Allison Miller has been teaching jazz drumming for 20 years. She holds adjunct teaching positions at The New School, Kutztown University, and Jazz Camp West. Allison also teaches privately, gives percussive master classes, and leads big band instructional clinics. She has been a guest artist conducting master classes, clinics, and workshops nationally and internationally – including NYU, UMASS Amherst, Música Moderna i Jazz, Música Creativa Madrid, Laula de Música Moderna i Jazz, Denver School of the Arts, University of Michigan, SF Jazz Center, Berkeley Jazz School, Cornish College, Reed College, University of Wisconsin, University of Washington, Wichita State University, San Diego State, University of Northern Colorado, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Metropolitan State, University of Alaska, Elon University, University of Southern Florida, West Virginia University, University of the Pacific, UC Berkeley, Bryn Mawr, and University of Maryland. She studied from the great Walter Salb, Michael Carvin, and Lenny White.
Allison’s instructional lessons have been published in Modern Drummer Magazine, DRUM Magazine, TomTom Magazine, and Yamaha All Access 360. She is on Yamaha’s Top 30 Clinicians List. Allison believes that developing a solid rhythmic foundation begins on the ride cymbal. And, she believes in keeping it simple, starting with repetition of quarters notes. This repetition allows the student to understand the organics of drumming: pulse, time, motion, vibration, air movement, and the space in between the notes. From there she delves into four-way independence, rudimental technique, melody, feel, phrasing, improvisation, individual sound, and personal style. Allison always encourages her students to listen to the great jazz musicians of the 20th century and often assigns transcription projects.
When working with a small ensemble or big band, Allison teaches students how to play “together” as a group. She focuses on listening to one another and supporting one another. She stresses the use of group dynamics, intonation, and the potential musical power behind an exciting and dynamic big band. She often references the great big bands throughout the 20th century helping students understand that “Jazz music was the POP music of its day. Jazz music is still new, exciting, and fresh. It is a great outlet for musical expression!” – Allison Miller
Allison’s clinics are supported by Yamaha, Zildjian, Vic Firth, and Evans.