Lonnie is an incredible musician and educator! As the music director at OKM Secondary, I have developed a strong relationship with Lonnie over the years—and I am always looking for every opportunity to have him come in and work with my students. His knowledge of styles is extensive and his patience and care when working with students yields very high results. When performing with my Jazz bands at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the adjudicators of our performance were blown away from how amazing and authentic our percussion team was when performing Afro-Cuban music. They had to know who was teaching these kids such great technique! Many of my students have taken private lessons with Lonnie and their progress has always been incredible to watch as they have received many scholarships and performance awards, largely to his mentorship.
Lonnie is incredibly organized and provides written reviews of every lesson along with videos of techniques you are working on to always keep you on track. His studio is set up with state-of-the-art equipment and every experience you would ever want to work on is available to you. On a personal level, I have taken lessons with Lonnie to improve my own technique and as a bass player, we have played gigs together throughout the Okanagan. Lonnie is one of my all-time favourite drummers to play with! His sense of time/groove and sensitivity when performing is such a pleasure to play with. I'm incredibly excited for my daughter to start private lessons with Lonnie this year!
I have been teaching music in the Okanagan for the past 16 years and have had the opportunity to work with many musicians and educators and I can't recommend Lonnie enough. Whether you are looking for beginning lessons and have never picked up a pair of sticks—or working in a High School Jazz or Concert Band—or have been playing and gigging for years and want to continue honing your skills, Lonnie will take your playing to the next level!
I have had the privilege of taking private drum lessons with Lonnie Burma--watching him work individually—in workshops with young musicians—and learning from him in ensemble settings. Lonnie is the consummate professional! His easy-going nature and sense of humor put students of all levels at ease. He is a teacher with integrity, knowledge, passion and most importantly cares for his students. Lonnie is versatile in his approaches, and familiar and comfortable with a variety of methods. His extensive percussion knowledge allows him to tailor instruction to the individual interests, needs and diverse learning preferences of students. Lonnie is comfortable teaching a variety of genres and has helped many students discover new types of music to enjoy. He instills in each of his pupils a strong foundation of technical knowledge upon which to base their musical exploration. Lonnie's methods of instruction have influenced and inspired other private drum teachers in Okanagan. He willingly collaborates with other musicians, both in performance and instructional settings and has won the respect of all!
I have enjoyed Lonnie's many and varied musical performances throughout the community. As a performer, Lonnie has lent his talents to various worship ensembles, and can be found contributing a listener's musical immersion at Okanagan Symphony concerts, or engaging audiences of all ages at Parks Alive performances.
I trust Lonnie's opinion in regards to gear purchases, repairs, and musical advice for our mutual students. I find him to be an unbiased professional who acts in the best interest of the musicians in his care. I consider Lonnie Burma the main source of knowledge and information on all things percussion-related in the Okanagan!
I started taking lessons with Lonnie when I was 11 years old, and continued until I was 18. During these seven years I was exposed to a wide variety of drumming techniques and musical styles; whether we were grooving to a smooth jazz tune or slamming away on our double kicks, Lonnie always seemed to have something new to inspire (and impress) me with. What he may lack in "comedic timing", he more than makes up for in skill, patience, guidance, and encouragement. I started out knowing absolutely nothing about a drumset, and today feel comfortable playing with pretty much anyone. Whatever your age or skill level, Lonnie will definitely make you a better drummer and all-round musician. I thoroughly enjoyed each of my seven years learning from Lonnie; he is a great teacher, and I would still be taking lessons if I had the time!
I started taking drum lessons with Lonnie from the summer of grade four till the end of grade twelve. Going to Lonnie's studio to learn the latest beat, jam or rudiment, was almost always the highlight of my week, and if I had lessons on Mondays it would always carry me through on a high note. Not only does Lonnie have an awesome set up for singles and pairs, but he has set me up with numerous styles of music that have helped me play and be a part of band and music throughout my entire middle and high school career. In my final year at Kelowna Secondary School I was a part of Senior Jazz Band, Senior Concert Band, Orchestra, Vocal Jazz Combo and as well as two other self directed Combos. Although music has always been a hobby for me, with my focus on Academics, it has almost always been the source of my greatest memories, and my coolest experiences. (Like winning first place in every one of those groups in my final year at high school and being accepted to Nationals. All thanks to Lonnie's incredible experience as well as my incredible teachers at KSS.) Drum lessons have allowed me to be feel comfortable with nearly all styles of music, and essentially be able to sit down at any of the gigs that I have had and play with confidence. I am now in my second year at the University of Calgary in the Bachelor of Health Science in the Faculty of Medicine still trying to squeeze in a music class into my schedule, because it is something that I now feel is essential to what makes me me, and is something I am not willing to give up.
We would thoroughly recommend Lonnie to anyone who wants to learn to play the drums well, and yet have fun at the same time! Our son has loved every lesson, and we have been happy to see him eager to practise what he has learned that week. Lonnie is a very encouraging and personable teacher, and is keen to see his students reach their full potential, whilst using the latest technology to help them progress.
I have known Lonnie for over 25 years through our collaboration on various music projects. He is a gifted teacher and performer who brings a unique sensitivity and dedication to the art of drumming.
Lonnie Burma is an AMAZING teacher and educator. As a High School Music teacher in Kelowna, I want my percussionists to take private lessons and Lonnie is the one to go to! As a parent I sent my son Richard to Lonnie to prepare him for grade 7 band. Richard loved his lessons and every week was excited to go and motivated when he came home. He studied with Lonnie through high school. As a teacher, I have also had Lonnie in my classroom as a clinician many times. I have never been disappointed with the results!
Lonnie teaches his students all the skills necessary for Concert, Orchestra and Jazz band. He is very organized, approachable and over the 20 years I have known Lonnie Burma, he has always been professional. Simply put, Lonnie Burma is an extraordinary educator, clinician and musician. Thank you Lonnie!!!!!
I studied with Lonnie from when I started playing the drums at age 11 until I graduated high school just before I turned 18. After high school, I went on to study music (Jazz Performance undergraduate degree) at the University of Toronto. At U of T, I studied with Terry Clarke and Bob McLaren. In my fourth year of undergraduate, I was invited to play in the master's student ensemble along with graduate students Chris Donnelly, Andrew Downing and Quinsin Nachoff.
Lonnie is an exceptional instructor. Lonnie's percussion pedagogy prepared me very well for studying music in university. My drum teacher during my 2nd and 3rd year, Bob McLaren, once commented on the advanced exercises that I was familiar with from my time studying in Kelowna (with Lonnie). One thing that particularly struck me about Lonnie was how he constantly updated his knowledge of percussion and was always providing his students with new and innovative ways to practice and become better musicians. Lonnie is also very good at adapting to students' needs. I remember several times coming into a lesson and asking Lonnie to show me something that I was wondering about on the kit. Every time, he adapted his lesson plan and provided me with exactly what I was looking for. Lonnie always encouraged students' interest in the drums and never got lost in trying to teach in a specific way.
In addition to being a very high-class instructor, Lonnie is an excellent drummer. Lonnie's technical ability on the drum set was an inspiration when I was studying with him and is still today. He has very good snare chops and moves around the kit very cleanly. This is because Lonnie "practices what he preaches" regarding practice schedules. While I was studying with Lonnie, he would regularly come early into the studio and work on his own playing and technique.
I would highly recommend studying with Lonnie to anyone who is interested in drumming. Lonnie is a great instructor for students at any drumming level. Lonnie worked with me from when I was a complete beginner to when I successfully auditioned for the University of Toronto Jazz Performance program and provided me with tremendous benefit throughout this time.