Getting to know your instructor:

Benjamin Lane Croucher is known by his students as Mr. Ben or Mr. Croucher. “I’ve been playing drum set for about 11 years now. I started really honing my abilities about 6 years ago. I recall setting up long playlists for all different types of music from Hip-hop/Rap to Funk/Jazz and just playing through the entire playlist on drum set with headphones, no sheet music. Then once I felt comfortable on a tune I would begin to improvise in that particular style. I also spent hours playing various technical worksheets and exercises, but soon after that I started really listening to my feel and to my sound. At times I would even practice without an instrument, just listening to records and focusing on timing”.

Mr. Ben knew that music would be a significant part of his life when “before I started learning music, I swam on a year round competition-style swim team called FLEET. We practiced roughly 3 hours every day after school all year round. I loved to swim and I was very good at it. Little did I know, my percussion instructor for my freshman year of high school completely changed my life. Because of his help that year, I marched on the Drum line as the only freshman and I was one of two percussionists that made all-region. Music was becoming more and more important to me. When my second year of high school came around my instructor left for a new developing school program. I continued lessons with him when one day I overheard him playing a song I had heard many times before but never knew what it was called. I was floored. I remember that day I decided music was the most important thing to me and I quit swimming. It was the best decision of my life!

Students of Mr. Ben can expect “we will learn basics to drumming and build a solid vocabulary so we can hear and play rhythms correctly. We will learn everything from holding sticks to playing entire songs beginning to end. We will start to understand the music we love and why we love it!”

…And now for something interesting about Mr. Ben!

“I’ve always loved how diverse music is. I went into SMU as a student playing Bach violin sonatas with 4 mallets on Marimba and performing with orchestras and wind ensembles. I left SMU playing Jazz, World music and doing lots of engineering and production work. And now I’m on staff at SMU playing live music for the dancers and sometimes you will even find me DJ-ing for them! It’s surprising the direction music can take you!”