By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Music has always been a big part of Chris Kapitz’s life. As a child, he started playing drums at the age of six and then guitar at age 14. Throughout his time in the Westborough Public Schools and then at the Berklee College of Music, he has played in various bands and ensembles. For the last 16 years, Kapitz has been sharing his love of music with others as a private music teacher, instructing hundreds of students over the years in both guitar and drums.
“Growing up, I was always a big music lover. I started playing drums at about age six but really got into it at about 13. I started playing guitar around fifth grade,” he said. “In school I always played in the concert and jazz bands, and I formed bands with friends outside of school also.”
A friend’s encouragement motivated him to apply to Boston’s world-renowned Berklee College of Music, but even before enrolling there, he already had a connection with the school – he had been taking private drum lessons from Berklee professor Ron Savage for a year and a half there. As a student at Berklee, he pursued and received a bachelor of arts degree in professional music, which provided him with a good foundation in teaching as well as performance. He auditioned for and played in many ensembles there, including the Berklee Percussion Ensemble led by Dean Anderson, the school’s percussion department chair and principal percussionist in the Boston Pops Esplanade orchestra.
During Kapitz’s last semester, he began teaching at the Music House in Milford (now closed). After establishing his approach and curriculum for a few years there, he eventually started his own musical instruction business in 2004.
Kapitz works with students of all ages and levels of experience. Many of his younger students play in school bands, in which case he readily works with them on their assigned parts.
Being a teacher has always appealed to him, he noted, “because I enjoy being able to break things down, and to make concepts and ideas that are new to my students more understandable.”
“I like to give my students a good foundation in the basics and fundamentals of their instruments. That includes reading music and playing technique,” he added. “Once a student begins to develop those things, then we can focus on their own unique direction, whether that be a school or independent band, or just playing for fun.”
Students of his have successfully been selected for jazz bands (on both guitar and drums), gone on to play in college marching bands, and made districts concert band. He has worked with (and performed with) an autistic student who became a very capable drummer, and had a drum student who auditioned for and performed with country superstar Shania Twain at the T.D. Garden in Boston.
For his clients’ ease, Kapitz travels to all of his students’ homes. He has flexible hours, arranging for lessons after school, in the evenings and even weekends.
When he is not teaching, Kapitz enjoys performing with a number of local organizations including the Westboro Players, Westborough Community Chorus, and with his own duo, the Travis Kapitz Duo. On Saturday, Sept. 26, he will be playing with Lynn Jolicoeur and The Pulse at the annual Westborough Arts in Common Festival, held at the Baystate Common Green. His duo will also be performing at the same event. For more information on lessons with Chris Kapitz, call 508-330-0248 or email [email protected].