The Team


Jonathon Tressler

Bachelor Music Arts(L7), Dip Tchg Lrn

Manager, Drum Kit & Percussion Teacher

Jonathon is an established drummer of 30 years and his career has included full-time teaching for over 20 years. Jonathon graduated from both the Christchurch Jazz School and Christchurch Teacher’s College, and has the qualifications to back up his experience. He is employed full time as an Itinerant Music Teacher with the Forte ITM’s attached to Hagley College and is currently teaching drums and percussion in eight Canterbury schools.

He also has experience in teaching primary and intermediate aged students, and in both public and private education establishments. Jonathon is passionate about quality drum kit education for New Zealand students. This passion led him to the UK where he met Drumsense founder Colin Woolway, and their connection led to Jonathon’s pioneering role bringing the Drumsense programme to NZ. As well as introducing Drumsense to New Zealand, he has trained and mentored many drum teachers around the country holding seminars and clinics in this method.

In recent years Jonathon has developed his skills in orchestral percussion playing with a focus on 4 mallet marimba. He has been refining these skills by playing percussion in a number of Brass bands and orchestras around Canterbury. This has enabled him to offer percussion lessons at The Beat Studios with a new purpose built percussion studio being added on beside the current drum studio at the start of 2017.

Aidan Stewart - Teacher

Aidan Stewart


Aidan’s drumming experience spans 12 years. He has a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Ara Institute of Canterbury, and has a Grade 8 Distinction from Trinity College London. He has played in numerous bands including brass band for 6 years, two covers bands, a wedding band, a jazz band and a high school rock band which won people’s choice award at Rockquest in 2010.

In addition to teaching drums, he has up skilled in the Drumsense program and Trinity college exam syllabus’s, music programs such as Logic Pro X and Sibelius. Teaching privately and in numerous schools is now his full time job. As a previous student of Jonathon Tressler’s, Aidan has gained expertise in the Drumsense Program and skillfully passes that knowledge on to his students.

James Watson


James has been playing drums for 17 years and teaching for the last 2 years. He has a passion to see students grow and progress their love of music through their study of drumming.

James progressed through the Trinity College London exams passing his grade 8 in yr 13 under the guidance of his teacher Jonathon Tressler. During his school years he played in the school productions and jazz band and since leaving school has been playing in the covers band ‘Carpe Diem’ with his sister on vocals. The band gigs regularly around Christchurch playing in bars, at weddings, and corporate functions over the past 4 years.

The Drumsense program has been the foundation of his drumming through teacher Jonathon Tressler at Lincoln High School and The Beat Studios and this is where he developed his love of funk drumming, polyrhythms and odd time signatures. Over his 17 years of experience he has played a vast range of musical styles and has the skills that will help students develop their personal goals at The Beat Studios.

Chris Spark - Teacher

Chris Sparks


Chris Spark has been playing drums since he was thirteen, and majored in drums and percussion at the Christchurch Jazz School. After graduating in 2000, he taught and played drums full time, teaching the Drumsense programme at the Christchurch Rockshop and at various high schools around Christchurch and North Canterbury.

He later moved to Australia with his band degrees.K and toured Australia and New Zealand across 2 years, recording and releasing their high energy rock music.

More recently he has organised and trained the music teams at his church, branching out into other instruments. But drums remain his musical passion, and he is excited to share that passion with with students at the Beat Studios.

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