Looking for Teaching Tips

Toronto Rock

New member
New to the teaching scene - looking for tips as I accept new clients.

I have been a drummer for along time and of all the things I've done I have never given professional lessons. That time has come and I have 3 new clients that I start teaching this week.

My question is what should be my primary teaching focus on behalf of the students . I imagine skills such as; keeping time, rudiments, sight reading, or some combination. My students are very new to drums and range from a 7 year old girl and 10 year old boy to a 40 year old Chef!

Any advice would be welcome!

Niall
www.niallmellors.com
www.myspace.com/niallmellorsdrums
 

Dale

New member
Toronto Rock":2gzygtu1 said:
New to the teaching scene - looking for tips as I accept new clients.

I have been a drummer for along time and of all the things I've done I have never given professional lessons. That time has come and I have 3 new clients that I start teaching this week.

My question is what should be my primary teaching focus on behalf of the students . I imagine skills such as; keeping time, rudiments, sight reading, or some combination. My students are very new to drums and range from a 7 year old girl and 10 year old boy to a 40 year old Chef!

Any advice would be welcome!

Niall
www.niallmellors.com
www.myspace.com/niallmellorsdrums
I teach technique one lesson, and groove the next. I find this keeps it interesting for the student. I always use a metronome and like to work from Master Studies.

It's pretty simple really. Just allow the student to have fun. Music is supposed to be fun.
 

Toronto Rock

New member
Thanks for the input.

So when you are teaching technique - what are some of the first things you address?

Can you be more specific when you refer to Master Studies?
 

rlrrll

New member
With small kids, I like to teach a lot of late period Beatles songs. They seem to really like stuff like "Fool on the Hill" and "Octopus' Garden" because those songs could pass for childrens songs. I find kid's bore easily with rudiments, techniuqe, etc. Teach songs and sneek the technical skills in there.

I try to do a song a week. This has helped me retain students years at a time.

tc
 

Dale

New member
Toronto Rock":3vgftiot said:
Thanks for the input.

So when you are teaching technique - what are some of the first things you address?

Can you be more specific when you refer to Master Studies?
It depends on the student's level. If a beginner: The first thing I teach is how to hold the sticks. I then begin on single strokes. Making sure that the wrist, fingers and forearm move the stick in a clean verticle line up and down.

The next technique is doubles. I make sure that the student understands the importance of snapping the second stroke so as to keep both strokes even.

Paradiddles follow. Then rolls, triplets buzzes etc etc.

I then have them practice their feet using similar techniques. Then we incorporate feet and hands together. Such as RRLL KKHH etc.

Master Studies is the book by Joe Morello. It is suitable for most levels and incorporates multiple rolls, accents, time keeping etc. It is a very good book.

For grooves, I start with a basic rock beat. 1 & 3 on the kick, 2 & 4 on the snare. From there it is easy to change this up. I've got a young 12 year old student who I had doing this, then I gave him some funky off beats. Last week he really surprised me when he found it easier to play off beats then standard 2 & 4. I might slip in some odd times soon. Just so he can get odd times and off beats out of the way earlier and later if he's confronted with them it wont be a mystery.

What it really comes down to is the student. At times I've wanted to teach something, but because the student's ability dictates what they can be taught on any given day, I've found I need to be flexible. The most important thing is that the student has fun while learning. I don't pressure them, but if they come in the next week and don't have the previous lesson down, we go over it again.
 

Gaddabout

New member
I had some really irritating experiences when I first started teaching about 10 years ago, and I put together a system to alleviate some of my stress. I don't teach regularly anymore, but the system seemed to cut through some of the obvious problems. Feel feel to steal or borrow anything on this list:

- I created two programs, Program A for the serious student (usually involved in a school music program of some kind) and Program B for the kid getting his feet wet to see if he likes it.

- For Program A, I developed a three-part syallabus for technique, performance, and required listening. In addition, the parent was required to meet with me once a month so we could talk about their child's progress and so I could get a feel for their level of support.

- For Program B, it was essentially a six-week master class to introduce the drum set and hopefully provide some inspiration so the student would want to continue. If they did, they were moved to Program A. If not, I referred to them to other instructors who would more than happy to break down rock beats and teach them how to play by ear.

One of the most important aspects for Program A was the initial meeting. I required the student and at least one parent to be there. I tried not to scare people away, but I ttried o make the parent understood the costs involved in their child taking lessons. Before this, I actually had students taking lessons for months without a kit; it wasn't because their parents couldn't afford it (they were paying for lessons after all), but they couldn't see the benefit of purchasing a kit ... not even a practice pad kit. I had one father tell me, "I'm not spending any money until my kid shows me he's good enough to play one." I was like, "You might as well take away your child's sticks, because he'll never meet your requirements without something to practice on."

Just like any primary education system, the child will always perform better if the parent is involved. Positive encouragement and taking a concious interest are vital to young people developing an interest in learning. The more you do that as a teacher and encourage parents to follow your example, the more successful you will be.
 
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