Instructor Bio

Drum Lesson Teacher Richmond VA

Jeff W. Johnson - Owner and Instructor

Johnson Drum Instruction

Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA


Jeff is extremely active as a professional drummer and drum teacher.  He has an extensive musical background, having studied with some of the best instructors in music today.  He has studied classical percussion with Robert Nowak, drum set with Steve Fidyk, and hand technique with the legendary Joe Morello.   His formal education includes Wilkes University, Capital  University Conservatory of Music and the world's premier drum school, Drummers Collective, NYC.  


Jeff has toured the United States as a member of the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, performing in concert halls, jazz clubs, schools, and jazz festivals throughout the United States.  He was a featured soloist on Miller classics, "Bugle Call Rag" and "All the Cats Joined In." 

Prior to GMO, Jeff served as the house  drummer for Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA for over ten years.  Much of that time was spent with the Starlight Orchestra, performing authentic arrangements of the Basie, Miller, Dorsey, and Goodman bands.   He performed for Busch Gardens' Festhaus, Italy, and Starfright big band shows.  Jeff has also performed for special events at Kingsmill and in Las Vegas.  He has subbed in shows at Water Country USA.

Jeff was also employed by Carnival Cruise Lines as a show band musician completing contracts on the M.S. Fascination and M.S. Fantasy.  There he performed everything from jazz and big-band music to Vegas-style shows.  He has also performed with many small combos in a variety of musical settings including jazz, rock, and reggae. 

Jeff is currently performing with Swing Machine, an all star jazz big band based in DC.  With that ensemble, he has performed in concert halls and jazz clubs.  He played drums on Swing Machine's first CD, Mid-Life Crisis, as well as the Jason Paul Curtis CD, Lover's Holiday.  With Swing Machine, Jeff has backed artists such as trumpet legend Wayne Bergeron, Grammy nominated vocalist Juanita Williams, America's Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr, Tower of Power's "Iron" Mike Bogart, and the lead vocalists from the Temptations, Drifters, and Platters.  Jeff also freelances in Richmond, Virginia and the DC area with groups that range in size from small jazz ensembles to symphony orchestras. 


Jeff is officially endorsing Vic Firth sticks, mallets and accessories.  He is also an endorser for Sabian cymbals and author for Alfred Publishing.  



Jeff is in demand as a drum teacher.  He is a member of the Vic Firth Private Drum Teachers Program and the Percussive Arts Society.  Jeff has been included in the Dom Famularo/Modern Drummer Magazine list of the world's"top notch instructors."

His teaching centers on reading, technique, coordination, and knowledge of styles.  He utilizes traditional teaching methods while also incorporating modern technology.  His teaching studio in Richmond has an abundance of musical software as well as a large selection of CDs and DVDs for supplemental lesson material. 

Jeff also specializes in preparing students for auditions.  His students have gone on to Capital University Conservatory of Music, Los Angeles Music Academy, Berklee College of Music, University of the Arts, the Armed Forces School of Music, and other prestigious music programs.  He also prepares Richmond area school students for marching band, jazz band, district band, and state band auditions. 

Jeff is often asked to teach group lessons and workshops in public and private schools in the Richmond area.  He designed and taught an Introduction to Drumming class for the University of Richmond's School of Continuing Studies.  He also teaches drumset and percussion at various summer jazz camps.

Although Jeff has previously taught drum lessons at several music stores in the Richmond, VA area, he is now teaching exclusively at Johnson Drum Instruction. 

Jeff's drum technique book, The Level System, was released by Alfred Publishing in April 2012.  It is an overview of the accenting system that he studied with Joe Morello.
Jeff has been asked by The Percussive Arts Society to review drumset material for their journal, Percussive Notes.  His reviews have been in every issue since March 2013.  He also had reviews published in the Percussive Arts Society's Rhythm! Scene Magazine.

Modern Drummer Magazine has published Jeff's articles in the Sept., Oct., and Nov. 2015 issues.
Jeff accepts drum students of all ages and levels - from beginner to advanced.  Whether you are just learning to play drums or are an advanced drummer looking to take your playing to the next level, Johnson Drum Instruction in Richmond, VA has the knowledge and expertise to help you fulfill your goals.  To schedule a drum lesson please contact Jeff using any of the means below:
Johnson Drum Instruction 
Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA 
Lessons by appointment only
1700 Forest Glen Rd.
Richmond, VA