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View Ben's Bio

3270 Salem Court
Aurora, Illinois 60504
630.236.7243 studio | 630.464.0576 cell


I come from a character and values-based education philosophy – one in which the merit of what we study is just as relevant as its content. While this is very rewarding, especially in the study of music, it is also difficult to assess or quantify. This is a big part of why I choose to teach in the private sector; I am able to spend more time studying and making music with students – giving them my undivided attention – and less time trying to justify our work together to administrators and other staff members. I absolutely love working with students – from elementary school ages straight through college – and do everything I can to make sure our time together is productive, engaging, and uniquely catered to their specific needs.

It is through a combination of joy, humility, energy, professionalism, musicianship, community engagement, clarity, and life-long learning that I aim to serve the needs of students in order to help them establish their own, unique relationship with music, arts, and their respective communities.

Black Dog Music Studio is a state of the art percussion teaching facility in which students of any age (though, primarily college-bound advanced high school students) can study privately every week with Mr. Ben Wahlund. Lessons are in either half-hour or hour-long increments and can include work with snare drum (concert & rudimental), keyboard (two & four mallets) drumset (jazz, rock, world, etc.), world percussion (congas, steel drums, cajon, etc.) timpani and orchestral percussion (tambourine, triangle, etc.).

Lessons generally consist of rotating between the study of drums and keyboard instruments, but special circumstances arise that may demand focused attention on one more than the other for a while. It should be made very clear, however, that the success of a percussionist depends in large part on his or her ability to play a wide variety of instruments in a very musical fashion. That having been said, students of Black Dog Music Studio should expect to study a lot of different percussion instruments, not just one.

Details about studio policies and student expectations can be found below, as well as a student/parent information sheet to bring to your first lesson.

EDUCATION RESOURCES (click to download PDF)

Studio Policies
& Expectations

Information Sheet

The Forty International Snare Drum Rudiments
The Anatomy of a Roll
Seventeen Basic Drumset Grooves
Clave Patterns
Basic Conga Patterns
Chromatic Scale Exercises
Major and Minor Triplet Arpeggio Exercises
Major Scales with Arpeggios
The Anatomy of a Minor Scale
Natural Minor Scales with Arpeggios
Harmonic Minor Scales with Arpeggios
The Relationship of Relative and Parallel Minor Scales
Common Scales and Modes
The Circle of Fifths/Fourths
Key Signature Recognition and the Order of Flats & Sharps
Ben's Magic Chord Sheet
Four-Mallet Keyboard Exercises
Major and Minor Chord Studies
"Mocha" marimba solo
"Flight" marimba solo
Time Management Sheet
Practice Tips for the Young (and Old) Musician
Suggested Sticks and Mallets
Buying a Drumset
Floppy Paw Book
Of Drumming and Farming
Musing on a Career Teaching Music in the Private Sector &