Ian is respected for his unique approach to jazz drumming. He holds a Masters Degree from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelors Degree from Berklee College of Music. He has also studied intensively under Elvin Jones. Ian has recorded with Rick Margitza, Dave Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, Ahmad Mansour, Tommy Smith, Craig Handy, and George Garzone, and plays with two-time Canadian Juno Award winning group, Metalwood. Ian is also an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music.
“I hated piano lessons as a kid. But when I saw a jazz band in grade school, the drummer really made an impression on me. At 13 I convinced my parents to let me stop the piano and buy my first drum set. My father and I got it from the son of a friend of a friend for $300. As soon as we set it up in the basement I started playing and I haven’t stopped. When my parents mentioned drum lessons I said, ‘No lessons. I want to learn my way.’ So I was self-taught.
“I started gigging at 15, and it went great for about three years, until I realized I was stunted technically on the instrument. I was up against a wall, limited by my self-teaching. So I took lessons with two different teachers, which ultimately led to my going to Berklee. I’ve had to work really, really hard to get where I am musically. I tell my students this story to let them know, ‘If I can do it, so can you—if you want it badly enough, work hard.’ The flip side is that if you don’t do the work, you’re not going to get better.
“I don’t teach a standard drum lesson with books and exercises. I use a very conceptual approach: Open up your ears, listen to yourself play every single note, and be responsible for those notes so you can make mental—versus physical or technical—changes to your playing. If you play something you don’t like, you can identify it and delete it from your playing. If it’s something you do like, you can expand on that.
“I’ll call my students on everything. They’ll play one note and I’ll ask, ‘What was that? Why did you do that?’ After a while they start hearing what they play, and taking the kind of responsibility I’m talking about.
I’ve always been interested in teaching, and always felt I had an affinity for explaining how to do what I do, even as a teenager teaching neighborhood kids. So even though I consider myself a player first, it always felt natural to juggle a performance career with a teaching career. Now when I google myself I’ve started to see people’s credits saying ‘studied with Ian Froman.’ That’s a new twist!”
Certificate Program A – US Roots (Jazz)
Certificate Program B – Contemporary Jazz
Elective Intensive Program – Contemporary Jazz
Advanced Performance Program
Ian is available for Private lessons.
Please call (212) 741-0091 extension: 110 for availability.
Contemporary Jazz Styles for the Drums
Written by Peter Retzlaff and Ian Froman
In the Fall of 2007, Carl Fischer released Contemporary Jazz Styles for the Drums, Co-Authored by Peter Retzlaff, and Ian Froman. In the book Retzlaff and Froman provide an overview of Jazz playing from early small-group Jazz right up through post-bop and ECM styles. Retzlaff’s section contains a complete approach to ride cymbal playing, ideas for handling turnarounds, and a section on brushes, while Froman tackles approaches to modern Jazz timekeeping. Included are extensive exercises in 3/4 time (an area overlooked by most Jazz books). Explanatory audio examples are included, as well as play-along tracks.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Contemporary Jazz Styles for the Please proceed to our online proshop.