Lesson Center



Charlie has a Percussion Performance degree and minor in Audio Engineering from the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston. While there, he studied privately with Alan Dawson (Dave Brubeck) and Keith Copeland (Stevie Wonder). After graduating from Berklee, Charlie went on to study with David Garibaldi (Tower of Power) and Roy McCurdy (Cannonball Adderly-Kenny Rankin) in Los Angeles, CA. Charlie has over 20 years teaching experience utilizing the same techniques he learn from his various instructors. He has played all over the United States, Europe, Canada, and Caribbean Islands. He has been fortunate to perform with national artists that include Sonny Rollins, Gary Burton, Steve Swallow, Lawrence Welk Orchestra and more. He has experience in recording jingles, albums, radio spots and various projects in his career. Charlie loves teaching and performing all styles of music from jazz, rock, blues, rudimental, etc. He is also co-leader of the band Flipside which has played coast to coast and beyond for the past 25 years. He loves to teach all levels from beginners to advanced.


Stacey Ramirez received a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Music degree from Drake University both in Percussion Performance. She has taught percussion in private lessons, master classes, and summer camps at a number of Des Moines area and Illinois schools since 1994. She is also Adjunct Professor of Music at DMACC-Ankeny and West Campuses. Her students have won first chair positions in their school band, have achieved perfect scores at solo and ensemble contest, and played in the All-State Music Band and Orchestra. Stacey has performed throughout the Midwest and New York City with the Kolot Ensemble, Des Moines Symphony, Cedar Rapids Symphony (Orchestra Iowa), Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Milwaukee Choral Artists, Music Under the Stars, Des Moines Playhouse, Mosaics Chamber Ensemble, and the Des Moines Choral Society. Stacey teaches all instruments in school band percussion, four-mallet marimba, drum set, music theory and history. She believes in preparing students, not only for high school band, but so they can become life-long percussionists. Stacey is endorsed by Aquarian Drumheads.


Mr. Van Haecke, or Mr. V by some, has been playing drums for over 20 years. He is currently the drumline instructor for Urbandale High School and Saydel High School where he teaches, writes and sometimes re-writes music for the drumlines’ on-field battery and frontline ensembles. He occasionally teaches a drum class at Woodside Middle School and once a week can be found teaching at Brody Transistional School. In the past he has been involved with the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble, Des Moines Community Orchestra, Pikes Peak Philharmonic (Colorado), Valley High School Marching Drum Camp, Iowa State University Fall Drumline, Iowa State University Spring Drumline Club (Groove), and productions with Ballet Des Moines and Des Moines Playhouse.


Zach has been playing drum set and percussion since 1997. He studied at the Los Angeles Music Academy where he learned from Ralph Humphrey (Frank Zappa, Don Ellis Big Band, Family Guy), Joe Pocaro (Stan Getz, Toto), Tony Inzalaco (Maynard Ferguson), Mike Packer (Cirque Du Soleil), and Mike Shapiro (Sergio Mendez, Airto Moreira). He studied rock, funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, odd meters, sight reading, and big band. Zach has played in numerous bands around Des Moines, Iowa including Pale Blue Erf (formerly The Smoothsayers), The Workshy, Aries Rising, Neu Moniker, Nature Boy (Primus cover band), and he has played with various musicians including Rob Akum, Dave Altemeier, and Heath Allen. Zach has had the opportunity to play a lot of improvisation in most of the bands. Zach is ambidextrous and always encourages his students to learn with an open mind.


Mike Woods is more than just your typical music-loving wingman from Chicago, Illinois. He's quite possibly one of the best drummers in the Midwest. Mike specializes in mastering the beats in all musical art, understanding as well, the importance of music structure and dynamics. His favorite styles of music however are: Funk, R&B, and Jazz. Mike started playing drums in his church choir at the age of 8 years old. He comes from a family of musicians: his Mother - a sound pianist, Father - celebrated bass player, Brother: drummer, vocalist, pianist and producer and Sisters - amazing vocalists. Humbly, he acquired his love for music from the very best. If you ask him nicely, he just may do a riff or two on the bass guitar or sing a chord progression. Today, when Mike is not teaching music, he tours with Decoy Band, and hits the night lights with Tighten Up, The Tarakis, and Fat Tuesday. He also has played with local legends such as: Rob Ankum, Scott Sutherland, Sam Salomone and Janey Hooper, and toured world-wide. Mike dreams of one day passing on his love for music to his two little boys.