Zollie began teaching percussion at The Music Center in 2022. He enjoys focusing on his students and seeing them reach for their dreams through their passion for music. Zollie’s first musical aspirations came from his father, watching him play bass guitar in local rock bands while growing up. At age 14, he learned to play drums with his dad as part of his band, Adonijah, a Christian alternative rock band. They played gigs around the Midwest and eventually recorded an EP (extended play) album. Today, rock remains one of Zollie’s favorite genres, along with jazz and rhythm and blues. Zollie supported himself through music and graduate school by working in a local restaurant. He believes this experience strengthened his resolve to succeed in music, and today, he transfers this resolve to his students. “I make it a point to explain to all my students that their only limits are how much effort they want to put into learning music,” Zollie explains. “A student’s background or home circumstances — or lack of natural talent — is meaningless compared to passion and consistent hard work.” He has also played in the Millennium Orchestra as part of Celebrity Cruises, Super Happy Funtime Burlesque Show, and the Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club — and for various churches and musicals and with jazz artists in Michigan and Indiana. While grateful for many different musical experiences, Zollie shares one of his favorites: “On a cruise ship I worked on, we were playing our biweekly jazz set a little looser and wilder than normal. For some reason, the audience loved it — so we played faster and faster. Everyone walking by stopped to listen, blocking the hallways. By the end of the set, the room was packed with people, emitting an aura of excitement. We played like we weren’t ‘supposed to,’ but something was in the air that night.” Zollie holds a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from Oakland University and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Indiana University. He enjoys the gym (his meditative zone), playing video games (like Pokémon), building computers, and home cooking.