Teaching Area: Drums, Piano, Ear Training, Arranging, Music Theory
Andy Danstrom started studying music at age 10 and slowly his love for piano and drum set grew. By the beginning of high school, he knew that music would be the main focus of his life. He went on to study with master drummer-musician-composer, Dana Hall, at DePaul University for 4 years. "Studying with Dana Hall was such an intense experience, slowly it became less about being a great musician and more about being a great artist and being emotionally vulnerable and expressive." This experience has shaped the way he thinks about teaching, performing, and band-leading.
In Andy's eyes, music is a microcosm for society that allows individuals to explore emotional and intellectual ideas before putting them into practice in everyday life. The value this has in an individual's life cannot be overstated. Andy credits the foundation of his own spiritual and intellectual growth to the pursuit of music and this personal experience with music drives him to help his students grow any way he can.
As a teacher, Andy stresses musicality and a thoughtfulness about playing the instrument. He strives to make sure his students are understanding the "why" and much as the "what." He finds it important to instill an understanding of the fundamentals as much as an ability to play something correctly. If a student can build a proper foundation, they will have the opportunity to develop into fully formed musicians if that is something they choose to do. Above all else, he hopes to nurture a true love and appreciation for music that can enrich a students life long after lessons stop.
Andy has been playing music professionally since moving to Chicago in 2014. In that time he has performed and led groups to play many of the jazz venues across the city, including the Jazz Showcase and Andy's Jazz Club. He is currently freelancing and performing in many different groups across the Chicago jazz scene, as well as composing and leading his own projects.