When introducing your son or daughter to drumming it helps to find a dedicated and talented instructor. A good drum teacher can inspire, encourage and educate your child musically to fulfill their potential on the instrument. In this article we will look at some of the things that will be helpful to know as you begin your search for the right teacher.
The first thing to do is to speak to your child and ask them a few questions about themselves and their interests. What music does your child like? What would they like to do when they grow up? Often the answer here can be surprising. One child might harbor dreams of being in a pop rock band while another might see themselves as part of a big international orchestra.
When you know what it is that your child is passionate about, then you can begin a search for an appropriate music school and teacher. Some music schools cater only for string instruments such as violin, cello and guitar. Other music schools are more contemporary in their outlook and cater to modern day pop and rock music. Ideally you will want to find a school that suits the interests of your child and let them blossom.
You can usually find one or several drum instructors in every music school in the country. It’s a popular instrument, especially among kids. It’s also a great way to use up all that energy that youngsters have in a productive and musical way.
One benefit of music schools is that quite often they can put the parent at ease through their trustworthy reputation. If you are interested in one school in particular, go online and check social media to see what other kids and parents are saying about it. This can be an invaluable insight into the way a school is run. Nowadays an online social media presence is invaluable to many businesses and music schools are no different.
In each music school the individual tutors are usually required by law to be vetted by police to ensure that they are fit to teach. Any teachers that are suspect or have criminal backgrounds will usually not pass this vetting process. It’s perfectly fine and understandable for you to enquire with the school themselves with regard to this subject. The chances are that you will be speaking to a representative either in person or on the phone so feel free to ask all the important questions up front.
Some other things you might be interested to ask are things about the teaching methods and course structure. Most music schools work just like regular schools, with terms and breaks. Each term might be a 8 or 12 week course depending on the time of year. If you child has a special interest in a type of music or band, bring this up with the school representative and get their opinion on whether their tutors are suitable.
For example, if your young son or daughter is only interested in playing the drum beats of their favorite band, there’s no point bringing them to someone who only teaches a different style of music.
There is another issue with music education and that is about the content itself. Player ability will vary from child to child. A total beginner will have no experience of the instrument and will in many ways be a ‘blank canvas’. In certain respects, this can be a blessing to the teacher as they can mould the child in a way that increases their ability, knowledge and love of the instrument.
On the other hand, your child might have been playing in their room for years, and be quite a good drummer already. Perhaps they are looking to go to the next level with their technique or are have hit a brick wall creatively. If this is the case, it can help to let the child know that the teacher will be there to help them progress. This may mean that the teacher will have to assess and correct any bad habits that have crept into the student’s playing. As most drummers will testify, going to your first lesson can be daunting, as it often takes an admittance that we’re not as good as we’d like to be. If you can keep an open mind and take criticism constructively here it will help you progress quicker and avoid conflicts.
Not all music teachers are based in music schools. Some are freelance tutors and work from home or will actually travel around to student houses individually. In many cases there are laws that state you must have certain licenses and permits to teach from home so it’s actually quite rare in comparison to music schools. If you are interested in a certain teacher, it’s always good to speak to someone to has experience of them as a customer. This could be either a parent of a child who is getting drum lessons, or an adult that has being going to them for years. Speak to them and ask about the teacher’s approach and explain that you are trying to ascertain whether they will be the right fit to teach your son or daughter. They’ll usually be helpful and will understand where you are coming from. In any student-teacher relationship it helps if both the student and teacher are on the same page.
Whether you choose to send your child to a music school or invite a tutor over to your house to teach, you can always ask if it’s OK to sit in on the first lesson. This can make the child feel more relaxed and also gives you an insight into the class dynamic. Most schools will have no problem with this as it is quite a common concern for many parents. Also be aware of how long the lesson is and make a decision as to the ideal length for your child. Some kids can do a 45 minute lesson and still be thirsty for more information. Other kids start to zone out after 20 minutes. You’ll know best yourself.