Hi everyone,

What an interesting time we are in. With the majority of the country practicing social distancing, we’re all learning to adapt to the new norm. Soon we will get through it, and hopefully be back to normal.

I’ve had a few people reach out to me – whether they’re current or former students, or some I’ve never had the opportunity to meet in person. With the extra time at home, some were asking for recommendations on how to improve their playing, while others are looking to get back into drumming. Combining that with thinking of ways to provide lessons for my students, I’ve come up with a new section of the website – best part? It’s FREE.

If you visited the Drum Lessons portion of the site, you probably saw the new Drum Essentials. This section was created for both my students and fellow educators. It’s an area that provides lessons on technique and drum set fundamentals, as well as lessons on the 40 essential rudiments from the Percussive Arts Society. It’s a 1 stop shop that includes video lessons as well as PDF’s covering all the exercises, examples, and challenges for each lesson. Along with the lessons are a checklist that helps you keep track of your journey, as well as a practice grid from fellow educator Marc Dicciani. His practice grid helps you make the most out of your practice time, in order for it to be the most effective. I highly recommend you also check out his article Feedback-Balanced Creative Practice from the January 2020 issue of Modern Drummer Magazine.

So head over to the Drum Essentials section, learn a thing or two, and have fun!

Until next time,

-Nick

Hello everyone!

I hope your 2020 is off to a great start. it’s been a while since the last update, and I wanted to update everyone on some recent events.

As you know, I’ve been working on integrating drum set education into the k-12 music classroom. To help make this into a reality the School District of Philadelphia is currently outfitting all 220 schools with drum set packages from Ludwig Drums, Remo Heads, Vic Firth Sticks, and Zildjian Cymbals! Elementary schools are receiving the Questlove pocket kit, and Middle/High schools are receiving the Questlove breakbeat kit. With all of this exciting news, the PA department of education is working with us to help create and implement Modern Band curriculum into all public schools within the state! This is supper exciting as I’ll continue to assist with workshops, sessions, and clinics to help educators feel confident with teaching drum set in their classrooms.

On the performance side, I’m still helping the guys in St. Brendan with recording and shows. We have released a handful of singles in 2019, which can all be found on the MUSIC page of the site. We have a show coming up on January 25th at Bourbon and Branch in Philly with our friends in Andorra, Jamie and the Guarded Heart, and Hartline!

Finally, I’m excited to announce that I’m officially an educational artist for Zildjian! I’ve been playing Z since I started on this journey when I was 9, and I couldn’t be happier to endorse them along with Ludwig, Remo, and Vic Firth.

That’s all for now, until next time!

-Nick

Hi Everyone!

We finally made it to the summer of 2019, and I still have a ton of things going on!

First off, I filled in for my buddy Ron DiSilvestro (Producer/Engineer/Drummer) with the Tim Williams band on June 1st. It was a pop-up beer truck event with Stickman Brewing – which was a perfect start to the summer. Make sure you visit their website(s) to check when they’re playing again – tell them I sent you!

I also wrapped up my 6th year as a CIMT for the School District of Philadelphia the beginning of the month. Besides the drumline from FLC winning the Kimmel Center’s Drumline of the Year 2019 competition, we have made tremendous improvements to the district’s “Modern Band” curriculum. We are beginning to see traction within the district, and it has given me the opportunity to facilitate workshops for the music educators of the district. Towards the end of the school year, I was asked by my supervisor to escort the PA Department of Education’s Art liaison to some of the schools who have implemented Modern Band into their classrooms. It was exciting to hear that the state is working on creating a Modern Band curriculum, and they’re asking us to assist as consultants! It is amazing to see what we have worked on for the last 5 years gain recognition to the point that the state wants to implement it for all districts! Because of this and my candidacy for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (more on that later), it has come to my realization that I need to focus more time to my role within the School District of Philadelphia and step down from my role at Villanova.

I truly loved what I did as the Percussion Coordinator at Villanova. People use to ask me about my career, and would be shocked to hear I worked full time for the SDP along with teaching at Villanova and UArts, while continuing as a performing drummer. I use to explain how my schedule wasn’t that bad, and that I did it because I loved to do all of it. When the Modern Band/PA Department of Ed. situation was brought to my attention, it was obvious that I needed to make sure I did what was best for everyone. By stepping down I can give myself the needed time to complete my NBPTS certification, while making sure the students involved with the Office of Music Activities receive the instruction they deserve. I was lucky enough to work with so many students – some of which never played before, to others who were top chairs of their state bands. We all devoted a ton of time to provide music for the Villanova community and the Greater Philadelphia region – even had the chance to see 2 national championships! From sporting events to homecoming, concerts to performances at alumni weddings, and even providing music for CHOP and the Special Olympics – we made a lot of music, and I have no doubt they will continue to do so. I cannot thank the students and alumni I encountered for their support, donations, and friendships. Because of them we were able to get brand new marching equipment two years ago, and even partnered with my friends at Zildjian, Remo, Vic Firth, and Ludwig to make sure our students had the best equipment available to them. I cannot thank Beth Sokolowski, John Dunphy, George Pinchock, Christine Naas, Laura Orr, and Ben Godwin for the opportunity to be apart of the Office of Music Activities. I have learned so much and adapted what I do as an educator because of my experience there.

Finally like I mentioned before, I am a candidate for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards! I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship from the William Penn Foundation to pursue this additional certification, and believe this is the perfect time to complete it. I’m excited to start on this journey that will challenge me to become a better educator, which I know will help me with continuing to assist with Modern Band for the district.

That’s it for now, until next time,

-Nick

Hi Everyone,

Summer is around the corner, which means the school year is coming to a close. Since the last update there have been numerous concerts, performances, clinics and even a few drum restorations!

As I continue my career as an educator, I’m beginning to facilitate clinics/workshops on my curriculum how to integrate drum set studies into the general music classroom. I’ve had the privilege to work with the music teachers of the School District of Philadelphia during a Professional Development day (January 11th), along with co-facilitating a Tune-Up Tuesday workshop with my co-worker from Franklin Learning Center Michelle Frank. I was even asked to present a workshop to the students of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 11 Orchestra – where I discussed my career as a full time musician and educator.

Nick Costa's clinic setup for his workshop on how to integrate drum set studies into the general music classroom. Ludwig Drums, Remo Heads, Vic Firth Sticks, Zildjian Cymbals.
Nick Costa’s clinic setup for his workshop on how to integrate drum set studies into the general music classroom. Ludwig Drums, Remo Heads, Vic Firth Sticks, Zildjian Cymbals.

As for performances, I’m still playing with St. Brendan – who has recently released a few singles. You can listen to them on the MUSIC page of the site! I’ve also played several musicals including Legally Blonde and Chicago!

Shot of Nick before opening curtain for Legally Blonde the Musical.  Ludwig Drums, Remo Heads, Vic Firth Sticks, Zildjian Cymbals
A photo before opening curtain for Legally Blonde the Musical.

Finally – I recently added some of the drum restorations I’ve completed, including some drums for the School District of Philadelphia. It’s great to get some vintage drums back into the classroom to learn on, including an old Ludwig marching snare that was labeled “damaged beyond repair.” You can check out the photos of that drum, along with some restoration videos of my 67 Ludwig Downbeat Kit in the DRUM RESTORATIONS photo album of the site!

Vintage Ludwig 15" Marching Snare restored by Nick Costa for Franklin Learning Center (Philadelphia, PA)
The vintage 15″ marching snare before restoration
Vintage Ludwig 15" Marching Snare restored by Nick Costa for Franklin Learning Center (Philadelphia, PA)
The drum after restoration


Although a lot has happened, I’m excited to continue on this path as an educator and musician. Make sure to stay up to date with everything by checking the DATES page, as well as following me on instagram.

Until Next time,

-Nick

Hi Everyone,

Hope you’re transitioning into the fall! Since the last update, the Villanova Band began their year with camp in August and have hit the ground running ever since. From football games, to the parents weekend showcase and Hoops Mania in the new Finneran Pavilion – they have been BUSY!

I’ve also continued teaching my two drum set for non-majors courses at UArts, where students get credit to learn how to play the drums with me – who doesn’t want to get college credit for playing the drums?!

For the School District of Philadelphia – we are wrapping up the 1st quarter of the school year. All programs are going strong, and I’ve even began teaching music production at Franklin Learning Center while continuing to teach drum lessons. Students will have the opportunity to learn about both live sound reinforcement, and recording/producing music!

As for performing, you’ll see me from time to time at ValleyPoint Church, while still playing with St. Brendan around Philly.  St. Brendan will be playing Bourbon and Branch this Friday, Oct 26th with some of my friends in Here/Now.

Finally – St. Brendan just released a new single titled “Liar“.  Check out the MUSIC page to listen, and feel free to download it from their bandcamp.

 

Until next time,

-Nick

Hi Everyone,

I’m excited to announce that I will be assisting Marc Dicciani, Dean of the College of Performing arts at the University of the Arts, with his two summer drum set courses for Music Educators.

The University of the Arts Summer Music Studies is a program that helps educators earn credits towards their matriculated graduate degree, or for those looking for non-matriculated credits for Professional Development. The two courses I’ll be assisting with are:

  • Introduction to the Drum Set – for Educators looking for a foundation in Drum Set
  • Playing the Drums: Level 2 – for those who may have taken Marc’s course in the past, or has a solid understanding of the drum set.

Both courses will take place June 25 – 29 at Ursinus College, and are 3 credits each.  Additional information and registration details can be found HERE.

 

Looking forward to teaching educators how to incorporate drum set into their classroom!

-Nick

Hi everyone!

A lot has been going on since the last update. We’re getting closer to summer break which means spring concerts, musicals, and final performances of the school year.  Along with all of that, I’ve also been able to:

  • Record and release a new EP with St. Brendan called “The Talk EP” – Check it out in the MUSIC section of the site, and feel free to purchase it from any online retailer
  • Teach 3 Professional Development workshops for the School District of Philadelphia on how to integrate Drum Set studies into the K-12 general music classroom!

Since 2017, I’ve been writing curriculum on how to integrate drum set studies into the general music classroom.  As educators, we begin teaching music using rhythmic theory, but why is it that the majority of educators can’t play the drums? This book allows you to use the lessons you already implement in your classroom, but relate them to the drum set.  It also gives you tips, tricks, and lessons so you can be prepared and comfortable teaching your students how to play the drum set!  The book is available in the STORE section of the site.

Along with teaching the workshops and creating the book, I’m excited to announce I will be assisting Marc Dicciani with his summer drum set courses for Music Educators!  If you’re an educator looking to earn their matriculated graduate degree, and/or need non-matriculated credit for Professional Development, check out the two courses that will run June 25-29th!  Additional details for each courses can be found at the University of the Arts’ Summer Music Studies Page.

 

Be sure to check the DATES page for upcoming shows, clinics, and more!

 

Until next time,

-Nick

Happy 2018 everyone!  Over the past few months I’ve been looking over the website thinking of ways to improve it.  There was a lot of content, some good, some bad – and I’ve decided it was time for a clean up.

So welcome – we have trimmed the fat to prepare for the future. My goal with this site is to keep you up to date with everything I’m doing, but also to create a space for you to learn from.  Recordings, videos, PDFs, cadences, you name it – I want you to come here and receive content that will help you improve as a musician.

So welcome – keep checking back for updates, but also keep an eye on social media for photos, live streams, videos, etc!

Instagram – PracticallyNick

Facebook – NickCostaDrums

YouTube – NickCostaMusic

Twitter – PracticallyNick