Rufus Drum Shop has a roster of highly qualified and personable instructors who teach a variety of musical styles and instruments. We offer lessons on acoustic drums. All of our instructors are practicing musicians and offer a range of musical styles such as folk, bluegrass, rock, pop, blues, jazz and metal. Whether you are 5 or 85, we have a teacher that will get you drumming!
We charge $35.00 for a 30 minute one on one lesson. Lessons can be booked as a drop in or on a weekly recurring basis. We are very flexible with times and lessons can be arranged for more than once a week. No matter your style, we have a teacher for you. We offer lessons for the Drum Kit, Cajon, and other hand percussion. Lessons are available at both our West 10th Ave and Commercial Drive locations.

Email us, lessons@rufusdrumshop.com or call (604) 222-DRUM (3786) ext. 3 to book your lessons

Tuition Fees: We offer two options for lessons: drop-in or weekly. Lesson rates are $35 per half hour as of September 1st 2022.


Weekly Lessons: Weekly lessons are paid by the calendar month on the first lesson of the month. Payment is required when the lesson time is booked, either in person, or by phone. If you prefer, we can keep a record of a credit card to process monthly payments. Once you have registered for weekly lessons, you will be on the schedule indefinitely or until proper notice to discontinue lessons is given.

Drop-in Lessons: The tuition fee for a “drop-in” lesson is $35.00 for a half hour, payment is required when the lesson is booked. Drop-in lessons are booked by availability and can not be cancelled.

Missed Lessons/Cancellations: If you are unable to attend a weekly lesson, we require 48 hours notice. With proper notice the option of a make-up lesson will be available. Unfortunately without sufficient notice, the student will be charged for the lesson. Lesson(s) that must be missed due to an instructor’s illness or professional obligations will either be rescheduled or filled in by a qualified substitute instructor. If you decide to discontinue lessons, the regular 48 hours notice is required. Drop-in lessons cannot be cancelled. Please call (604) 222-DRUM (3786) ext. 3 for any scheduling changes and speak with the lesson coordinator.



Ian Cardona

With over 10 years of experience in Vancouver’s music scene, Ian has had the opportunity to perform with a number of artists spanning many genres. Ian’s chameleon traits have brought out opportunities both in the studio and on stage, including the chance to tour across Canada. Aside from his strengths in the studio and in performance, Ian is actively reaching out to heavyweights, to maintain his strong belief in always learning and improving oneself, giving him a strong sense of both the teacher, and the students experience.  With all this in mind Ian curates a personalized approach to each student, focusing on their individuality and passions. Ian Cardona has been actively teaching for the past 3 years. He has studied with Eran Vooys, Jesse Cahill, and Bernie Arai
Availability:  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday @ Commercial Drive

Joy Mullen

Joy Mullen, aka Joy On Drums, has been playing the drum kit for over 30 years. She was the first female drummer to graduate from the Contemporary Music and Technology program at Selkirk College and has since worked professionally touring across Canada, USA, and Europe. She has performed at high profile events including but not limited to; The Winnipeg Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards, Dawson City Music Fest, and The National Centre for Truth And Reconciliation and has also been featured on soundtracks for CBC’s 8th Fire, APTN’s Nagamowin: The Song and toured with Mazinaw Rock Productions theatre company. She was involved in a variety of local projects including Girls Rock Camp Vancouver and Music For Change and The Jazz Cellar and was the booking agent for The WISE Hall, The Waldorf Hotel, and Brief Encounters. Recently she has been making textile art made from repurposed drum materials. She has been teaching at Rufus Drum Shop since 2015 and her teaching style offers a low barrier approach that makes drumming accessible to beginners of all ages, specializing in developing curriculum for children as young as 3. Her lessons include music theory, 4 limbed coordination, multi-genre beats, songs, stick technique and rudiments.
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ West 10th. Friday @ Commercial Drive


Jay Benison

At the age of 10 drum’s entered Jay’s life and he found his passion and purpose from that moment on. Jay studied privately with some of the lower mainlands esteemed teachers and started playing Vancouver night clubs at 15 years old. He has been fortunate enough to have been selected as an in-house studio drummer for a Juno winning & Grammy nominated producer. He has secured resident gigs amassing him over 1200+ nights of live performance. Also no stranger to the road, Jay has played all of Canada’s biggest venues, as well as the smallest ones.
Jay enjoys teaching students drumming skills they will use to play along to their favourite songs and/or use in a band setting. With 15 years of teaching experience Jay likes to provide a comfortable environment for students to explore their own creativity and develop their own identity on the drum set in hopes that they can bring confidence and conviction to their playing!
Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ West 10th

Sterling Paterson

Having studied under international session musician and drum tech Jay Deachman for over a decade, as well as graduating in Recording and Sound Design from the late Columbia Academy in 2010, Sterling has been making his presence known in Vancouver’s Metal scene as a drummer to definitely watch. Sterling has been known for his technical but creative playing and innate well roundedness within Heavy Music and beyond, has played and toured in numerous small groups in several different genres around the lower mainland as well as opened for bigger acts such as Jinjer. He takes a technique based approach to his teaching to ensure every student, regardless of age, walks away with the tools to create their success in any capacity.
Availability: Monday, Saturday @ West 10th.

Tristan Helgason

Tristan began his teaching career in 2004 in Regina SK, teaching varying ages, and skill levels. In 2014, he moved to Vancouver and started teaching for Rufus Drum Shop when they first opened in 2015. Tristan remains one of the shop’s most popular instructors.
Tristan’s performing career has brought him to every corner of Canada, the U.S, and Europe. He has played with artists like Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, and played alongside bands like Canadian punk rock legends Propaghandi.
Tristan is a great choice for any age group or skill level. His passion for music rubs off on whoever he’s teaching, and he makes learning drums a truly fun, enjoyable experience.
Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday @ West 10th. Saturday @ Commercial Drive.

Alexander Marr

Alexander is a lifetime Vancouver resident and has been playing drums for over a decade. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Berklee College of Music, a school from which he recieved a scholarship to attend. During his studies, he was accepted into the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute. He has had the privilege of studying with world-class musicians including Danilo Pérez, Joe Lovano, Ian Froman, Dave Liebman, Billy Kilson, John Patitucci, Ralph Peterson Jr, and John Hazilla.
As a teacher, Alexander believes it is paramount to create an adaptable learning environment and has something to offer learners of all ages, experience levels, and learning styles. Every student is unique, and so lessons will be personalized based on each individual student’s goals and interests. No matter what his student’s musical goals may be, he strives to make the learning process fun and pass the joy that he gets from playing music on to them.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Commercial Drive. Saturday @ West 10th

Todd Stewart

While Todd Stewart’s drumming expertise spans a wide range of musical genres and styles, he is primarily known for working within Vancouver’s “Jazz” scene as a sideman for a wide range of artists, including multiple Juno award-winner, Brad Turner (Metalwood, Seamus Blake) and Chris Davis (Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Jon Batiste). On top of this, he is a composer and arranger, leading multiple creative projects. He has been booked as a bandleader to perform in the 2022 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Todd graduated from Capilano University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies in April 2021 and in Fall 2019 he was awarded the Lou Williamson Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to one drummer on a yearly basis.
In his teaching, Todd focuses on setting his students up with a positive and enriching relationship with music, referring to his core values of patience, perceptiveness, empathy, discipline and improvisation. He stresses equally the importance of developing proper hand technique and rhythmic fluency, as well as the freedom to explore expressive sound-making, while tapping into his knowledge of all genres of music to find songs that excite his students.
Availability: Monday @ Commercial Drive. Friday @ West 10th.

Leslie Lau

Leslie’s passion for drumming started when he was 15, his dedication brought him from a career as an Arborist in Hong Kong back to his birthplace, Canada, where he studied Contemporary Music and Technology at Selkirk College. This extensive education encompassed Music Production and Composition, where he was privileged to receive the tutelage of Steven Parish, Mike Rud, David Restivo, Larnell Lewis, Greg Wells, and many more elite musicians.
Currently, he is the lead drummer in the New Westminster Jazz Band, working on several projects, and has collaborated with a diverse genre of artists, performing across Canada and Hong Kong. Leslie strives to create a nurturing and non-judgemental environment so students can shine their brightest. His lessons are tailored to students’ individual needs and interests. His compassion and patience mean that age is no barrier. He has taught students as young as 2 years old. It’s never too early; or too late. Whether you communicate in English, Cantonese or Mandarin, he is here to guide you through your music journey.
Availability: Friday @ West 10th.

Michael Simpsonelli

Michael Simpsonelli is a veteran of the Vancouver music scene, having worked professionally as drummer and guitarist and on various other instruments for over 20 years. Highly experienced as both studio and live session player, Michael has worked at most of Vancouver’s recording studios, venues, and music festivals. One of his strongest assets is his musical diversity – he is comfortable performing and teaching a wide variety of genres, such as Rock, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Metal, Punk, Blues, Country and whatever he gets the chance to try.  Michael believes that learning music should always be fun, and brings with him a sense of humor. He likes to get to know his students well- bringing out the best in them, both musically and personally.
Availability: Saturday @ Commercial Drive

Karli Rose Macintosh

Karli Macintosh has been playing drums for over 20 years. After attending Selkirk College’s contemporary music and technology program in 2008/09, she relocated to Vancouver from Nelson BC. Since then she has toured, played multiple festivals, and recorded several records. Her teaching journey started 10 years ago when she, along with her band mates, began teaching rock camps/workshops instructing both kids and adults. She currently plays drums and sings in her band Space Queen, and hosts rock camps at the Carnegie centre on the down town east side.
Availability: Tuesday @ Commercial Drive