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Timothy J. Thompson


Teaches Percussion, Drum Set

Your personal history is part of what happens with your hands and your head as you play music!  - Dave Grohl

Interested in taking lessons with Timothy J. Thompson

Teaches at:
Current Projects

Honored/Selected as a National Weekly Judge for the 2019 “Hit Like a Girl” Contest., Developer/Coordinator of an accredited Internship Program for Music/Percussion students in collaboration with Villa Maria College, Buffalo, New York., Primary fundraiser of the 5th Annual Ted Reinhardt Drum Days in Tonawanda New York. Proceeds generated provide two scholarships annually to Kenmore East High School students pursuing music., Community host of Carolina Crown while competing at DCI Drums Along the Waterfront every August. Generates financial support through local businesses and promotes student involvement with drum corps activities., Supporter of the “Buffalo Drummers Project” that collects and refurbishes used drums for donation to families with kids who cannot afford drum kits., Promotion of local drum clinics and workshops for students through the Percussive Arts Society.


Houghton College, Penn State University

Musical Interests

Progressive Rock/Metal, Big Band Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Contemporary Worship, Drum Corps International, EDM and its influence on acoustical percussion

Favorite Bands

Rush, Yes, Journey, ANY band with Steve Gadd on drums, Buddy Rich Big Band, Steely Dan, The Foo Fighters, Glenn Miller Orchestra, TobyMac, for KING & COUNTRY, Among the Wolves (Buffalo), Carolina Crown, Phantom Regiment

Performance Experience

Penn State University Jazz Band, Westshoremen DCA Drum Corps, Wizard (Rock/Metal Band), Tyme (Pop/Cover Band)

Areas of Instruction

Percussion, Drum Set

Teaching Experience

Hamburg Percussion Studio - Private Instruction 2011 to Current, Orchard Park High School QMB Percussion Battery Instructor - 2017 to Current, West Perry High School, Elliottsburg Pennsylvania - 1981-1989, Percussion Director, Cedar Cliff High School, Camp Hill Pennsylvania - 1983-1986, Percussion Director, Red Land High School, Lewisberry Pennsylvania - 1982-83, Percussion Instructor, Lewistown High School, Lewistown Pennsylvania - 1982-1983, Percussion Instructor, Hanover High School, Hanover Pennsylvania - 1979-1981, Percussion Instructor

Levels Taught

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, All

Specialties / Genres Taught

Rudimental Drumming, Rock/Metal, Jazz, Marching Percussion, Cajon/Hand Drums, Moeller Method, Traditional and Match Grip

About Timothy J. Thompson

Timothy Thompson has been a passionate percussionist for over 45 years. He is a third-generation drummer, a tradition that started with his Grandfather, Gifford W. Thompson Sr., who played in Jazz and Dance Bands in Philadelphia in the 1920's on a Barry Collapsible Drum Kit.

The core of Mr. Thompson’s teaching and performance began in the 1980s while attending Penn State University and Houghton College. He also began arranging/teaching High School level competitive drumlines during this period. 

His percussion experiences span a wide range of performance and study focus, from jazz, rock, blues, fusion, funk, & worship. Top influences include Steve Gadd, Joe Morello, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Neil Peart, Tommy Igoe, Gary Novak, and Dave Weckl. His love of Jazz and Swing styles is a direct result from studying with David Lazorcik, Dave Stahl Big Band Jazz Drummer from 1978-1981. 

On the opposite of the percussion spectrum, Mr. Thompson’s rudimental drive and passion for drumline excellence came from his years of studying with Gary Lenderman, the legendary DCI Drum Corps and High School Percussion Director, from 1978 to 1983. 

This unique variety of experience served as a catalyst for performance as a drummer for Penn State University Jazz Band and as a professional drummer for local rock bands from 1981 to 1986.  While performing with the DCA Senior Drum Corps "Westshoremen,” Tim began a successful teaching career spanning over ten years in the 1980s as a High School Percussion instructor and composer for multiple award winning High Schools in Central Pennsylvania.

"Tim was a former drum student of mine and excellent leader. His personality and high musical ability is a perfect match for teaching young students. He will make the experience fun for the students and provide them with excellent musical skills!” - Frank Schreiner, Music Director (retired) West Shore School District Lewisberry, Pennsylvania

Mr. Thompson has over 35 years of experience and is in high demand for private student instruction with currently 30+ students from Hamburg, Orchard Park, East Aurora, West Seneca, Eden, Derby, Boston, North Collins, and surrounding Southtowns.

Timothy Thompson provides drum lessons to students who attend over 20 different schools representing 11 different school districts including Orchard Park Central School District, Hamburg Central School District, Frontier Central School District, Eden Central School District, North Collins Central School District, Lake Shore Central School District, East Aurora Union Free School District, and Gowanda Central School District.  Tim also has drum lesson students from home school organizations and attend private schools such as Southtowns Catholic, Nativity of Our Lord School, and St. Francis High School.

Tim is a member of ECMEA/NYSSMA and currently supports and prepares multiple students for county and state competitions. He also consults and mentors other music teachers nationally through live video webinars on MeetHook.

"My daughter is in her 5th year of lessons (with Timothy Thompson). One of the best decisions we ever made was to enroll her in lessons. Tim has helped her prepare so well for ECMEA auditions that she has achieved placement in All-County Bands &/or Symphonic Orchestra several years in a row. Because of his work with her, she is playing at a level far above what a child her age is expected to play - including being elevated to the invitation-only high school wind ensemble at her school as an 8th grader. Tim's positive, rewarding style of teaching allows students of all ages to feel comfortable and develop a true passion for drumming. I cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are that Tim was referred to us when we began looking for lessons for our daughter all those years ago!"  -Christy S.

Timothy Thompson is also on staff as Percussion Battery Instructor for Orchard Park High School Quaker Marching Band, Six Time New York State Champions NYSFBC, and is a Substitute Teacher for Orchard Park School District.

Tim’s teaching philosophy is simple! He provides the student the proper foundation for hand control, sticking patterns, technique, posture, reading music, and a strong focus on rudiment development. It is a proven method that has worked for countless professional drummers!

Tim provides the basics through proven beginner Drum Lesson books. But the difference is TIM MAKES IT FUN!  Snare development is fundamental for all percussionists, but Tim introduces the Drum Kit in small pieces throughout the student experience while still focusing on foundation skills. This maintains the motivation, the fun, and develops confidence early. 

Tim encourages "listening skills" and dissecting rhythms while looking at professional drummers to interpret different styles.  This develops not only "the chops" but develops the student’s CREATIVITY and PASSION for percussion and keeps it FUN for years to come!

"If you are a beginner drum student 5 years or older, an Elementary through High Student looking to improve skills for Band or ECMEA/NYSSMA, an adult beginner looking to play with friends, or youth/adults wanting to learn to play the Drum Kit or Cajon for worship teams at church...let me share my passion for playing drums with you!"

"I am absolutely thrilled to join the Music & Arts family to teach drum lessons at the new flagship location in Orchard Park NY (formerly Al Hemer Music).  I have many colleagues throughout the United States that provide drum lessons at Music & Arts locations!  They have a great dedication to provide for the local music community and it's students!  I teach Youth and Adult Students, beginner to advanced. Please contact the store to arrange available drum lesson times with me."   -Timothy Thompson 

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Orchard Park, NY Music & Arts 716-662-9533 ORCHARD PARK NY