Teaching Bio

John Damberg is a seasoned music instructor with over 40 years of experience teaching students of all ages in Anchorage, AK, Seattle, WA, and Detroit, MI. He is the instructor of Percussion at UAA, manages a full studio of private music students, and is the President and instructor for the Alaska Jazz Workshop (AJW) founded in 2000. The AJW is a community supported non-profit providing jazz education and performance opportunities for students from grade 7 through adults. John is also a frequent guest clinician at middle, high school, and university music festivals in Alaska and the Pacific N.W.

Education: John holds a Bachelors Degree in Orchestral Percussion Performance from Wayne State University, a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance, Jazz Studies & Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, and a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Performance Experience: Leader/Composer/Vibist: John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet and JoMaLa Jazz Quintet-1995 to present.
Vibist & drummer with Acclaimed Jazz Artists: Winton Marsalis, Kristin Korb, Denis Diblasio, Rebeca Mauleon,  Bobby Shew, Oscar Stagnaro, Jovino Santos Neto, Michael Davis, Miimi Fox, Vince Cherico, Barney McClure, Milt Jackson, Cedar Walton, and Peggy Stern.
Percussionist with: The Temptations, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Harry Connick Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., James Ingram, Dionne Warwick; Broadway Shows including: A Chorus Line, the Wiz, the King and I; and the Detroit, Seattle, & Anchorage Symphony Orchestras.

John specializes in teaching private lessons and group workshops & clinics in the following areas:
Percussion instruments: vibes, marimba, steel drum, drum set, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian hand percussion instruments,  snare drum, timpani, orchestral percussion accessory instruments. Topics include basic technical skills, music reading, song repertoire development and interpretation, and practical music business skills.

Jazz Improvisation: Instruction in creative musical development at the beginning through advanced levels. Exploration of practical music theory, song forms, the different scales and modes, and techniques for the construction of improvised music melody lines. Instruction in developing group teaming and music business skills.

Piano: Instruction in practical piano skills required to play in jazz, pop, and commercial bands including: real time music reading, practical music theory, chord formation and chord symbol identification, exploration of a variety of of music scales and modes used in composing and improvising music and developing one’s inner musical voice through self expression.







“My Mission is to help you open the door to your inner creativity, 
so you can blossom as a person and live a more full, rich, and balanced life through the study of the art of music!”  John Damberg
, Alaska Master Percussionist, Bandleader, Composer, Educator & Businessman

John teaches private and group music lessons from beginning to advanced levels for students from age 8 through adults. He specializes in teaching the following subject areas:
 Drum Set, Keyboard Percussion, Timpani, Orchestral Accessory Instruments, Latin & African Hand Percussion, Steel Drums, Piano, Practical Music Theory, Improvisation, Business and Music Technology skills.

Skills Taught: Performance Techniques, Reading Music, Music Theory, Improvisation, Communication and Group teaming skills. Also Practical Music Business & Technology Skills.

Student Benefits: Experience the joy of creating music and develop better ensemble communication & performance skills. Develop your inner creativity. Improve your rhythmic skills, and develop your coordination. Explore other World cultures and their musical styles.

Fees: $30 for 1/2 hour and $60 for 1 hour private lessons. I also give Skype and Face time lessons for the same rates to long distance students.

Teaching Locations:  John Damberg Studio of Percussion in East Anchorage or UAA Arts Building, Drum Studio for UAA students seeking college credit.


For more  information please call:
 (907) 332-3234 or e-mail john_damberg@gci.net






Let’s Improvise: Learning the Fun Art of Music Improvisation

Find your inner musical voice through improvisation: beginning – advanced levels.

Let’s Create Music Together: Small Combo Improvisation Skills and Techniques

Covers basic music theory and composition skills, song forms, group communication

Understanding the Percussionist’s Learning Styles and Psyche

Circular vs. Linear learning styles: a comparison

Tapping into the Oral Tradition of learning

Marching to the beat of a different drummer’s learning styles

Basic Percussion Techniques and Skills for all Percussion Instruments including:

Drum set

Keyboard percussion: vibes, marimba, xylophone, bells, chimes

Latin hand percussion:  congas, bongos, timbales, claves, guiro

Orchestral percussion: timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals

Functional Piano Introduction: Skills needed to play in bands of all types

Sight reading 101-Tips for Developing Effective Sight reading Skills

Enhance Your Musical Self Expression Through Hand Drumming, Singing & Improvisation

Introduction to Finale Notation Software program & How it applies to percussion notation

Exploring the Rhythmically Rich Music of Africa, the Caribbean Countries, and Brazil.

For more detailed information on the workshops listed above please contact John Damberg at 907-332-3234 or john_damberg@gci.net