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Thread: Teaching Drum Lessons to a Child

  1. #1

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    Default Teaching Drum Lessons to a Child

    Hey guys. I havent been on for awhile, as ive been busy. I'm currently been giving drum lessons to my 6 year old neighbor. Today is our second lesson. The first lesson I showed him how to hold the sticks, what everything was called, and how to count a steady beat. He seemed frustrated when he couldnt get the basic 4/4 beat down. I'm asking you guys if you have any tips for teaching a child about 6 years old, and how to keep him interested.


    Thanks,

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  2. #2

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    Default Re: Teaching Drum Lessons to a Child

    Teach him snare basics. RLRL rolls, paradiddles and other drum rudiments that should help him with the beats.
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  3. #3

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    Teaching children drum lessons at that age can be challenging. Their attention span is not as developed. Keep things "very" simplistic. Think about the papers and books that are used in elementary school. Everything is watered down to the point that it looks silly to us adults. But that's where they are in their learning. It has to make sense to them. Also, play to music where and when you can, even if it means just counting along to songs (make sure it's music they like and simplistic in form). Don't feel the pressure to get him to learn paradiddles right away or even double stroke rolls. That's "very" advanced for that age. But you can use single strokes creatively. Some can play on different drums, some can be accented, others quiet, etc.

    With basic beats, cut 4/4 in half to 2/4. It's less intimidating to them. BE VERY PATIENT. Get a kids drumset book to work out of and it will help guide you. Don't try to go too fast or you'll lose him. He'll get frustrated and dread lessons. Just have fun with it and go at his level. Let him ask all the questions and take the time to show him. Be sure the parents are realistic with their expectations. Kids that age are not expected to grow at the same rate as someone twice their age.

    All this said, some kids will really surprise you at how fast they pick things up.

    Hope this has helped a bit. Good luck!
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  4. #4

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    Thanks for the advice, drummer. The practice went well, i am teaching him how to count, and the basic 4/4 beat. I was EXTREMELY suprised when he jumped on the set and played the basic beat solidly. He seems very excited now that he realizes that he can play a beat, and he WANTS to learn now, which is a huge help to me. I'm going to start teaching him better stick position now, and how to do simple rudiments.

    -ZK
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    Check out my Youtube Channel! http://www.youtube.com/user/AustVaiv?feature=mhee

  5. #5

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    I have a 7yr old son who i am teaching. This is good stuff. Thanks for the good advice!

    Does anyone know of any books they could recommend?

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Teaching Drum Lessons to a Child

    I am very new to drums, but not to teaching children.

    Though I have no kids of my own, I have been involved with teaching Pony Club and horseback riding lessons for a long time. And also working with children on fire safety and in the juvenile firestarters program.

    The key to capturing the attention of young kids is to break it down and keep it fun.

    If you can make little games/contests you will have a much easier time keeping it fun.

    At 6 yrs old, you can even do silly things such as giving him words and phrases, and asking him to play what he thinks it would sound like.

    Like "Dinasour, hear me roar" That's a 4/4 with a rest, right?

    Also, reward him for accomplishments. Kids want to hear praise, as much as anyone. But sometimes little goodies make even more impact. So, get some little things you can give him. Candy, gumballs, little toys. Things you can use for when he REALLY does a great job.

    You have to teach him basics/rudiments, but you have to be creative enough to keep him really enjoying it.

    Consider yourself VERY lucky to have such an opporunity. To be able to shape a child and have such positive influence is a real treat

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Teaching Drum Lessons to a Child

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Teaching children that age can be challenging. Their attention span is not as developed. Keep things "very" simplistic. Think about the papers and books that are used in elementary school. Everything is watered down to the point that it looks silly to us adults. But that's where they are in their learning. It has to make sense to them. Also, play to music where and when you can, even if it means just counting along to songs (make sure it's music they like and simplistic in form). Don't feel the pressure to get him to learn paradiddles right away or even double stroke rolls. That's "very" advanced for that age. But you can use single strokes creatively. Some can play on different drums, some can be accented, others quiet, etc.

    With basic beats, cut 4/4 in half to 2/4. It's less intimidating to them. BE VERY PATIENT. Get a kids drumset book to work out of and it will help guide you. Don't try to go too fast or you'll lose him. He'll get frustrated and dread lessons. Just have fun with it and go at his level. Let him ask all the questions and take the time to show him. Be sure the parents are realistic with their expectations. Kids that age are not expected to grow at the same rate as someone twice their age.

    All this said, some kids will really surprise you at how fast they pick things up.

    Hope this has helped a bit. Good luck!
    i agree 100% and another thing that i use to do when i had my students was just let them play random like for example read a page from a book they like and let them play them play along while you you read like up to the climax of the story if that makes any sence
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  8. #8

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    I have a student, she is 6 years old. With students this young the easiest way to engage them and for them grasp the concepts I have them play along with a favorite songs of theirs after showing them a new concept.

    I'm doing this with this little girl and she went from never having even held drumsticks to being able to play a variation of the basic rock beat in about 9 weeks, meeting once a week.

  9. #9

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    I have a 6 year old boy who has the attention span of a gnat. He's just at the stage of mimicing drum rolls and fills. Any attempt at "formal" instruction results in him walking. I found the key to his interest is what Vida has mentioned in above post. His favorite artist is Justin Bieber and with Justin's CD mixed into the aux input to the ekit....wow...watch out.

    But since recently, I've noticed less and less interest as the days roll by (wifes says that's typical 6 year old behavior and I shouldn't take it personal). Good luck and keep us posted.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I have a 6 year old boy who has the attention span of a gnat. He's just at the stage of mimicing drum rolls and fills. Any attempt at "formal" instruction results in him walking. I found the key to his interest is what Vida has mentioned in above post. His favorite artist is Justin Bieber and with Justin's CD mixed into the aux input to the ekit....wow...watch out.

    But since recently, I've noticed less and less interest as the days roll by (wifes says that's typical 6 year old behavior and I shouldn't take it personal). Good luck and keep us posted.
    That is true. Coupled with the fact that it might have actually been his parents' idea for him to take drum lessons, not his. The key with kids with short attention spans is to keep things flowing. Change topics/techniques frequently. Give them some kind of goal. Like do paradiddles for a month and chart progress. Next month, change to flam taps or something. Heck, now that I mention it, these are the techniques that work on me.

    Maybe I need some ritalin too?
    Robert

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  11. #11

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    I personally have the attention span and energy level of a field mouse on heroin so I can totally relate to the having these same focus issues on a regular basis.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vida Perez View Post
    I personally have the attention span and energy level of a field mouse on heroin so I can totally relate to the having these same focus issues on a regular basis.
    ^lol

  13. #13

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    i've got a six year old brother that likes to play on my drums so we made a little game/competition where i'll play something simple on the drums like a simple 4/4 beat and then he has to see if he can do it. then he'll play something like what i played but move the count to another drum/cymbal and then i'd have to play it. it keeps him entertained as well because he just looks at it as a game :D
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