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Thread: Teaching first drum lesson! Advice!

  1. #1

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    Default Teaching first drum lesson! Advice!

    So I have my first drum student booked in for next week. He's at uni and he's learning the drums from scratch. He says we wants to focus on learning how to read drum notation, which is fine, but I'm wondering how I can incorporate two hours (which is what he's paying for) of reading practicing/teaching.
    Obviously, this isn't an ideal scenario so I've suggested to break down the two hours into:

    30-45 minutes of reading/drum notation

    30-45 minutes of technique

    and the remaining time left spent on playing/styles (the last two options can be switch or whatever).

    Anyone have any experience they can shed some light on the matter to get the make the best out of his time. Any tips on conducting a one-to-one lesson also welcome.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Teaching first drum lesson! Advice!

    Looks like you have a plan in place so that's good. It's hard to say what will work perfectly as every student is different. I like to teach relative to each student's individual needs as well as wants. Talk to him about what his long term goals are. Does he want to play in bands? Does he just want to play in his house? Does he want to play in a drumline? You said he wants to focus on reading so he may not be interested in the other stuff. If that's the case, you'll find it hard to spend 2 hours on just reading alone. You might then want to cut it in half and only do hour drum lessons.

    Here's a tip for you: When working on mixed reading solos or syncopated pages, you can play it together to make it more fun. I also have my students play the piece against a consistent musical passage (you'll have to pick a few at different time signatures and tempos). That also keeps the 'fun' in it. Anything to keep it interesting helps break the monotony and he'll enjoy coming back each time. Otherwise, he could quickly get bored.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    - Tom

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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Teaching first drum lesson! Advice!

    I would suggest that you tell him two hours might be too much. You can't rush the learning process, and two hours as opposed to one isn't going to offer much. There's only so much new information you can absorb in a single sitting and research has found that about an hour is optimal.

    That said, if he insists, I say fill some of the time with drills and practice routines. That is, make some of the time just practice with the teacher (you) watching. I say this because there are times that's what I do with my teacher and it's very helpful. When he watches me practice, he can give me feedback about how I'm practicing and he has a better idea of how I'm progressing.

    Congratulations on your first student!

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Teaching first drum lesson! Advice!

    wow two hours... that's way long. It doesn't seem it until you try it. I have students who couldn't even do an hour lesson. You'll want to take a break in the middle for milk and cookies. hahaha

    Sounds like you're figuring out a relative agenda which is good.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Teaching first drum lesson! Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Looks like you have a plan in place so that's good. It's hard to say what will work perfectly as every student is different. I like to teach relative to each student's individual needs as well as wants. Talk to him about what his long term goals are. Does he want to play in bands? Does he just want to play in his house? Does he want to play in a drumline? You said he wants to focus on reading so he may not be interested in the other stuff. If that's the case, you'll find it hard to spend 2 hours on just reading alone. You might then want to cut it in half and only do hour drum lessons.

    Here's a tip for you: When working on mixed reading solos or syncopated pages, you can play it together to make it more fun. I also have my students play the piece against a consistent musical passage (you'll have to pick a few at different time signatures and tempos). That also keeps the 'fun' in it. Anything to keep it interesting helps break the monotony and he'll enjoy coming back each time. Otherwise, he could quickly get bored.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    The first thing I'll do is sit him down and ask him what he wants in the long-term, like you said. I think that's a good gauge as to where to start from and what to follow.

    I'm also going to get him to play to 'Back in Black' by ACDC to just see his time/feel/groove in a super simple scenario. And also let him pick and choose what songs (if any) he wants to learn.

    I've got the perfect material, from when I was in uni, to play together when he gets past the basics.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Teaching first drum lesson! Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mottster View Post
    I would suggest that you tell him two hours might be too much. You can't rush the learning process, and two hours as opposed to one isn't going to offer much. There's only so much new information you can absorb in a single sitting and research has found that about an hour is optimal.

    That said, if he insists, I say fill some of the time with drills and practice routines. That is, make some of the time just practice with the teacher (you) watching. I say this because there are times that's what I do with my teacher and it's very helpful. When he watches me practice, he can give me feedback about how I'm practicing and he has a better idea of how I'm progressing.

    Congratulations on your first student!
    He's quite insistent on having two, with a warning of it dragging out. We're gonna see how the first few sessions go and go from there.

    Good call on watching him practice.

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