If you are considering drum lessons for your child, Drum Ambition is here to help you answer some important questions. In our drum studio in San Diego, we teach youngsters of all ages, and there are five common questions that most parents have.
According to recent studies, there are many benefits to children playing musical instruments. Aside from the personal development benefits in areas such as language, problem solving and communication, it must also be remembered that learning an instrument is a lot of fun, and can also provide great social opportunities to you and your children. (I met my best friends through learning the drums, and my parents made friends with other parents as a direct result). The Fun element must never be overlooked by child, parent or teacher - otherwise learning any instrument can be a short lived venture.
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What is a good age to start playing the drums?
I started tapping on table tops and cushions when I was 8 years old. Most drum lessons are taught on full-sized drum sets, and so it is important that children can reach the foot pedals on the set while sitting comfortably. For many youngsters, this can be from around age 7 onwards, although for some children, it can be later in age and this really does vary on an individual basis. Any younger then this, and you might have to consider an undersized junior kit.
What basic skills are developed?
Learning drums develops competency in counting, basic problem solving, and involves an understanding of rhythm. We teach rhythm through counting exercises. So, technically, if your child is comfortable with counting, and counting out loud, then that is a good start. I recommend looking at the free content available in Drum Ambition Video 1, as this is most likely where you will start out - developing individual limbs, co-ordination, and counting out loud. The content you see in this 10 minute video would normally take one hour in a one-to-one lesson with a drum teacher, and 90% of children can play this beat after an hour of assisted practice.
Younger drum students also learn important skills pertaining to patience, time management, and self control when learning instruments. All musical instruments require a great amount of patience and persistence, and drums are certainly no different. Each student will experience periods of growth, natural plateaus, minor setbacks, and major victories. It can be a roller coaster that can test your patience and resolve, but the rewards are hugely satisfying, and the process is a lot of fun. Given as progress on the drums depends on home practice time, then time management habits can also be developed. For example, planning and committing to regular practice time, and developing routines are good skills for our youngsters to learn. When learning drums, your children also learn important self control. This can include the physical control of the drum set, listening skills (to parents and teachers) and commitment.
Is a drum set required immediately?
The short answer here is no, but it does help. All of the lessons that you see on Drum Ambition can be played on a practice pad, or just through air drumming. Since the early days are mostly about building co-ordination and understanding rhythm, you can get by without a set. With that said, students who do not have access to drum sets tend to lose interest after a few months. You don't need to spend the earth to get started - a used drum set or basic starter package ($300-$500) would be more then adequate, and will give you an opportunity to assess how serious your child is about drumming, before making a more expensive purchase later down the line. We can help you choose between electronic and acoustic drums, as well as other important household considerations, such as sound-control.
Will my child commit and stay the course?
Most children make good progress early on as the basics are quickly achievable, and the enthusiasm level is at it's peak. It is natural for children to become less enthused (often temporarily) as the instrument becomes more challenging, and parents should be prepared for this. Regular lessons, routine practice, and a music teacher that makes the process fun as well as educational is essential to success.
Is it worth going to a Drum Teacher, and how often should you attend?
The videos in Drum Ambition are a perfect supplement to your child's education. You will also be able to gauge their interest by watching the free content on this website. Drum Ambition is also perfect for parents who do not have geographic access to a teacher, time constraints, budgetary considerations, or who just want to test the water before investing in lesson time. You will see even better progress by investing in regular time with a local drum teacher. We can help subscribers find appropriate music teachers, through our free service, Drum Ambition Connect™. How often a child can attend lessons depends on a series of factors including the availability of the parents to get them to a teaching studio, after-school activities, and available budget for music lessons. A one hour lesson with a good teacher can cost between $40-$70 per hour, depending on your geographical location. Some teachers can travel to you, and this can help out parents greatly where scheduling could be an issue. One lesson per week is great - but one lesson every two weeks is equally good. Less frequent lessons then this will yield slower progress and results. It is also important to allow realistic practice time between lessons.
If you have any questions on how our video lessons can help your child, please email [email protected]. We are here to help you.