Age: Secondary, Adult
About Dan Callahan
Dan is an accomplished percussion teacher with a wealth of experience spanning various music genres. His musical journey began at the age of 9 when he joined a brass band in Launceston, Tasmania. Under the guidance of Monte Mumford, he excelled within the University of Tasmania Community Band Program, reaching the highest level of proficiency.
Throughout his career, Dan has actively participated in orchestral settings, particularly within percussion sections. He has also collaborated successfully with rock, punk, Celtic, folk, jazz, and art bands, establishing himself as a prominent figure in the local jazz scene. His skills on drums, vibraphone, and guitar have made him a versatile musician.
Dan holds a BCA degree, specializing in drum kit and vibraphone, which has provided him with a strong foundation in music theory and practice. Prior to his teaching career, he spent 15 years as a musical instrument repair technician, actively supporting music education programs and ensuring students had access to functional instruments. Through this experience, he has gained extensive knowledge of brass and woodwind instruments.
Additionally, Dan is a founding member of the Chordwainers/Tasmanian Leather Orchestra, an ensemble that celebrates and explores music using instruments made from leather. Under the guidance of artist Garry Greenwood, Dan has embraced avant-garde music creation, emphasizing creativity, improvisation, and expression.
Skills and expertise
Dan’s teaching approach revolves around delivering group workshops in a relaxed and exploratory atmosphere. He encourages participants to experiment with non-traditional music techniques and improvisation, making these workshops most effective for individuals who already possess some proficiency with their chosen instruments.
Dan firmly believes that exposing music students to avant-garde music creation is essential, as it opens their ears to new possibilities, removes barriers to creativity and expression, and broadens their musical horizons.
In addition to teaching, Dan has experience leading his own bands, fostering a collaborative environment that encourages creative exploration within defined musical frameworks. He has also taken on leadership roles in samba drumming groups, providing guidance for practices and performances.