Growing up in Roane County, Tenn., Martin Hodge always made music a part of his life, whether it was singing in church choirs or playing violin in the school orchestra. But it was drumming that he loved best of all.

He remembers pounding on an old drum that belonged to his family, picking up the basics by watching drummers on television. He started taking lessons at around age 16. Of all the instruments, drums “seemed the most accessible,” Martin says.

Martin, now 34, makes drumming accessible to a pair of kids each week at the Joy of Music School, where he has been a volunteer instructor since 2009. His Monday afternoon sessions here are among his favorite parts of every week, he says.

When he’s not volunteering at the Joy of Music School or teaching private lessons to other area drummers, you’ll often find the University of Tennessee graduate on stage. Martin regularly plays drums for Knoxville jazz-blues favorites Slow Blind Hill and sometimes appears in Smith Family Shows in the Gatlinburg area.