Dr. Kendra McLean, Percussionist
Lesson Information

Percussion and Drum Set Lessons
Federal Way, WA
Dr. Kendra McLean


Instruments Taught: Snare Drum, Drum Set, Timpani, Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Hand Drumming (Djembe and other African drums), Gyil (Ghanaian xylophone), Multiple-Percussion, Orchestral Percussion, and Steel Drums


20+ years of experience teaching percussion

Doctorate of Musical Arts from The University of Arizona

Masters of Music from Ohio University

Bachelors of Music from Western Washington University

Performances with the Tacoma, Federal Way, Tucson, Phoenix, and Juneau Symphony Orchestras

Principal Percussionist/Timpanist for the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra

            Research in Trinidad (steel drums) and Ghana (drums and gyil)

Location: All percussion lessons currently take place online. When safe to do so, lesson may also resume in Dr. McLean's home studio (in Federal Way near Dash Point State Park).

Lesson Rates:

Monthly Rates:

$140/month for weekly 30-minute lessons

$180/month for weekly 45-minute lessons

$240/month for weekly 60-minute lessons

Please see the "Policies" page for more details. Video lessons are paid for when the lesson recording is submitted. In return, you will receive written instruction and updated assignments. Audio and video instruction may also be given, if appropriate. Live lessons are paid for by the month and the lesson payment must be made by the first lesson of the month. If you are interested in lessons on African drums, including the djembe, consider joining the African drumming class ($48/month for four 45-minute group classes or $32/month for current weekly private students). See below for more details about this class.

"Working/studying with Dr. McLean was one of the best decisions I have ever made for my musical career. She was able to take me from knowing very little about percussion to becoming percussion principal in the Tacoma Youth Symphony; all in just under two years. She methodically picked repertoire, introduced techniques and taught me as I best needed. I would definitely recommend Dr. McLean to any hardworking student wanting to learn how to play the drums/percussion. She is a delight to work with and study under. She also does an incredible job integrating music theory. -Austin M. (teen student)

Kendra is an amazing
percussion instructor.  She is versatile, skilled, and very patient. Kendra is also very flexible when it comes to juggling a hectic middle schooler’s schedule.  My son’s percussion skills (classical, jazz, and rock) have improved greatly while working with Kendra.  If you are looking for a caring, quality percussion instructor, I would strongly recommend Kendra!" -Doug B. (parent)

"Kendra has provided [me with] lessons on the African drum for a year. In that time I stumbled from basic novice to something far beyond that. As my technique improved Kendra gently continued to move the bar and set high expectations, all the while offering encouragement and understanding my learning style. I looked forward to the lessons, knowing each one would offer another challenge. I now have a much better sense of what the hand drum is all about and look forward to learning even more." -Michael F. (adult student)

"My daughter took lessons with Kendra. Kendra was very professional and knew her material. My daughter learned a great deal from her. Kendra was kind, calm, and very respectful, making it a comfortable teaching environment. Kendra also allowed me to sit in during the lessons so I could see/hear what my daughter was learning." -Kristen V. (parent)

"Kendra has instructed two of my sons in orchestral percussion and she manages to create a fantastic learning environment which leads to skillful techniques being instilled in the student.  We highly recommend her as a teacher." -CJ M. (parent)


"Kendra is an effective educator because she is very detail oriented without being uptight or too picky. She has great ideas for teaching, knows how to develop them, and offers them to students and the community. In addition, she creates fun learning opportunities open to the public, where anyone can come and enjoy drumming. This shows that she is a good leader and wants to share her passion for music with other people... We are lucky to have her in the Puget Sound area." -Miho T. (colleague)

"I've been taking lessons from Kendra for about three months now. She is a gifted teacher with credentials second to none. She has amazing patience and makes you feel comfortable regardless of your skill level. And most importantly can teach to any style or skill level. Highly recommended!" -Rafael H. (adult student)

"The lessons my son has received over the past year has given him the confidence that he needed to be successful in his band classes at school." Danielle S. (parent)

Hand Drumming Lessons in Federal Way, WA
African Drumming Ensemble (to resume when safe to do so)

Learn to play traditional hand drums in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. This ensemble experience includes an introduction to basic hand drumming and several traditional drumming pieces from Ghana, West Africa.

No experience is necessary and all of the instruments are provided during class. You can also rent a hand drum to take home for $12/month. Classes are 45 minutes each and will be limited to 5-10 students. Family classes are open to ages 10-adult (younger by evaluation), adult classes are open to ages 17+. Adult and family classes are held weekly and scheduled when there are enough students available for an additional class. Please call, text or email to express interest or reserve a spot in the class.

$12/class or $100 for a 10-class punch card or $8/class if you currently take private percussion lessons from Dr. McLean.

In Dr. McLean's home studio in Federal Way near Dash Point State Park. RSVP for directions.

Group Beginning Drum Lessons in Federal Way, WA

Two full days of instruction for those just starting percussion in middle-school band. Instruments covered include: snare, keyboard percussion, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, and tambourine. There are only 7 spots available for this class.

Classes are held in early September of each year.

$100 total for both days. Snacks will be provided. Please bring a sack lunch.

For more information or to register, call, text, or email Dr. McLean at (253) 709-1513, PugetSoundDrumming@hotmail.com

Practicing  Ideas

Practicing Ideas:
1. Lesson assignments
2. Music for band, orchestra, or other groups
3. Work on handouts from Dr. McLean
4. Play the note-reading game at http://vicfirth.com/speed-note-reading-tutor/
5. Sight-read
6. Replay past lesson assignments
7. Play warm-ups, scales, arpeggios, or technical exercises
8. Play material in your method book that has not yet been assigned
9. Improvise at your instrument
10. Play "metronome games" (Ask Dr. McLean if you don't know any yet.)

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