Today’s teacher spotlight shines on Joel Perkins.  Joel teaches violin, fiddle, viola, cello and string bass.  

He is an accomplished fiddler and an outstanding instructor of music. He follows a long line of fiddlers in his family with his enthusiasm and accomplishments.
Joel holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Crane School of Music, Potsdam, NY. He currently serves as the Director of Orchestras for the M. E. Stilwell School of the Arts. He also is the owner of The Virtual String Studio. He’s a member of NafME and ASTA.

Some of Joel’s accomplishments include  Carnegie Hall Performance (2020), Professional Orchestra Collaboration with Orchestra Noir (2018/19) and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (2018); All National Honor Orchestra (2019); Shuler Award Nomination for Best High School Pit Orchestra (2019) as well as many others.

You can sign up for lessons with Joel on our website or email us lessons@pedalpointmusic.com.

For many years now I have livened up the studio with the colors of Fall and loads of “pumpkins.”  I remember the first year I bought a basket full of those miniature pumpkins at the local grocery and covered the piano and edges of my studio with them.  They became incentives for the challenges of October.  Although I initially intended them to be decorative, I soon learned that my little students wanted one to take home. lol  So, I gave them away one by one as goals were met.  Then I drew a name for the one giant pumpkin.  I still remember the delight on the face of my young voice student as her mom reluctantly strolled through the store lobby with a giant orange pumpkin in her arms.

So, every year I bring out the felt, paper and rubber pumpkins in addition to the buying a giant prize pumpkin.  I set the stage for challenges.  It’s usually 3 parts, but sometimes 4.  My students eagerly tackle those challenges and I reward them with a prize of some sort in addition to putting names into a drawing for the giant pumpkin.  It’s fun, celebrative and helps my students pick up the pace at a time when they are meeting other challenges at home and school.  

This year IS a different kind of year, but the pumpkins are out and on display.  There’s a fresh new giant pumpkin.  We’re all learning about a special composer this year who made history with his compositions.  Although half of my students are still online, they’re plugged into this as well! It will pay off for all of us as we enjoy the music gleaned from this year’s GREAT PUMPKIN CHALLENGE!

Today our teacher spotlight is on Drew Simpson, our percussion instructor.  He’s been at Pedal Point Music for over a year now.  

Drew grew up in Snellville, GA. The son of a drummer and band director, he has been making music his whole life. After graduating from the University of Georgia, he began touring all over North America and Asia as a musician and performer with several Broadway shows.

He then moved to New York with his soon-to-be wife and began working as a drummer and percussionist for many Broadway shows. Among them are Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Annie, RENT, and Avenue Q.

While in New York, he also worked as a drummer and performer for an interactive music program for babies and toddlers called Little Maestros.

Mr. Simpson and his wife moved back to Georgia in 2014. He taught in the Norcross cluster for three years and currently teaches in Lawrenceville. He now lives in Dunwoody with his wife, Kelly. They have a daughter named Rhea and a French Bulldog named Remy.

Drew is available to teach percussion and/or drums beginner-advanced.  Go to Pedal Point Music’s enrollment page to sign up or email us at lessons@pedalpointmusic.com.