Drum set, Concert & Latin Percussion, Piano, Guitar
Shawn Doolittle grew up in a musical family. His father was a pianist and professor of Jazz Improvisation & Arranging at Hofstra University. When he was very young he would watch his father’s band and eventually end up sitting in with them on the drums. This ending up being great exposure and provided Shawn with a foundation for jazz, Latin and ensemble playing.
Sean started with guitar lessons at 8 years old and by high school decided to focus more on percussion in orchestra and drum set in rock bands. He graduated the Drummers Collective in NYC, then went to attend the new school for Jazz Research, studying with Bernard Purdie, Frankie Malabe and Gary Chaffee (among many others). During this time he was also recording at the Record Plant in NYC.
Shawn’s next move was a successful audition for the Navy Band that culminated in graduating from the Armed Forces School of Music in percussion. His first tour was with the Latin / Salsa big band as well as the concert band and drum line in Norfolk, VA. During this time he would spend several months learning popular and cultural music of different countries they would tour, and perform them over 6 months of touring – Central & South America, and West & South Africa for 2 shows a day 7 days a week! He loved this experience so much, he signed up for a second tour. The next stop was Italy, Western & Eastern Europe, Russia and North Africa performing with the 6th Fleet Big Band. In 2001, Shawn auditioned into the Presidential Navy Band in Washington DC, spending his time performing with the rock and jazz bands, as well as the drum set and percussion for the concert band.
While touring, he would do clinics with local bands or schools. He discovered a true passion in education, as these experiences ended up being the highlights of the tours. Shawn began to put a method together that would be understandable across cultures and age groups. He still uses this method today for beginners and intermediate players who may have “hit a wall” in their progress with enormous success.
After his time with the Presidential Navy Band, Shawn decided to dive into teaching full time. From 2004 – 2009 he was the drum instructor for East Islip Schools, private instructor for the New York State Music Association, as well as a drum instructor for All Music in Plainview, NY.
Shawn continued teaching after moving to Florida in 2010. He has taught both privately and for the Sarasota County Schools. Now Sean teaches exclusively with Elizabeth Farrell Music, but you can also find him performing locally, writing & recording.