Questioning Everything: Conversations with Marc Dicciani

Percussionists have a long tradition of learning to play the drums that’s been handed down from (almost) the beginning of time. But, is all that information really true? Mark Wessels and Joe Testa sit down with Marc Dicciani to discuss the SCIENCE behind many of the ‘accepted facts’ that have been handed down to us by our fore-fathers and mothers!

Episode 1: Are Drummers Right-handed or Left-handed? They’re Both!

In this first episode, Marc talks about the misconception of “handedness” – whether we are truly right-handed or left-handed – and how the neuro pathways that we create in the brain can contribute to becoming “both handed”!

“Are Drummers Right-handed or Left-handed? They’re Both!”

Download a PDF here!

Episode 2: Effective Practice

Over the past few decades, cognitive psychologists, neurologists, neuroscientists and others have begun to build a body of evidence containing the most effective learning strategies. In this episode, Marc shares several ways that he has translated that information into strategies to help you to improve your practice sessions.

Episode 3: Can You Learn Feel?

In this episode, Marc talks about effective ways that drummers can develop a great FEEL, no matter the style of music.


Marc is a Full professor of Drumset and Music at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and a very busy international performer, clinician, and researcher with dozens of international concert dates and clinics throughout the year.

He has made concert appearances with a wide variety of artists, including jazz musicians Randy Brecker, Joey DeFrancesco, Jon Faddis, Robin Eubanks, Christian McBride, Gerald Veasley, Pat Martino, Stanley Clarke, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, John Fedchock, Diane Schuur, Grover Washington, Jr., Tom Kennedy, and Jimmy Smith; singers Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ben Vereen, Tom Jones, Lou Rawls, Mel Tormé, Dionne Warwick, and Natalie Cole; pop artists Boyz II Men, the Spinners, and the Stylistics; and orchestras including the Dallas, New Orleans, San Diego, Buffalo, Long Beach, Honolulu, Edmonton, Jacksonville, Nashville, North Carolina, Hartford, Gulf Coast, Philadelphia, Boston Pops, and the National Symphony. He’s performed and recorded for major network TV shows and films in Los Angeles including two telecasts of the Golden Globe Awards, and in ensembles with Doc Severinsen, Snooky Young, Pete Christlieb, Ron Carter, James Moody, Ernie Watts, Stevie Wonder, Ray Parker, Jr., and Lee Ritenour. He spent many years touring internationally with entertainer Ben Vereen, with whom he continues to tour and perform internationally.

Marc has lectured and conducted clinics at countless universities including USC, LSU, UNLV, Cal State, U of Texas El Paso, East Carolina, U of Maine, Appalachian State, Duquense, U of Delaware, Kent State, Santa Monica, American U, Villanova, Temple, colleges and schools in England, Chile, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, at international conferences (IAJE, JEN, & PASIC), and regional conferences (PMEA, NJMEA, CMS, Grammy in the Schools).

Marc was recently honored as the recipient of the prestigious Drumset Education Legacy Award presented by Yamaha Drums at the 2019 PASIC Convention. In February 2020, he was selected as the Artist-in-Residence at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in their Health Design Lab MEDiA (Medicine intersecting Art) Residency Program to research drumming, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence to help rehabilitate the physically disabled, emotionally challenged, and those with neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders. In the summer of 2020, Marc was named to the Scholarly Research Committee of the international Percussive Arts Society. He has published numerous articles, podcasts, and videos on drumming, practice, learning, technique, and skill development based on his research in neuroscience and related fields.

At the University of the Arts he has taught for 30+ years and served in numerous senior leadership positions including Director of the School of Music, Dean of the College of Performing Arts, and University Dean. In addition to his administrative work, Marc teaches drumset, hand and electronic percussion, and courses in drumset improvisation and music business to undergraduate and graduate students, directs an alternative percussion bucket drum ensemble, and a Salsa Ensemble, and teaches the nation’s only graduate drumset course for music educators at Villanova University or Ursinus College each summer.

Marc has been with the Grammy organization (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) for more than 25 years, serving as Philadelphia Board Member, Chapter President, and member of the National Board of Trustees. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Music Alliance, an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Philadelphia’s rich musical legacy.

Marc is an drumset artist/clinician for Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Remo Drum Heads, Latin Percussion, MONO Cases, Music Molds, and writes for Modern Drummer Magazine, Drum Club Magazine, Planet Drum Webzine, Percussive Arts Society (PAS), and In-Concert magazines.



For nearly 60 years, we at the Vic Firth Company have focused on developing and manufacturing what has become the world’s most popular drumsticks, mallets, alternative implements, and accessories… with the best durability, feel, and sound options, across the widest variety of genres and styles.

Scroll to Top