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June 2014 Teacher Spotlight

Mark Budwit
Drums & Percussion, Heid Music Oshkosh

 Mark_BClick for video introduction
Mark Budwit has played drums and percussion since 1986. He has a degree in applied music from UW-Green Bay, with an emphasis in percussion studies and music history and literature. Mark has played drums professionally in bands and ensembles since 1995, and currently performs with the popular regional band RPM. He enjoys teaching any age level of percussionist, from the absolute beginner to the advanced student. Mark focuses lessons on all areas of music, including music theory, sight-reading, rhythmic studies and all forms of percussion instruments, including mallet percussion. Students have the opportunity to perform at student recitals at various points through the year. Mark believes in tailoring each students lesson experience to their own unique goals and desires in percussion focusing on having fun while attainting the skills they need to be confident to perform fluently in any setting. To see Mark perform, please check out his band RPM at and for teaching studio information please go to

Nalani_AmsdenWhat is your favorite part about being a teacher?  The best part of being a music teacher is sharing my love and passion for percussion & music theory to the students. I love helping them understand rhythms and how music works, so they can have a better appreciation on what is happening when they hear music. 

(Right: Long time student of Mark Budwit, Nalani Amsden, was featured for Heid Music's Percussion Month.)

What is the best advice you can give to a beginning student?  The best advice I can give any new student to music (or anything for that matter) is don’t expect to become great overnight. No one climbs a mountain by starting at the top! Set realistic goals for yourself and milestones you can check off on your journey, with the help of your instructor, so that you can see the progress you’ve made and feel the accomplishment. This is true whether you’re 6 or 60. Everyone is capable of learning an instrument. Just be patient with the process and enjoy the progress you make!

Mark_WAMIWhat in your mind was the biggest reason you won the WAMI Teacher of the Year award this year?  The biggest reason I believe I won the WAMI award is due to the immense support I receive from my family, friends, students and their parents. Becoming a music teacher was always a goal I had but it would have never happened if not for all the great advice, support and encouragement I receive day in and day out from everyone! I believe that a strong support network and communication is key to any learning adventure and I’m extremely fortunate for the great students, parents and friends I have met over the years!

What made you choose drums?  I would say drums chose me! I’ve wanted to be a drummer since I was 2 years old. From playing pots and pans and tapping on everything in sight to getting my first toy drum set at 5 years old, I never looked back! I love rhythm and music in general so it was a perfect fit. As I got older in middle & high school I picked up other instruments like guitar and piano to help with my understanding of music as a whole.

Who is your biggest musical influence and why?  My biggest musical influence would be my Grandfather. He passed away when I was very young but I remember instruments in their home and that he was very musical and able to play almost anything. I come from a very musical family with many extended family members who play instruments or sing, so it’s always been a part of my life. My four cousins were in a band together and we would go and see them on occasion and that made me want to be in a band!

What do you like to do in your spare time?  Spare time is a premium for me now! When I’m not teaching or gigging I enjoy spending time and going on adventures with my wife Jodi and our 3 children. The band I’m in (RPM) keeps me very busy, and as I tell all my students… There’s always time to practice your instrument!

Click for more information on Mark's Percussion Studio and his band, RPM.