Help with Teaching

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Brian Offline
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Help with Teaching

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:31 pm



Although I am still a high school student without any corps experience yet, I do get asked to teach people how to play. I think that teaching will help me get better, but I never know where to start. Do I concentrate on technique and basics first, or do I delve right in to fun exercises and let the other things naturally catch up? I'm not trying to train them to be amazing drummers, I'm just trying to give them a start and help my own knowledge through teaching. I guess my question in a nutshell is how do you teach drums?
DNHS '05-'06 BD2
DNHS '06-'07 2nd Snare
DNHS '07-'08 Center Snare/Section Leader


patchapman Offline
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Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:56 pm



Start out with the basic and focuse on technique just to see where they are at skill wise. Always see how they play first. Let them pick something to play for you, then, critique it, use in your lessons.

For example, if the student plays a lick, and you notice that he has problems with rolls. Go back to a SIMPLE double beat to get him better at that, then move on to a SIMPLE duple roll exercise. Break everything down the the most simplest level. If he/she has problems with flams, play a SIMPLE flam accent break down, or something on that line.

The reason why i am emphisizing the word "simple" is beacuse you dont want to give him/her something they have to think too hard about, that distracts them from their goals, make sence? hope this helps.

good luck.
Pat Chapman
Cavaliers 2009 - Snare
Youtube Symphony Orchestra - Percussionist


doublebassheeltoe Offline
Jeff Queen
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Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:00 am



Do eights.

I took lessons from an 05 tenor. I could play his tenor feature, but he didn't care. He started me out on eights.

It worked like a dream.
There's no way around reality, and there's no way to fix things that have already happened. It is what it is, we are what we are, and there is nothing more to life than that. Rule #9.


Dave Harri Offline
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Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:28 pm



The best advice I can give is stay positive, give lots of compliments, and explain why you are teaching what you are. sometimes it is hard to find a starting point but 8s is always a good spot. Give them a few hints about technique and move on. I think as a student its nice to have "fun" things to play, but I think it is effective to give them something along those lines to work on outside of the lesson time. Then that gives you something to address the next time. Good luck!


kurtkissinger Offline
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Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:41 pm



Do I concentrate on technique and basics first, or do I delve right in to fun exercises and let the other things naturally catch up?
Brian, you imply that technique and basics can't be taught in a way that's fun to the player. However, I believe that they can.

For example, others who replied under this topic have suggested that eights are a good first step in teaching technique and basics. I agree with this. The challenge: how do we make eights fun? One idea that comes to mind is playing a form of "countdown" with eights (8 on the right, 8 on the left, 7-7, 6-6, etc).

Perhaps the best example of working basics in a way that's fun is SCV's Double Beat. What a great way to make a fundamental exercise such a sweet groove!
Kurt Kissinger
Band Director
Lake Mills Community School
Minnesota Brass, Inc. 2003, 2005, 2006
'THE HERD' Winter & Summer Drumline 2003-2007


drummerkidd12 Offline
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Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:40 am



i just teach them the easy stuff first like doubles, flams, and paradiddles and other stuff then go to some more advanced things. :)
BHS- PIT
BHS- SNARE
BHS- 3 BASS
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"If you arent having fun your doing it wrong!" -ScoJo

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gretch89 Offline
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Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:41 pm



Since this is a learning experience for both the student and yourself, you should start with the basic fundementals. Not only will you be teaching your student the tools he/she will need for the rest of their drumming lives, it will be a refresher for you. I went into teaching for the same reasons you did, to better myself. It's amazing what happens when you try teaching rudiments that feel so natural to you now. By teaching a student, you will be learning how to present information in a simple and understandable format. Rudiments can be applied to every percussion instrument and style so make it a point to express the importance of the fundimentals before presenting complex music to your student. And above all, make it fun for both you and the student.


Timartin Offline
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Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:12 pm



this really helps me give lessons to my little cousin on trumpet(yes, I play trumpet)

I like what was said earlier, stay positive and give encouragement. Also, be patient with both your student and yourself. I take lessons from a past snare from our school and he's a little impatient, espeically when it comes to himself trying to show me a lick or rudiment and it gets a little uncomfortable because he starts getting angrier and angrier and it's just weird. lol. So keep your cool, and make sure you stay flexible!!
Glassmen Snare - 12
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gretch89 Offline
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Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:42 pm



Drumming is very technique based. The first thing your students need to learn is proper grip and stroke techniques. Teach them what you know, your students should learn from your example so come up with a curiculum that is easy for the them to understand and easy for you to teach.

Once they understand the basics of snare drum technique they're ready for the fun stuff. This is where your judgement on your students individual progression will have to kick in. Some kids learn faster than others, so don't make it boring for them and don't make it too difficult for your "slower" students.

And most important of all...have fun! :D
Last edited by gretch89 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.


phantomregiment1227 Offline
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Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:25 pm



Dave Harri wrote:The best advice I can give is stay positive, give lots of compliments, and explain why you are teaching what you are. sometimes it is hard to find a starting point but 8s is always a good spot. Give them a few hints about technique and move on. I think as a student its nice to have "fun" things to play, but I think it is effective to give them something along those lines to work on outside of the lesson time. Then that gives you something to address the next time. Good luck!
i actually think i could give some good advice on this because i was a beginner not to long ago myself... things that helped me were

1) don't be nice, but don't be an asshole to them. if you are firm and authorative theyll actually want to impress you and grow quite a bit in their practice to do it.

2) be open to their ideas for what they think would be a good solo for their skill level. theyll be very happy if they think theyve picked something thats complicated and challenging.

3) use lots of analogies, it really helps us youngsters understand things gopd

4) demonstrate each concept you teach so they can try to imitate it; however, teach them to not only imitate it but understand the concept itself.

my teachers style complemented me very well and this is how he teaches so this may not work for everyone.
Coppell MS North Band- 05-09
Coppell HS Marching Band- 09-10 Snare
Drumline Show- "Chain Reaction"
MB Show- "Shades of Victory-The Music of Respighi"


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