at the Wilma Theatre with ILL Doots.  

Favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is being able to see my student’s progress.

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Being a musician is a life long journey that takes an unbelievable amount of practice but it’s important to continuously be learning and listening to musicians that influence you. Motivation is a key factor in progression.

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc.
I play percussion in the band; ILL Doots and we’re currently finishing up our first studio. In addition, I perform with various pit orchestras and will be performing in a few musicals this spring. I also produce a lot of music and am currently working on launching a music licensing company.