In addition to his celebrated work as a drummer and bandleader, Vanderlei is a renowned educator with extensive experience teaching Brazilian music in both private and group settings. Apart from his obvious expertise on drums and percussion, Vanderlei is a proficient guitarist and bassist, and possesses a comprehensive knowledge of theory and keyboard harmony.
Vanderlei has developed a distinctive approach for teaching Brazilian music that draws upon his unique background, enabling him to bring out the highest level of musical expression in each student. He has achieved remarkable results with students of all levels (including working jazz professionals) and on all instruments. In addition to teaching privately, Vanderlei has taught courses and given master classes in Brazilian music (for drummers as well as ensembles) at many notable educational institutions, such as The Berklee College of Music, City College of CUNY, The University of Louisville, the Escola de Música de Brasilia, and California Brazil Camp, among many others.