I recently thought about my first lesson with the great drummer and educator Ed Soph. I was eighteen years old at the time, and my parents drove me from our home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to see Ed in New Haven, Connecticut. Before leaving for the lesson, I proudly packed every method book that I’d worked on into an old suitcase. Once we arrived and got settled in his upstairs teaching studio, he began to thumb through my books, briefly commenting on the vast number of materials I’d studied.

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