Drum lessons for children are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the wake of Covid-19, and the need to find fun and inventive ways of keeping our children engaged and entertained.
Recent advances in electronic drum technology and sound reduction also mean that this enjoyable yet often maligned instrument can be effectively learned while maintaining household peace. With more parents and neighbors working from home, and many children still engaging in home-based online studies, this is a significant consideration.
We've compiled a list of five frequently asked questions to help you decide if this fantastic instrument could have a place in your home.
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1. What is a good age to start playing the drums?
It's a good idea to sit with your child and watch a sample of our free lessons. This will give you an idea of whether our approach is a good fit for you and whether your child will enjoy learning drums online. We have purposely kept our videos short and understandable, with realistic goals and a thoughtful, step-by-step approach. We're also on hand to help and have various support options in our membership plans. As most drum lessons are taught on full-sized drum sets, 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 it can be later in age for some children, which really does vary on an individual basis. You might have to consider an undersized junior kit any younger than this.
2. What basic skills are developed?
Learning the drums develops competency in counting, basic problem solving and understanding rhythm. We teach rhythm through counting exercises. If your child is comfortable with counting and counting aloud, they will be able to handle basic drum lessons. We recommend looking at our free videos, and specifically the example from Module 1, Lesson 1. This is most likely where you will start; 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. How do we know this? Our Founder and Presenter, Simon DasGupta, is a drum teacher with over 20 years of experience, and he created Drum Ambition based on his experience working with adults and children alike.
Younger drum students also learn important skills relating 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 experience is a lot of fun. Learning drums can also develop good time management habits. 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 disciplines. This can include the drum set's physical control, listening skills (to parents and teachers), and commitment.
3. Is a drum set required immediately?
The short answer here is no, but it does help. All of the lessons you see on Drum Ambition can be played on a practice pad or through air drumming. Since the early days are mostly about building coordination 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 a small fortune to get started. A used drum set, basic starter package or entry-level electronic drum set will be more than adequate. It will allow you 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. If you're actively looking to purchase your first drum set, this article can help too.
4. 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 its peak. It is natural for children to become less enthused, often temporarily, as the instrument becomes more challenging. Parents should be prepared for this and understand that watching regular video lessons, establishing a practice routine, and parental supervision can make a big difference. In fact, once parents see how much fun their children have behind the drum set, it's often not long before they pick up the sticks and have a go for themselves!
5. Is it worth going to a drum teacher, and how often should you attend?
The videos in Drum Ambition are a perfect start for your child. Again, we recommend checking out our free lessons to see if we are a good fit for you. Drum Ambition is also perfect for parents who do not have geographic access to a teacher, time constraints, budgetary considerations or want to test the water before investing in lesson time. Also, there is the matter of Covid-19. Access to local music teachers is challenging at the time of writing this update. Once the current situation allows, you will see even better progress by regularly visiting a local drum teacher. We've written extensively about the benefits in this article. Some local teachers also offer Skype/Zoom lessons and can be worth considering, providing you are aware of the possible limitations of these sessions.
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