Midcoast School Of Music offers personalized lesson plans and one-on-one instruction with some of the finest musicians in New England, focusing on mechanics, theory, and performance. Below, you’ll see the instructors available for drum lessons and have a chance to learn more about them. For more information regarding available lesson times at our Portland campus, please click on the "Contact" button.
Chris is the co-founder and co-owner of Midcoast School of Music. He is currently the Director of Percussion Cape Elizabeth school department in addition he maintains a sizable roster of private students. He plays in and manages a much in-demand nine piece band (Retrospecticus) as well as working with other artists and bands as a sought-after drummer and sideman. Chris holds a B.A. from the University of Southern Maine and has been a music educator for over fifteen years. Chris has worked with thousands of students, becoming one of the most in-demand private drumset instructors in Maine. Chris’ teaching philosophy centers on connecting with students in a way that makes music fun and enjoyable. At the same time strong emphasis is placed on the importance of fundamentals for all students whether they aspire to play professionally or for personal enjoyment and recreation. Students become proficient in music literacy, rudimental drumming, musical form, improvisation as well as multi stylistic approaches including rock, jazz, latin, funk, hip hop, R&B, popular music and more.
John Suntken is a drummer and educator currently based in Portland, Maine. For the past six years he lived and worked in New York City, becoming one of the most in demand young drummers in the metropolitan area. Suntken is a musical chameleon who enjoys playing with artists from many musical traditions from R&B, funk, and rock to singer-songwriter, Afrobeat and jazz.
Suntken has performed with award winning artists, including Huntertones, Bob Lanzetti, Ben Stivers, Snarky Puppy, Joseph Gallant, two time billboard #1 country artist and songwriter CJ Solar, Grammy winner Dan Wilson, Felix Pastorius, and many others. He’s never had a favorite gig; it’s a joy for him to play with other musicians who love to make music.
Suntken also shares his love of music with students of all ages. He is a warm and encouraging teacher for all levels and styles of players. For five years, he has nurtured students at Mark Murphy’s Music in South Orange, New Jersey. He also maintains a private lesson studio where he teaches virtual lessons to students around the world.
Suntken grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, where he began playing drums at the age of four. After attending an Earth Wind and Fire concert with his parents at the age of nine, he knew he wanted to be a musician. His playing styles have been influenced by everyone from James Taylor and Bill Withers to the Roots and Q Tip. His musical philosophy is simple: make people dance!
Hailey Francoeur is a Percussionist who grew up locally in Westbrook, ME. She graduated from Southern New Hampshire University in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Music Education. During her time at SNHU, she studied percussion and voice. She played in numerous ensembles on campus, including: Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Combo. In 2019 Hailey traveled with the SNHU orchestra to New York City where they performed Gustav Holst “The Planets” and premiered Balint Kerosi’s “Choralair Symphony”. Later in 2019, Hailey performed her senior percussion recital with works from Bach, Beck, and Tschaikowsky. In 2019, Hailey was part of the Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps where she played Vibraphone. She went on with the group to win the title of Open Class World Champions that year. She attributes a lot of her mallet skill development to her time spent with the corps. Throughout college, Hailey taught percussion at Somersworth High School, where she later began teaching jazz combo as well. She currently teaches at Marshwood High School and Sanford High School, directing their winter percussion programs. Haileys areas of expertise lie in marching percussion, mallet percussion, and jazz. Now teaching at Westbrook Middle School, Hailey is starting her journey into teaching in public schools.