Progress Report Blog Post 3 | In Depth

Welcome to yet another progress report on my ever-growing drumming adventure with the guidance of my mentor, Jason Overy.


Since last time, almost everything has been smooth sailing, and my improvement has been steady. I haven’t had any remotely significant problems within the recent time span, so the most difficult mentoring challenge has been the communication issue from the very beginning of the project. (Refer to In Depth Blog Posts 1 and 2) The communication has been good since then because my mentor and I have been making sure to stay in touch, and we keep updating each other on schedule changes and events that will be happening, such as Mr. Overy’s tour with one of his bands next weekends. We have been using texting as our method of communication, and it has proved to be very affective for us as we can share information and just scroll up our message history to find it again. By doing this, help was very accessible for when I find something challenging or if I need advice or tips from Mr. Overy, such as practicing methods. One example of this was when I was having a little bit of trouble getting my paradiddles to be controlled. When I reached out to Mr. Overy, he taught me a method using a metronome, and changing the value of each beat while practicing paradiddles along with the metronome. Another reason why good communication has been working well is because we often update each other with our schedules. Mr. Overy’s lesson schedules with his other students seems to be quite inconsistent probably due to some of his students cancelling lessons every few weeks without any strict schedule, so Mr. Overy keeps me updated on any time slots that become free so that I can choose which time slot works with me best.

Not only has our communication been good, but our meetings. Have been productive and fun as well. Although, one thing that could be working better is my video taking methods. In my learning contract, I decided that I would take videos of the drumbeats that I knew and compare them, but I don’t get a chance to film at Mr. Overy’s studio every week. The very first week, I had already told Mr. Overy in the beginning that I would be filming a little bit of myself if I could, so I was able to successfully capture a video of myself playing my first drumbeat. Since then, I haven’t been able to film videos at the studio because I keep getting caught up in the meeting and we run out of time. Due to this, I have been recording myself on my own drum kit, which admittedly, doesn’t have as good of quality. So, I would like to start keeping it consistent and leaving at least five minutes at the end of each lesson to film a little bit of what I’ve learned to share on my blog post and compare to my last video. I can make sure this happens by informing Mr. Overy of this decision and make sure that he’s okay with it. I can also remind him every lesson so that I don’t forget. I will also dedicate a folder for In Depth videos on my phone so that I can keep it all organized.


During the weeks before my meeting this time, practiced the basics as always, and mainly focused on the newly introduced beats such as the paradiddle drumbeat, and the basic jazz swing beat. I also have been searching up famous drummers such as Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Art Blakey. Mr. Overy said that it would help me find what kind of drumming I want to pursue, and that I should search for beats and songs I would like to start playing.  Also, during the break, Mr. Overy has given me many new books such as the syncopation books because he wants me to start developing independence of my limbs, so I’ve been practicing those as well. Mr. Overy said that these books were really helpful exercises and made a big difference in his prior student’s drumming. And, of course, I’ve continued to practice the Wilcoxon drum solos.


During our fourth meeting, I demonstrated my basics to Mr. Overy for the last time. He said that he’s seen enough of my basics and says that I’m already quite good at them, so he won’t check in with them, but I would have to continue to practice them. This would also allow more time on the drum set, which means that I’ve made quite a lot of progress. One thing that Mr. Overy did say was that I wasn’t using my fingers as much as I should and gave me a couple of exercises to do to help me “click into my finger gears”. From there, we moved on to our drumometer games where I got 572 on singles, 918 on doubles, and 1055 on multiples.

After playing the game, we went straight to the drum kit. Just to see what my skill level was at and how much I could handle, Mr. Overy threw a brand-new concept and drum beat with an improvised solo at me and asked me to try it. It didn’t go very well, and I couldn’t play it as I didn’t get to practice it. Mr. Overy expected that I wouldn’t be able to play it and told me that I would start moving into more difficult exercises and concepts. So, he gave me a couple of licks I could start practicing and using. These include the “bucket of fish” and the “bucket of fishita” licks. These are essentially just short beats and patterns you can play, and the names are how the beat sounds. Once I had understood how these worked, he gave me a couple of workbooks to help me develop independence in my limbs to be able to start more complicated drumbeats.


Drum exercise 1


Drum exercise 2


When watching these two videos, pay attention to my left hand and my leg. My right hand is always playing the jazz swing on the ride, and the times my left hand and right leg play differ every measure. I found this to be quite difficult in the beginning, but I believe I’m starting to get the hang of it.


Once again, I’ve had so much fun learning this new passion of mine. As I’m starting to dive deeper and get into the more difficult work, I know I’ll have to put more effort into practices, so I’m quite excited to devoting lots of time into this project. I’m so glad that I have Mr. Overy as my mentor as he really loves the idea of me taking the lead in my learning and continues to encourage me doing this by choosing songs I enjoy, and helping me learn them on the drums. . I look forward to improving more.

Progress Report Blog Post 2 | In Depth

Welcome to another progress blog post where I will be reporting on the progress I made with my drumming journey with my mentor Jason                  Overy.


From my last post, you will have seen that my learning is back on track and that I’ve been making steady progress with the help of my mentor Jason Overy. Although Mr. Overy and I have had a couple of communication issues in the beginning, I wasn’t able to get him to respond to my calls and texts because it was a really busy time for him, but since then, we’ve had clear communication since then. I’ve had to do a meeting two weeks in a row due to being slightly behind schedule, but since I’m all caught up, we will be meeting once every two weeks. Each session will be an hour long at Mr. Overy’s studio because he has the needed equipment for testing my improvement such as big snare drums, a full drum kit, and a drumometer. In order to stay in touch between our in-person meetings, we will be communicating through text in order to confirm our lesson times, so I can ask questions, and so we can maintain our connection. 

Although we’ve had quite a good relationship already, I could still improve the quality of my mentoring interactions. I can do this by applying strategies such as practicing as much as I can to make improvement. By doing this, I can progress further, and give Mr. Overy a better opportunity to help me improve and give me advice. This improves the quality of my mentoring sessions because I can learn more from my mentor instead of just going over the same things during the session. I can implement this strategy at any time because I have my own electric drum kit which I can practice on. Another strategy I can use is to clearly communicate my goals and my needs for this project. By doing this, my mentor and I can be on the same page, and my mentor can know how to help me reach my goals. I’ve already implemented this strategy before we started, but I can continue to implement it when something I need comes up, or my goal changes. The third strategy I can use is to stay in touch with my mentor frequently. By doing this, not only can I communicate my goals and needs clearly, I can update my mentor on my progress, further helping him prepare for our meeting. I can implement this every week before our lesson. 


Apart from my meetings, I have been practicing around 20 minutes every day. During these practices, I mostly work on improving my basics such as my paradiddles or three different rolls. On some days though, I work on the Wilcoxon drum solo I was assigned the meeting before, and the drum beats that I learned from the meeting before. 

This week, I’ve really seen improvement in my basics. Although I have prior experience of drumming, I’ve never learned the double stroke, so that was quite difficult for me. But, with enough practice, I quickly caught on. So, during the drumometer game this week, I got 564 on the singles roll, 877 on the doubles roll, and 1109 on the multiple roll. But this week, in addition to these, Mr. Overy gave me another basic beat to work on because he also saw my improvement. This drum beat only required the snare drum, and is a quite famous drum solo from the song Wipeout by the Surfaris. This drum beat really accentuates accents and requires the player to be able to work with paradiddles. 

Education - 16: Single Paradiddle

When we moved to the drum kit, Mr. Overy taught me another basic rock beat with a lot of paradiddles, and a basic jazz beat. Apparently, the reason for doing so much paradiddle practice is because paradiddles are very essential to being able to play controlled and quickly. As for the jazz beat, Mr. Overy said that jazz beats are quite fun to play, and that it’s a good change of pace. 

!Volume Warning!

Me practicing the jazz beat I learned on my drumkit.


Me practicing the second rock beat I learned on my drumkit.


Once again, I’ve had so much fun learning how to drum and getting to know my mentor. We’ve had quite good communication, and a good connection, so learning from him has become very fun and I enjoy his teaching. I look forward to the next week.

Progress Report Blog Post 1 | In Depth

Welcome to my first progress blog post! If you didn’t know, I am currently hard at work learning how to drum with the guidance of my now confirmed mentor, Jason Overy. 


If you were here for my last In Depth blog post, you will know that I was having some troubles with getting into contact with Jason Overy, who I wanted to be my mentor because of the things I had heard about him. This was quite stressful at the time because I had thought I had found a mentor suitable for this project and that I had overcome that stage, but when I could no longer contact him for a while, I was worried. Since then, I was able to contact him properly, get to know him, and discuss my goals, timeline, and plans. 

To get me started on my journey through drumming, Mr. Overy gave me information about the basics during our discussions. This included the basic pieces to a drum kit, and the most essential pieces to help me see if I had the correct equipment to practice my drumming at home. He also gave me a document with the basics of drumming on it so that I could get the project started by myself, have a look at the world of drumming, and see how well I could get myself prepared for our first meeting. Mr. Overy also asked me to look at drummers and rock songs that I liked from the websites The Drum Ninja and Drummerworld to get my creativity flowing. But that wasn’t the extent of our conversations before our first meeting. 

I also got to learn about my mentor and how he had become who he is today. Jason Overy is a professional musician, performer, and music teacher as he has 4 years of experience in those fields. Mr. Overy took piano lessons in the beginning, but didn’t enjoy it all that much, and found drumming interesting, so he decided to take it up. After many years of practice, he started performing with others, learning different types of drumming, and decided to teach drumming lessons for a living. When I first went to his studio, I could tell that he really enjoyed drumming, as it was full of different types of drums and instruments I’ve never seen before. 


While on the car ride to my session, I was very nervous, as I didn’t want to make a bad first impression on my mentor, and I was a little stressed during the session. But, Mr. Overy gave me many reassuring words, and kind gestures, which made the environment much more relaxed and fun. 

 “Your arms have gears in them. Each gear is used in a different manner. For example, your shoulder is a gear used only for certain types of drumming that require lots of power. Your elbow is also a gear that you use for more powerful strokes, and although they’re not very powerful, your wrist and finger gears help you make quick strokes with control. You will need to learn how to click between these gears on command.”

– Jason Overy

After meeting up with him for the first time, my first impression of Mr. Overy was that he is a very kind but strict and organized teacher. During the first 30 minutes of the session, we worked on the basics that he had given me beforehand, and he had taught me the correct techniques to use when practicing and applying those basics, and what I will have to be able to do eventually, such as the quote above. During this time, he was quite particular with my technique such as accenting on correct beats so I can improve my control, and he wrote down all of his comments in my notebook for me so that I could apply them during my practice. I found that this gesture was very helpful and kind, and he immediately reminded me of my piano teacher. 

After we had finished warming up with the basics, we played a couple of games that revolved around improving my sense of rhythm, and putting the basics to use, which were quite fun. These game were also helpful because Mr. Overy would give me lots of insightful tips. One exercise that we did that stuck out to me was an exercise where we used a machine to see how many times I could hit the drum pad using different types of rolls within the span of ten seconds. Mr. Overy explained that we would keep track of my scores every time we meet to track my improvement. This week, I got 567 on the singles roll, 557 on the doubles roll, and 844 on the multiple roll. 

When we started to move to the actual drum kit, Mr. Overy re-explained all of the pieces, and explained all of the fancy attachments that his own drum kit had. When we moved to the drum kit, Mr. Overy taught me how to perform a basic rock beat, and how to add fills to it, which was quite exciting considering the fact that I had got it in the first couple of tries. So, he had me play the rock beat to the song Billy Jean by Michael Jackson, and left me with some songs to work on, encouraging words, and a comment about how I could bring him songs that I enjoyed and we could figure out how to play the drum par t of. This comment was one of the biggest parts that stuck out to me because it aligned with my goals of being able to have creative freedom, and I hope that by bringing him songs, I could learn how to figure out the drum line of my favourite songs by myself. 

!Volume warning!

Video of me drumming to a part of Billie Jean by Michael Jackson


Just from my first drumming session, I think I’ve learned so much about drumming, and made a great connection with my mentor, causing me to have fallen in love with drumming even more. I had so much fun during my first lesson and even have been enjoying practicing and improving little by little, so I look forward to what’s to come. 

Introductory Blog Post | In Depth

The topic I chose to do for In Depth this year is learning how to drum.

Over the course of this project, I will be learning from a mentor to learn the basics of pop style drumming. I chose this topic because I’ve always wanted to play the drums since I was younger. When I watch someone play the drums, I can’t help but admire them. This admiration also stems from my love of music. I’ve always been a very musical person as I can play many instruments, and I have a passion for making music. If I learn how to play the drums, I could play along to pop songs, and just love how much creative freedom there can be in drumming.

Due to my admiration for drumming, I started playing percussion in an orchestra, but the two aren’t as similar as I thought. Despite these skills not being too similar, I’ve still learned a couple of basic skills that I could apply when playing the drums, so I don’t plan on quitting percussion any time soon. From playing percussion, I’ve learned to be able to follow rhythms with precision, keep a good tempo, and basic drumming skills from playing the snare drum.

Although I enjoy playing percussion and I’ve learned quite a lot from it, I still have a dream to be able to play the drums to my favourite songs. So, I recently got an electric drumkit and I plan to finally put it to use.

These goals, dreams, and my admiration and passion for drumming will be the root of my motivation for this project.


For this project, my mentor will hopefully be Jason Overy. It’s been hard to get into contact with him, so if worse comes to worst, I’ll have to find a teach at Tom Lee. But I really do want to have Mr. Overy as my mentor because according to Mr. Trovato, he’s is very good at what he does.

When I first had the idea of learning how to drum for the project, I knew that I had to ask Mr. Trovato if he knew anyone. So, I went to his room, and he recommended Jason Overy and gave me his phone number. I was actually planning to ask Mr. Trovato himself to mentor me as I heard that he’s pretty good at drums himself, but I decided that Mr. Trovato would probably be too busy

In the beginning, Mr. Overy agreed to give me a discount on his lessons and act as a mentor, but recently, I haven’t been able to get in contact with him, so just finding lessons at Tom Lee would be okay too.


My ultimate goal for this project is to be able to have creative freedom when playing the drums, which means that I want to be able to just make up a coherent rhythm when listening to a song. By the end of this year’s In Depth, I will like to have learned 3 different songs on the drums with a lot of variety of rhythm in them. If I were to do this, I would get to learn many different patterns and basic rhythms. I would have a good baseline for my skills and I could build upon them in my own time after the project.

Another big goal I have for this project would be to have good control over the rhythm. This skill will require a lot of hand-eye coordination, precision, and control, but with lots of practice, I’m positive that I’ll be able to achieve it. The reason why I want to acquire this skill is because it’s pretty essential for drumming, but it also helps with being able to make up rhythms and “freestyle”, which is my ultimate goal.


During this project, I’ll be tracking my progress through videos of me playing and comparing those videos, so I expect to have a clip of myself playing for the next blog post. I look forward to learning how to play the drums!

Eminent Person | Interview Reflection

For this year’s eminent person project, I wasn’t able to get an interview.

I had sent five separate emails out to teachers, Dana Terrace herself, close friends of Dana Terrace, and other animators. Despite my efforts, I never got a reply. Looking back now, I think that I may have been a little too ambitious with the people I had emailed.

Ms. Wasstrom had told us to at least shoot our shots and send an email out to our eminent people themselves, so I started with sending out an email to Dana Terrace. I waited a few days after this and hadn’t gotten a reply, so I had sent out an email to Dana Terrace’s significant other, Alex Hirsche. A couple days after this, although this may have been a little too ambitious, I sent out an email to Matt Braly, who is another well-known animator. Because I hadn’t gotten any replies after about a week, I decided to tone it down a little and sent out an email to Rachel Kim who is a lesser known animator who works for Disney. I hadn’t actually known very much about Ms. Kim because her email was given to me by a peer who said that she might give me a reply. In the end, she didn’t reply, so near the end, I had sent out my last email to Mr. Linburg, the animation teacher here at Gleneagle, in hopes that I could at least know his opinion as an animator about Dana Terrace and her situation/accomplishments.

By the end of the project, I never got an interview, but there isn’t anything that I regret about it. I was still able to accomplish what I wanted and succeed in completing my project. I was actually able to find an interview that someone else did with Dana Terrace online and got more information from there. If I were to redo my project, I wouldn’t change anything, as the factors that lead me to not having an interview were out of my control, and although I didn’t get an interview, I am proud of myself with the end result I achieved.

John Maxwell’s 360° Leader | Blog Post Assignment

John Maxwell biography, quotes, publications and books | ToolsHero

Nothing would get done at all if a man waited until he could do something so well that no one could find fault with it. (J.H.C Newman – 2006)

What this quote means is, that we need to advocate for ourselves and take initiative in our lives if we ever want to grow. The quote is also telling us that we shouldn’t try to become perfect as it’s not necessarily possible and trying for something that isn’t existent would waste time and energy. I chose this quote because it really represents what type of leader that I want to become. I want to learn to be able to have the right motivation to push myself to become better. This way, I will be able to provide support for myself and independently achieve my goals, and then using these skills, I will be able to provide lots of support for others and help the group achieve their goals. This relates to TALONS because in this program, we learn how to become the best leaders we can be and being able to take initiative and advocate for yourself are very important attributes of a leader. This quote teaches you that you have to be able to have these skills in order to further yourself and your goal. This quote also helps you learn that how you spend your time and energy is very important. It teaches you that, although you may have high standards for yourself, sometimes it’s not good to be a “perfectionist” because it may end up with time and effort wasted.



When to Push Forward

“Knowing when to push” essentially means that a good leader should always know when it’s a good idea to either go forward with a task/idea, work harder, or put in more effort.  It means that a good leader, by using their knowledge and “reading the room”, should be able to tell when to be a self-advocate or when to take initiative. I chose this quote because this is an aspect of leadership that I struggle with, and it stuck with me because I would like to improve upon this skill. I’m not very good at advocating for myself, and I end up doing so at the wrong times. Using this knowledge from this book and other sources, I would like to be able to know when to push. This relates to TALONS because a big part of TALONS is being able to take initiative. During this program, there is nobody who speaks for you, so you need to speak up for yourself and volunteer yourself for jobs you want to take. Also, if you need more tools, if there is information that someone needs to know, you need to know when and if you should speak up. This section in the book furthers your leadership skills because it teaches you that there are times when being a self-advocate is not appropriate. It teaches you that you should be able to stand on your own and take initiative, but also that there are times where you shouldn’t do so.


Practice and Perfect the Leadership Loop

The leadership loop is a cycle of steps that you need to complete in order to gain influence the best way. This means that gaining credibility and influence is an ongoing process that takes time, and is something that you can’t rush, and is something that you need to work hard for. This leadership loop also shows that the steps that you take are steps you take with your peers rather than steps that you take by yourself, because you can’t have credibility or influence without others. I chose this aspect because becoming a credible leader is a very important, but scary task to becoming a leader for me, and I’ve always thought that it would be extremely difficult to achieve. But this small diagram really breaks down how the steps work and how to take them, which makes it easy for almost anyone to become a credible leader. This relates to TALONS because TALONS is a program where the concept and steps to leadership are taken, broken down, and explained to younger students so we get an idea of how to lead, and how to apply these skills to the “real world”. The leadership loop furthers your leadership skills by, again, breaking down the steps of becoming influential into small, more digestible pieces, so that anyone can become a credible leader, and apply these skills everywhere they go. Especially in “the real world”.

Eminent Interview Practice Reflection

When making questions, using my questions, and listening to my peer’s questions, I realized that some of my open ended questions could be more open ended and free. For example, the majority of my questions were similar to “why did you come to TALONS?”, which are technically open-ended questions, but they’re quite strict to one topic. But, some of my peers’ questions were more similar to “do you have any goals for the future?”, so in the future, I will try and include some more open questions for interviews. Another thing I noticed when watching other people’s interviews is that they had good transitions through subjects of questions such as “now I’m going to move onto more in depth questions.”, which I didn’t have, so I will take this into account as well during my real interview. From the feedback I got, I found that I was slightly unfocused during the interview, so I will pay attention to that during the real interview as well. I could also work on being more prepared with my questions, because I was taking quite long pauses in between my questions. To do this, I could order my questions of importance from first to last when making the questions, so that I can immediately move on to the next question when I’m done with one. Overall, this was a good experience and good practice, so I’m glad that we got to try out interviewing. I learned that there are some aspects that I am successful in like good body language, enunciation, and clarity, and some aspects that I still need to work on such as focusing and extending on questions properly, and I will take all of this into account when preparing for and doing my real interview.

Eminent Person Introduction Reflection

Reading some of my peers’ blogs, I was able to see how they viewed people and their different values. This was very interesting, because some people had values that were similar to mine and some people chose a person with very different values. For example, Mathab chose Sal Khan, who is focused on providing everyone with world class education, while my eminent person’s values are more focused on creating a better world for people of the LGBTQ+ community. It was also very interesting reading what exactly inspired my peers and some interests and passions they have and how they connected to their eminent person. Some of the eminent people that I read about were people that I have heard of or people that have created something I know, and it was very cool how I could finally get to know those people better and find out interesting facts about them. During the commenting phase of this assignment, I found that it was easier to think of compliments than constructive criticism because everyone’s blog posts were well-done, interesting, and informative. Because of this, there were repeated points in the comments of some of the posts, but it was still interesting to see how my peers saw the same posts that I read. When reading through my comments, I found many helpful tips and positive feedback that I will definitely consider next time. This experience was an overall positive one, and I look forward to the rest of the project.

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