Drum Lessons

It’s more than just drum lessons. It’s your personal musical journey.

Through participation in open jam sessions, gigs at well-known Chicago venues, and assistance with writing and publishing original work through our Altered Records subsidiary, you’ll be able to work with other members to keep them in time and on beat.

Drum lessons take drummers of all experience and skill levels far beyond just keeping the beat.

Our drum instruction room is equipped with two state-of-the-art kits, placed side-by-side so members can play along with our instructors real-time — rather than that annoying “I’ll get up, it’s your turn” approach many drum instructors use. Drummers are always in demand, and as a member you’ll get plenty of opportunity to put what you learn to use.

Beat Kitchen

It’s never too late to follow your dreams – in this case, my dream was to become a competent drummer (rock & jazz). From the flexible lesson times, to the entire crew being able to jam out at live shows, this entire experience is beyond what I ever could have expected!

It’s so rewarding to see myself make progress, and even more than that, it’s a blast to apply those new skills at a live show for friends and family to also see. Everything that you get; personal growth, learn an instrument, develop new friendships, and play your favorite songs live…it’s unreal; The monthly cost is more than worth it. Recently, the practice studio was finished in the West Loop, and has elevated the experience even further – a killer lounge with a beer stocked fridge, which is next to the glass encased jam studio, and multiple lesson rooms. Personally, I feel very lucky to be a part of this and know everyone involved.

– Nicholas A.

Nick Kabat, Drum Instructor

Nick Kabat has always held music close to his heart, ever since singing the title track to Phantom of the Opera throughout the house as a two-year-old (or so he is told). Both of his parents are music teachers. Needless to say, there were loads of instruments in the house, and Nick showed plenty of interest in experimenting with them all. A native of Morton Grove, Illinois, Nick completed a bachelor of music degree in jazz studies from DePaul University in 2011. He was fortunate to study under some wonderful musicians during his time at DePaul, including Cliff Colnot, Ron Perrillo, Bob Palmieri, and Bob Rummage. During his career, both during college and thereafter, he has had the pleasure of playing alongside notable jazz performers such as Wynton Marsalis, Phil Woods, Ira Sullivan, and Jeff Hamilton just to name a few. Although he completed a jazz degree, Nick has never been one to play only one style of music. He also has an extensive classical background and currently is a member of both the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra.

Aside from drums and percussion Nick also has a multitude of experience as a pianist. From Mozart piano sonatas to solo lounge jazz sets, versatility has been an important thing for him on this instrument as well. He has done a steady amount of work as a musical rehearsal accompanist to countless musicals such as Urinetown, Avenue Q and Cabaret. He also has helped with high school solo recitals at various schools around Chicagoland, such as Loyola Academy, Niles West and Leyden township high schools. Accompanying choirs from the elementary to high school levels has been another steady source of work for him as well.

Nick has performed on all sorts of stages throughout Chicago, from the stage at Millennium Park to the Cultural Center, and from theater venues like stage 773 to bar venues such as the Hideout, the Whistler and Schubas. Currently, he plays in a number of bands including Future Hits, Atticus Lazenby Group, Fran, Deanna Devore, Jim and the Povolos, and Bluefront. Last summer, he put out an EP of original music with a band called Vilas.

With almost a decade of teaching experience, Nick has had students from the kindergarten age to senior citizens and everyone in between, and always stresses working on material that the student is really going to enjoy.

David Agee, Online Drum Instructor

Chicago expat; United States Navy Band drummer;

David Agee has developed a reputation for his professionalism and versatility as a musician.

Moving to Chicago was the catalyst for Agee’s musical career. The diverse and robust Chicago music scene helped mold Agee into a first-call sideman over the course of a 9-year stint. Agee enjoyed playing the role of a chameleon in many genres: jazz, funk, contemporary pop, New Orleans brass band, zydeco, singer-songwriter, and musical theater among others.

While in Chicago, Agee was featured on 10 album releases and shared the stage with many notable performers: Phil Woods, Renaldo Domino, Mark Colby, Tom Garling, Scott Hesse, Danny Barber, Bob Ojeda, Chris Madsen, Ron Perrillo, Victor Garcia, Patrick Mulcahy, Rob Clearfield, Dennis Carroll, Matt Ulery, Marquis Hill, and opened for Jennifer Hudson. As a sideman, Agee performed with many acts including the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Lowdown Brass Band, Frank Catalano, and Mucca Pazza to name a few. An award-winning musician, Agee was a recipient of the 2016 Luminarts Fellowship for his outstanding performance in jazz improvisation.

David relocated to Washington DC after winning the drumset chair for the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters in 2017.  With the Sea Chanters, Agee has performed for the President of the United States at the White House, Chief of Naval Operations, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NY Giants halftime shows, and the Fireworks Spectacular with the Boston Pops.

Active on the scene in DC and Baltimore, Agee has freelanced with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, American Pops Orchestra, Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, MW9 featuring Jon Irabagon, and performs regularly with his chordless trio Third Rail (Billy Wolfe, Horacio Calvo) and is the bandleader of District Brass.

Justin LaForte, Drum Instructor

Justin’s first love was classic rock – but his musical interests didn’t stop there. Eventually earning his BA in Music and performance from Loyola University Chicago, he studied jazz with Kyle Asche, Scott Burns, Victor Garcia, and Anthony Molinaro, and classical guitar with Peter Aglinskas. Justin is a performing musician, equally at home playing in musical theatre pits, weddings, and shows with his own rock bands.

For the last decade Justin has worked for gear website zZounds.com as their main on-camera demo musician, creating product demo videos for anything from guitars, basses, keyboards, pedals, and amplifiers. He also writes and produces all of his own songs for the company, and serves as their main recording and mixing engineer.

Justin is proficient on guitar, bass, and drums. If you are interested in learning rock, jazz, funk, blues, classical, music theory, or songwriting then Justin is your guy!

See if our unique vibe is right for you!