Word has it that native Powegian and musician Jason Dean has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things drums related. His boss would even go so far as to call him a “complete drum nerd.”
“He knows everything about every nut and bolt of every celebrity’s drum kit,” said Fintan Roche, owner of The Fine Tune Academy music school in North County where Dean teaches. “If I want to know something about drums, I ask him. And if he doesn’t know, it bothers him and he’ll call me back.”
Dean―a graduate of ―is just one of several instructors at the Academy, which was founded in 2003. Roche, who prefers to go by Fin, says he wanted to create a school that offered a “more organized approach” to teaching music.
“In California, everything is totally the best you can get, but I saw there weren’t too many options when it came to learning an instrument,” said Fin, who began to play guitar at the age of 6.
The Academy setting provides one teacher for each of the main instruments, as well as a host of other services from song writing lessons to time in the recording studio.
“The teachers I have are extremely focused and they have commercial success on their instrument,” Fin said.
Fin also champions a multimedia curriculum that provides students wanting to learn a specific song with an archive of electronic material―from instructional videos that show how to play the more challenging parts to sheet music that has been color-coded by the Academy, among other items.
“Even for the experienced musician, it takes a bit of poking around to figure out what the music is trying to tell you to do,” Fin said of his color-coded technique. “I want students to move rapidly and have all the resources available to them.”