Allison Miller


Allison Miller is a New York City-based drummer, composer, and teacher. She has recorded five albums as a bandleader: 5 AM Stroll, Boom Tic Boom, No Morphine-No Lilies, Live at Willisau, and Otis Was a Polar Bear, as well as working as a session

musician. Her work with bands has included forming the band Honey Ear Trio with Rene Hart and Erik Lawrence, Holler and Bam with Toshi Reagon, and her own band, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom.

Allison Miller has been teaching jazz drumming for 20 years. She holds adjunct teaching positions at The New SchoolKutztown University, and Jazz Camp West. Allison also teaches privately, gives percussive master classes, and leads big band instructional clinics. She has been a guest artist conducting master classes, clinics, and workshops nationally and internationally – including NYUUMASS AmherstMúsica Moderna i JazzMúsica Creativa MadridLaula de Música Moderna i JazzDenver School of the ArtsUniversity of MichiganSF Jazz CenterBerkeley Jazz SchoolCornish CollegeReed CollegeUniversity of WisconsinUniversity of WashingtonWichita State UniversitySan Diego StateUniversity of Northern ColoradoUniversity of ColoradoColorado State UniversityMetropolitan StateUniversity of AlaskaElon UniversityUniversity of Southern FloridaWest Virginia UniversityUniversity of the PacificUC BerkeleyBryn Mawr, and University of Maryland. She studied from the great Walter Salb, Michael Carvin, and Lenny White.

Allison’s instructional lessons have been published in Modern Drummer MagazineDRUM MagazineTomTom Magazine, and Yamaha All Access 360. She is on Yamaha’s Top 30 Clinicians List. Allison believes that developing a solid rhythmic foundation begins on the ride cymbal. And, she believes in keeping it simple, starting with repetition of quarters notes. This repetition allows the student to understand the organics of drumming: pulse, time, motion, vibration, air movement, and the space in between the notes. From there she delves into four-way independence, rudimental technique, melody, feel, phrasing, improvisation, individual sound, and personal style. Allison always encourages her students to listen to the great jazz musicians of the 20th century and often assigns transcription projects.

When working with a small ensemble or big band, Allison teaches students how to play “together” as a group. She focuses on listening to one another and supporting one another. She stresses the use of group dynamics, intonation, and the potential musical power behind an exciting and dynamic big band. She often references the great big bands throughout the 20th century helping students understand that “Jazz music was the POP music of its day. Jazz music is still new, exciting, and fresh. It is a great outlet for musical expression!” – Allison Miller

Allison’s clinics are supported by YamahaZildjianVic Firth, and Evans.

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