"Andrew Dickeson is one of Australia’s leading jazz drummers. His playing is informed by the history and tradition of the jazz movement; his respect and love for this history is immediately apparent, his knowledge of it is second to none. Andrew has been teaching drums for the jazz unit of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music since 2001; his former students are at the vanguard of the jazz scene in Australia, his current students undoubtedly will join them. His teaching methodology and meticulous attention to the needs of each student are admirable; his enthusiasm and knowledge are imparted in the teaching studio with energy and commitment. He is a real asset to the Conservatorium." - Craig Scott, Chair of Jazz Studies
As mentioned above, besides his career as a busy, freelance musician, Andrew is extremely active in the field of music education.
He is the Lecturer in Drums in the Jazz Unit of Sydney Conservatorium of Music / University of Sydney - covering Diploma, Bachelor and Masters of Music degrees. He also takes students in other instruments (in particular , double bass players), Jazz Ensemble Classes and Rhythm Section Workshops. For over a decade he has been engaged as Drum and Percussion Specialist at Saint Aloysius College in Sydney. He also, on occasion, takes on private students.
Andrew’s philosophy on teaching has been drawn from his own teachers, his broad professional experience and his wealth of personal study.
"I was fortunate to study with several of the true masters of Jazz drumming - notably Mr Arthur Taylor and Mr Vernel Fournier. They showed me, by example, the level of passion, commitment and discipline required to play this music and, above all, to ALWAYS SWING!! My more recent and on-going studies with Michael Carvin have enabled me to take my playing to a whole new level of freedom and personal expression". Andrew has also benefited from study with Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Kenny Washington and Brazilian master Vanderlai Pereira.
"The time I spent in New York City in the early 1990s allowed me to watch many of the world’s greatest drummers" weave their magic" -Billy Higgins, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Louis Hayes, Tony Williams, Alan Dawson, Louis Bellson, Jimmy Lovelace and many more. This is an irreplaceable experience which current generations of students, sadly, can not have -I consider it a privilege to pass on my experience of these great performers.
"I return to New York almost every year to perform, study and keep up to date with what is happening there now. Besides enriching my own playing, I feel I can bring it back to share with my students and peers.
"In my professional experience, master musicians such as Johnny Griffin, Junior Cook ,Lee Konitz, Eddie Henderson, Kirk Lightsey, and many others with whom I have been blessed to share the bandstand, have shared with me their knowledge, advice and insights into playing music. No less important to me has been my experience with Australian players such as Bobby Gebert, Dale Barlow and Bernie McGann.
"Personally, I consider myself to be an eternal student - for me music is about always beginning something new - never really finishing. I am always investigating and enjoying different music ,trying new approaches and exploring different ways to express myself".
"In my teaching I aim to give my students a thorough knowledge of the history of the instrument in various genres of music - so they know what "needs" to be played in any situation. Developing their "ears" and sense of musicality is my Number 1 priority. Of equal importance is that they be encouraged to "play themselves" and express their individuality on the instrument. Accordingly, they need to develop their technique to be able to play what is required in any situation and to be able to express themselves clearly in whatever style they choose to play".
Dickeson’s list of former students reads like a "who’s who" of the Sydney’s contemporary music scene - Tim Firth, Adam Pache, James Waples, Jamie Cameron, Alex Masso, Ko Omura, Jason Isacc, Jamie Castrisos, Paul Derricott, Ross Ferraro, Ali Foster and a great many others. They are all working and succeeding professionally in a wide variety of styles.
Please feel free to contact Andrew for lessons, advice etc through the CONTACT section of this website.