Juan Carlito Mendoza

178 – Juan “Carlito” Mendoza: A Master of Music Education

In this podcast I sit down with Juan “Carlito” Mendoza, who’s best known for his 2012 Guitar Center Drumoff win. What you may not know is that he’s also band director, college professor, and touring clinician with a masters degree in music education. He lives, breathes and eats music education…but he has his own twist. “I’ve never wanted to be an educator who can’t play” he says, explaining that he can talk the talk but he can also walk the walk. With a concentration on musicality, Mendoza focuses on learning the facility, but ultimately how to convert the facility into what’s most important: making music.

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them” – Aristotle (Tweet this)

Juan Carlito Mendoza talks about:

    • How he got started playing drums
    • Studying DCI / Rudimental drumming
    • Applying Rudiments to the kit
    • Learning more than just the “surface” level of music
    • Thoughts on YouTube drumming
    • The pros/cons of putting yourself “out there”
    • His love for education
    • How he suggest you practice
    • Much more

Resources and Links Mentioned:


Juan Carlito Medoza Plays:

  • Meinl Cymbals
  • Remo Drumheads
  • Vic Firth Drumsticks
  • Drumdots
  • Drumdial


Podcast Sponsors

DW Drums: I’ve been playing DW for years…not only because they make high-quality, handcrafted drums but because they support and foster drumming initiatives all over the wold, much like this podcast. I’m thrilled to announce that DW has signed on to support Drummer’s Reosource for 2016! Be sure to check them out today and DWDrums.com.

Sabian Education Network: Designed to help teachers get more students & keep them longer, bring the latest technology into your studio, Increase your profitability, deal with unique situations such as special-needs students, get new ideas for curriculum and share teaching methods. For more information, visit Sabian.com/joinsen

Promark Drumsticks: Promark is now a sponsor of the podcast once again they were last year and now they are again. they just released the Mike Portnoy signature model that has the active group 420X at it’s designed to add more power to your arsenal and features the heat activated technology. It’s s an awesome technology that actually adjusts to your body temperature and give you control you need so no matter how hard you play the active grip is going to help you handle it by getting tackier as it warms up. You can learn more about this great technology and the Mike Portnoy stick at Promark.com


2 replies
  1. John Foster
    John Foster says:

    Really enjoyed this podcast, Nick. As an “older” drummer it is interesting to hear about younger drummers coming from a perspective of learning cool drum rudiments, chops, then trying to apply them to playing in a band. I think I take it for granted that you play to the song and listen to what the singer is doing. I mainly learned to drum by playing to records and listening to the songs over and over again until I understood the feel of the song. The more I have listened to Nick’s podcasts, the more I realize how much of the ‘playing to the song’ approach I took for granted. I guess I thought everyone did that! My challenge is more on the rudiments/chops side of drumming.

    Anyway, another great podcast, Nick. Great guest and great information!

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