Percussion Lessons At The Conservatory


Percussion Lessons At The Conservatory

Wisconsin’s Top Percussion Program

* Please Note – All WCM programs have moved online while physical locations are closed.

Whether you are first exploring the world of percussion or are well on your journey, the Conservatory Percussion faculty will guide you on your voyage. Offering individual and group instruction in drum set, orchestral percussion, rudimental studies, keyboard percussion, and hand percussion, the Conservatory is a perfect place to focus your craft or broaden your percussive palette.

Ages: All Ages
Locations: Bayside/Fox Point, Downtown Milwaukee, Brookfield, Online


New Student Online Lesson Discount

$190 for six 30-minute lessons

Online music lessons use easy-to-use Zoom Video Conferencing and give you access to more than 90 skilled faculty members for any instrument and genre. Join a community of more than 10,000 students and schedule your first lessons today!



african drumming

Percussion Lessons At The Conservatory

What You Can Expect

Percussion instruments can be found on stage with the symphony orchestra, marching in a parade or a football game, swinging with the jazz band, and making music in schools every day. The Conservatory’s percussion program will provide:

  • A welcoming and inclusive learning environment.
  • Solo and ensemble performance opporuntites, both informal and in recital format.
  • The chance to learn new rhythms and drumming techniques while exploring a vast repertoire.
  • Students between the ages of 9-14 can participate in Band Beginnings for a comprehensive music education.




Jazz & Contemporary Music

The Conservatory’s new Jazz & Contemporary Music offerings will continue to preserve and share the unique heritage of American Jazz — a longstanding WCM tradition — while celebrating its proud heritage that is ever present in the music of today.


boys playing trombone

For Ages 9 – 14

Percussion Beginnings Package

In addition to individual music lessons and classes, kids & teens can enroll in several comprehensive packages that include a group class, private lesson, and music theory component.


Dad and Daughters Together

Open for Percussion Students

Music Theory Classes

Create compositions, learn basic piano skills, and better understand the music that you create with our new Music Theory classes – now available for all ages.

Music Theory Classes can be taken individually or bundled with a private lesson and group class (Conservatory Prep package), for a comprehensive musical experience.

Learn More

Jazz Camp 2020

For Students with 2+ Years of Experience & Beyond

Intermediate & Advanced Programs

Students with at least two or more years on their instrument can enroll in an ensemble or audition for the Advanced Chamber Music Institute and the Honors Jazz Institute.

Dad and Daughters Together

Open to Percussion Students

Music Theory Classes

Create compositions, learn basic piano skills, and better understand the music that you create with our new Music Theory classes – now available for all ages.

Music Theory Classes can be taken individually or bundled with a private lesson and group class (Conservatory Prep package), for a comprehensive musical experience.


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Percussion Faculty

Meet Our Teachers


Eliana Alcocer


  • Bachelor of Music, Percussion Performance | University of Wisconsin-Parkside


  • Joined the WCM team in 2020.
  • Enjoys teaching, collaborating, and performing in a variety of different settings.
  • Recipient of the Percussive Arts Societies’ Ludwig Industries Scholarship.
  • Has been a soloist for the 2018 Wisconsin Days of Percussion.
  • Has been a featured recitalist for the BMO noon concert series at UW-Parkside.
  • Additionally, Eliana also enjoys teaching through Ravinia’s Reach, Teach, Play program.

Benjamin Haimann


  • Bachelor Degree, Music Education, Music Performance | Ohio State University
  • Master Degree, Music Performance | University of South Carolina


  • A native of Lombard, Illinois, Ben began his musical studies at age nine playing drum set and taking private percussion lessons
  • During the summers of 2014 and 2015, he served as the Teaching Assistant and Counselor for the Instrumental Music Program at The North Carolina Governor’s School East where he coached the percussion ensemble and spent time conducting the wind ensemble.
  • In 2016 and 2017, Ben was the front ensemble instructor with the Grove City High School Marching Band, including a trip to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
  • While studying at Ohio State, he was awarded the prestigious Presser Foundation Scholarship.
  • Ben served as a graduate assistant for the University of South Carolina percussion studio and was the percussionist for the Spark Collective, a graduate quintet focusing on community engagement through music.
  • Ben was fortunate enough to win the concerto competition at the University of South Carolina in 2018 and performed Kevin Puts’ Marimba Concerto No. 1 with the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra in 2019.
  • In his free time, Ben enjoys practicing marimba, making coffee, and hanging out with his dog, Lila.

Hannah Johnson


  • Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music


  • Joined the Conservatory faculty in January 2019.
  • Teaches and plays various styles of music on the drum set, specializing in jazz.
  • Plays with her modern jazz quartet in the Milwaukee area.
  • A featured instructor for the Vic Firth video series “Inside the Teaching Studio” entitled How to Sound Like Elvin Jones.
  • Had the chance to play with musicians such as Leni Stern, Ingrid Jensen, and Jamie Baum.
  • Enjoys teaching the bucket drumming and world percussion classes through the Conservatory Connections program, as well as private percussion lessons.

Cecilio Negron Jr.


  • WCM Conservatory Connections faculty since 2005.
  • Comes from a family of musicians and performers whose lineage can be traced to Puerto Rico and further back to Africa and Spain.
  • During his childhood both his father and uncle played major roles in the Midwest music scene as musicians, promoters and bandleaders, and Cecilio started his music studies at the age of five, at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
  • Studied in the high school music program and learned to read music, music theory, play drum-set and concert percussion, earning him top honors in solo and state competitions.
  • Began playing professionally by the age of 16, and at 21 embarked on his solo career, working to develop himself as an artist and teacher.
  • Started working with Milwaukee Public Theatre in 2000, teaching arts residencies, drumming and touring in several theatre productions.
  • Can now be found performing with many successful local and national acts, and he has an extensive resume of performances at local and national community centers, schools, businesses, arenas, clubs, music venues and private events.
  • Currently designs, manages, and facilitates his own musical ensembles, drumming workshops, drum circles, drum and dance residencies, drum making workshops, educational presentations, and musical performances.

Ryan Kahlbaugh


  • Bachelor of Music, Percussion Performance | Manhattan School of Music
  • Master of Music | DePaul University
  • Performance Certificate | DePaul University


  • Has been teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music since 2014.
  • Teaching a wide range of students, special areas of training include concert snare drum, xylophone, marimba, timpani, and drum set.
  • Performs extensively with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with tours to Carnegie Hall, Grant Park Festival Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Began as Principal Percussion of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra in the 2017/18 season.
  • While a student at DePaul University, he participated in the Music Academy of the West festival in Santa Barbara, CA, as well as the Pacific Music Festival held in Sapporo, Japan.
  • He has also recorded percussion and drum set for the Fireside Theater’s (Ft. Atkinson, WI) production of Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, It’s A Wonderful Life, Peter Pan and Sister Act as well as for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of The Color Purple and Dreamgirls.

Colin O’Day


  • Milwaukee native Colin O’Day is a freelance performer with performing credits around Wisconsin.
  • Has performed as a substitute and extra percussionist and timpanist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra.
  • An advocate of new music, Colin commissioned and premiered a new work for marimba trio by composer Ivan Trevino in 2014.
  • Serves as Principal Timpanist of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Philharmonic, and as Percussionist with the Festival City and Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestras.
  • During the summer, plays with the Northern Sky Theater, a theater company that performs at Peninsula State Park in Door County, WI.
  • Colin also serves as Percussion Instructor at New Berlin West High School and Whitefish Bay High School.

Mitch Shiner

Chair, Jazz & Contemporary Music


  • Bachelor of Music, Emphasis in Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
  • Performer’s Certificate for Senior Recital


  • WCM faculty member since 2016.
  • Began playing drums at age eight and has been studying percussion since age nine.
  • Currently based in Milwaukee, Mitch is an in-demand performer, active educator, and composer.
  • Co-leads tour-de-force fusion group, “Match Stick,” which released a self-titled album in 2019.
  • In 2014, Mitch released his debut CD, “FLY!”, which invites listeners on a musical journey of original compositions and out-of-the-box arrangements for 20-piece big band.
  • Featured clinician for the 2015 Summerfest Big Band Camp, along with Curt Hanrahan and Mike Steinel.
    Conducted masterclasses at UW-Parkside, University of Indianapolis, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Park Tudor School, and Nicolet High School.
  • Teaches percussion at several Milwaukee public schools through the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s Conservatory Connections program.


Girl Playing The Violin

Music Education For The Community

Community Partnerships

Does your school, church, early childhood center, public library, senior center, or community organization have a need for quality music education programs in the Milwaukee area? The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music offers community programs to match your need!