Teaching middle schoolers

discuss whatever it is that instructors discuss

Moderators: Kaitou, sxetnrdrmr, billc36, iDrum, Novak, PanasonicYouth


Post new topic  Reply to topic Page 1 of 1 [ 22 posts ]
Message
Author
doublebassheeltoe Offline
Jeff Queen
Jeff Queen
Posts: 4006
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:28 pm
Location: Erlanger, KY

Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:35 am



There's a local middle school that my mom's co-worker's friend is the band director of. And he has 400 kids enrolled in the middle shcool program(it was either the middle school program or just the 6th grade program). He asked around for anyone who was interested in helping him teach because he just can't teach all 400 kids by himself, and my name was thrown in there.

In teaching middle schoolers, which would you think is more important- teaching how to read music or teaching how to play the drum(like basic strokes) first? I learned how to play by myself over the weekend in the 7th grade and then hopped right into the program so I don't really remember how I learned.
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.


Creekynoise Offline
flam dragger
flam dragger
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:42 pm

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:08 am



For the love of God, teach them how to read. If they can read it, they can figure out the rhythm and apply it to a drum after that, but reading definately needs to be the number one thing. If you start them off young, then once they get into high school they will have a foundation to build off of.

We allowed middle schoolers to march this year with our band, and the pit is mainly 7th/8th graders, and the worst part is that they can't read. Teach them how to read first, playing will come after words. If they know how to count their part, then transitioning it from their head to a drum won't be that difficult.

If you are teaching percussion in general, have them all rotate around instruments too, like snare, and xylophone and timpani, have them become percussionists, not drummers.
Percussionist
'04 - Present

Instructor
'11 - Present


doublebassheeltoe Offline
Jeff Queen
Jeff Queen
Posts: 4006
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:28 pm
Location: Erlanger, KY

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:12 am



Well, yeah, I'm not the greatest mallet player in the world but I was gonna teach them mallets too. But you think that before you grasp how to get a good sound of the drum(not even learning paradiddles or anything like that), they should learn how to read? Like, what I mean is, just teach how to get the hands working properly and just teaching them about rebound and drawing sound out of the drum instead of forcing it and things like that. But you think before any of that, they should learn to read? Or do you think it matters?
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.


Mallets2014 Offline
noob
noob
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:53 pm
Location: Lewisville, Texas

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:53 pm



Personally I think that reading would be more important. If they know how to count or clap their part then it will just make teaching them drumming (or percussion in general) that much easier. Since reading is the basis for all music it would make sense (to me) to teach them reading before getting to technique. Also, if they already know how to read when they're learning technique it will be that much easier to apply the technique that they're learning.


Novak Offline
moderator
moderator
User avatar
Posts: 2938
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:35 pm
Location: Chesterland, Ohio

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:01 pm



Reading is a lot more important. Technique with the instruments will come with time, but it should be developed on top of the knowledge of reading music.
Andrew Novak
All Hail LQ


Creekynoise Offline
flam dragger
flam dragger
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:42 pm

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:41 pm



Yeah reading is the top priority for any student, so teach them reading first, such as what everyone else has already said, that the technique on the instrument will come in time.

Most everything they will play will be written music, minus the exception of just general messing around or coming up with random groove, so they need to be able to know how to read that music.

If you want to make handouts, go to musictheory.net and get some images off of there (with a copyright at the bottom of course) and have some things out. Use it as a guideline when you are teaching music, starting with the whole note, half note, quarter note, all the way down to 16th notes. Make sure they know how to read the patterns, maybe come up with some interesting food terms to help them play it.

I.E. Four sixteenth notes: 1-e-&-a. A way I learned to play those when I was younger (in 6th grade) was to say quar-ter-pound-er. I thought that to myself when I played it, eventually I got used to subdividing in that sixteenth note pattern I mentioned above. I use this to help teach younger kids in my section as well.

So maybe a good order to follow when teaching them is this:
1. Teach them how to read starting with a whole note and go down to sixteenth notes, or stop at 8th notes and introduce 16th notes once they understand eigth notes.
2. Once they can somewhat read, have them clap out some rhythms.
3. Keep working on reading ability and keep clapping out harder rhythms
4. Start putting them on different instruments and play common rhythms on different instruments (and a simple 'mary had a little lamb' on xylohpone or something).
5. When they are firmly on the instruments, introduce harder reading things such as 16th notes if you haven't done it. Also try and have them know what a dot means and what a tie means, because it does appear in percussion music and it can throw them off, but save that for later as more "advanced reading abilities."

Also, every now and then it doesn't hurt to give them sight reading, they will have to do that when they get a piece of music or audition for all-state band or audition for anything pretty much.

Sorry if I made this an essay, you can PM me and I can help you along the way if you need.
Percussionist
'04 - Present

Instructor
'11 - Present


tommyservo7 Offline
MAN Chops
MAN Chops
Posts: 3808
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:58 pm
Location: New Jersey/Indiana

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:43 pm



I don't want any more Drumline stereotypes in this world. Teach them to read.
Tom

2007-2011 OBFP
2011-2012 College in Indiana

Multi-pitched timp-tom tenor-scaled membranaphone for life.


NE_drummer Offline
flam dragger
flam dragger
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:43 pm



Everyone already said it basically but yes reading.

I got screwed in middle school by crappy percussion instruction in the program and i'm still not the best at reading and i'm a senior in high school.
Lincoln Northeast High School Drumline 2006-2010
UNL Percussion Studio 2010
Image


doublebassheeltoe Offline
Jeff Queen
Jeff Queen
Posts: 4006
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:28 pm
Location: Erlanger, KY

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:17 pm



I should have no problem teaching, I just wanted to know what I should stress at first. Ask Raul, if I can teach him a Cadets lick over webcam, I can teach anything.
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.


Creekynoise Offline
flam dragger
flam dragger
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:42 pm

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:41 pm



Well teaching someone that already had good chops/read ability is not that hard.

You have to keep in mind that you are basically writing on a blank music slate, and you have to fill them with knowledge and that it will take awhile, lots of patience, and lots of repetition with them.
Percussionist
'04 - Present

Instructor
'11 - Present


doublebassheeltoe Offline
Jeff Queen
Jeff Queen
Posts: 4006
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:28 pm
Location: Erlanger, KY

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:42 pm



I know. If I didn't want the job I wouldn't take it. But I'm a pretty good teacher. So it should be all good.
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.


Vega Offline
ROAF
ROAF
User avatar
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:14 am
Location: Clarksville/Nashville, TN

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:31 pm



NE_drummer wrote:Everyone already said it basically but yes reading.

I got screwed in middle school by crappy percussion instruction in the program and i'm still not the best at reading and i'm a senior in high school.
i agree while i was in middleschool our teacher just let us sitin the back of the room, the kids who were good at mallets were always on bells marimba etc, and the kids who were good at drumming where always on snare and bass, but i when we got to highschool, the seniors and juniors were always getting snare and bass parts so i had to learn fast, we have a new directoer now though and parts are equally spread out now, but yea teach them to read. we get freshman asking what note this is.........its a C kid.......what about this one......thats D.....sad man
'10 (I)Anomaly Independent - SCGC PIO Champs⎝⏠⏝⏠⎠
ಠ_ಠDarrius Dixon
Image
Image


A Promise


PanasonicYouth Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 6194
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:47 pm
Location: Oxnard/San Luis Obispo, California

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:01 am



tommyservo7 wrote:I don't want any more Drumline stereotypes in this world. Teach them to read.
+ a lot.
Image


sxetnrdrmr Offline
moderator
moderator
User avatar
Posts: 2708
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:22 pm
Location: chasing the battery around the field

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:42 pm



doublebassheeltoe wrote:There's a local middle school that my mom's co-worker's friend is the band director of. And he has 400 kids enrolled in the middle shcool program(it was either the middle school program or just the 6th grade program). He asked around for anyone who was interested in helping him teach because he just can't teach all 400 kids by himself, and my name was thrown in there.

In teaching middle schoolers, which would you think is more important- teaching how to read music or teaching how to play the drum(like basic strokes) first? I learned how to play by myself over the weekend in the 7th grade and then hopped right into the program so I don't really remember how I learned.
I have been teaching middle school drummers (and wind memebers as well) for the past 12 years.

This is the system I use with my beginners (5th graders)

The best way to do what you want to do is to start them on the typical, but super- important 8 on a hand. What I do is teach them at first that it is 8 hits on each hand, but I write it out as 8th notes, and just tell them that they are playing 8-8th notes. This allows them to see the 8th notes, but I don't hit the "1 &" conting right away. I do that the second day. After they have a night or two of just getting to hit the drum and make some noise (after obviously covering the rules of proper technique) I start to introduce the concept of the pulse (quarters) and the subdivision of the pulse into smaller beats (8ths).

I always have a met going, and explain that the met is the "pulse", or the beat you would dance to if you dance to a song. I then explain that the pulse is represented by the quarter note. I try to get them to understand that as drummers our job is to divide the pulse into smaller beats. We work on rhythms made up of quarters and 8ths for the next couple of weeks. I also introduce them to the Stone Stick book right away so that they can see that 8th notes can be played by different stickings. The first 4 Stone patterns are the foundation for EVERY DRUMMING EVENT THAT WE DO, so they have to have a handle on these

As far as order of importance tho, I think that proper grip, and stick motion control is the first thing to get into their brains. If they are playing the right counts, with the wrong technique, it is still wrong. Just like a horn player pressing the right buttons(right notes) and playing the correct rhythms with the wrong embouchre is still wrong sound wise. The bad thing about our instruments is that you can hit them wrong and they will still make a sound. We ingrain bad habits easier than wind players b/c if you play a clarinet wrong, no sound will come out.

Lastly, never start them on bells first. This goes back to the technique thing.Think about the amount of brain power that goes into hitting those little targets. In order for the young players to have "success", they will tend to not motivate or hold the stick right just to hit the right note. How many times have we seen the young player who is just hunting and pecking on the bells, and then they go to play a drum and it is painfully bad technique. Starting them on snare gives them one large target to hit, so they can spend time looking at their hands and wrist motion and develop goodthings there. It is also teaching them the harder concept of music, which is rhythm. Melody is easy b/c it is definite. Their is "up and down" and it can be recognizable. Rhythm is more abstract, but is crucial to the orginization of what becomes the melody, and is therefore more important to get a handle on.
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

ImageImage

Image

Its' All about the Parking Lot - Watterson Drumline
www.bishopwattersondrumline.webs.com
OSUMB Tenor tech
Pearl
Zildjian
Innovative Percussion
Remo/Evans


Vega Offline
ROAF
ROAF
User avatar
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:14 am
Location: Clarksville/Nashville, TN

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:56 pm



sxetnrdrmr wrote:
doublebassheeltoe wrote:There's a local middle school that my mom's co-worker's friend is the band director of. And he has 400 kids enrolled in the middle shcool program(it was either the middle school program or just the 6th grade program). He asked around for anyone who was interested in helping him teach because he just can't teach all 400 kids by himself, and my name was thrown in there.

In teaching middle schoolers, which would you think is more important- teaching how to read music or teaching how to play the drum(like basic strokes) first? I learned how to play by myself over the weekend in the 7th grade and then hopped right into the program so I don't really remember how I learned.
I have been teaching middle school drummers (and wind memebers as well) for the past 12 years.

This is the system I use with my beginners (5th graders)

The best way to do what you want to do is to start them on the typical, but super- important 8 on a hand. What I do is teach them at first that it is 8 hits on each hand, but I write it out as 8th notes, and just tell them that they are playing 8-8th notes. This allows them to see the 8th notes, but I don't hit the "1 &" conting right away. I do that the second day. After they have a night or two of just getting to hit the drum and make some noise (after obviously covering the rules of proper technique) I start to introduce the concept of the pulse (quarters) and the subdivision of the pulse into smaller beats (8ths).

I always have a met going, and explain that the met is the "pulse", or the beat you would dance to if you dance to a song. I then explain that the pulse is represented by the quarter note. I try to get them to understand that as drummers our job is to divide the pulse into smaller beats. We work on rhythms made up of quarters and 8ths for the next couple of weeks. I also introduce them to the Stone Stick book right away so that they can see that 8th notes can be played by different stickings. The first 4 Stone patterns are the foundation for EVERY DRUMMING EVENT THAT WE DO, so they have to have a handle on these

As far as order of importance tho, I think that proper grip, and stick motion control is the first thing to get into their brains. If they are playing the right counts, with the wrong technique, it is still wrong. Just like a horn player pressing the right buttons(right notes) and playing the correct rhythms with the wrong embouchre is still wrong sound wise. The bad thing about our instruments is that you can hit them wrong and they will still make a sound. We ingrain bad habits easier than wind players b/c if you play a clarinet wrong, no sound will come out.

Lastly, never start them on bells first. This goes back to the technique thing.Think about the amount of brain power that goes into hitting those little targets. In order for the young players to have "success", they will tend to not motivate or hold the stick right just to hit the right note. How many times have we seen the young player who is just hunting and pecking on the bells, and then they go to play a drum and it is painfully bad technique. Starting them on snare gives them one large target to hit, so they can spend time looking at their hands and wrist motion and develop goodthings there. It is also teaching them the harder concept of music, which is rhythm. Melody is easy b/c it is definite. Their is "up and down" and it can be recognizable. Rhythm is more abstract, but is crucial to the orginization of what becomes the melody, and is therefore more important to get a handle on.
this should probaly be copied and pasted for future reference somewhere.....well done
'10 (I)Anomaly Independent - SCGC PIO Champs⎝⏠⏝⏠⎠
ಠ_ಠDarrius Dixon
Image
Image


A Promise


sxetnrdrmr Offline
moderator
moderator
User avatar
Posts: 2708
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:22 pm
Location: chasing the battery around the field

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:04 pm



thanks..I have had a long time to "trial and error" different pedagogical ideas, and have come to figure this, and much more out about how percussion was taught, and how it is being taught right now. If I ever get the inkling to get my Masters, it will be on this subject. I am actualy in the process of writing my own methods book for teaching middle school percussion in a more modern and relevant way. This post could have been 10x as long!!
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

ImageImage

Image

Its' All about the Parking Lot - Watterson Drumline
www.bishopwattersondrumline.webs.com
OSUMB Tenor tech
Pearl
Zildjian
Innovative Percussion
Remo/Evans


Vega Offline
ROAF
ROAF
User avatar
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:14 am
Location: Clarksville/Nashville, TN

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:06 pm



haha well yes better percussion teaching is needed these days, when some middle schooler came up they all talked about how all they do is sit in the back and read naruto comics, i was like wtf, by the time the come to the highschool program they can do *beep*
'10 (I)Anomaly Independent - SCGC PIO Champs⎝⏠⏝⏠⎠
ಠ_ಠDarrius Dixon
Image
Image


A Promise


sxetnrdrmr Offline
moderator
moderator
User avatar
Posts: 2708
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:22 pm
Location: chasing the battery around the field

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:32 pm



Vega wrote:haha well yes better percussion teaching is needed these days, when some middle schooler came up they all talked about how all they do is sit in the back and read naruto comics, i was like wtf, by the time the come to the highschool program they can do *beep*
thats because most band directors are not percussionists, and most college Music Ed percussion methods courses SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!!!! It is a very bad combination. Most non-percussionist band directors already have a bad attitude towards drummers b/c they are never forced to learn about what we do, and how to correctly teach it. It goes back to the idea that you can hit our instrument incorrectly and it will still make a noise. That is why they joke about "dummers", when really, from a mental, and scientific level, what we do, and how we do it is WAY MORE complex that what the winds are doing. I know this b/c of going thru all of my methods courses in college.

"all you do is hit a drum" is what I hear all the time. When I return with "all you do is blow thru a horn" I get hit with a litany of things that horn players have to do to play their instruments. I can make a correlation to everyone in percussion PLUS the fact that we take SPACE...something that is not concrete, and divide it up into CONCRETE DISCERNABLE PIECES (rhythms). We make something that does not exist, exist. Their is more brain power involved in that than in any other activity, so in the end the "dummers" are doing something that scientists try to do every day. We make non-existance exist. I think this is what truly scares non percussion band directors...we have a magical power that they don't understand....

sort of deep isn't it!
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

ImageImage

Image

Its' All about the Parking Lot - Watterson Drumline
www.bishopwattersondrumline.webs.com
OSUMB Tenor tech
Pearl
Zildjian
Innovative Percussion
Remo/Evans


Vega Offline
ROAF
ROAF
User avatar
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:14 am
Location: Clarksville/Nashville, TN

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:42 pm



sxetnrdrmr wrote:
Vega wrote:haha well yes better percussion teaching is needed these days, when some middle schooler came up they all talked about how all they do is sit in the back and read naruto comics, i was like wtf, by the time the come to the highschool program they can do *beep*
thats because most band directors are not percussionists, and most college Music Ed percussion methods courses SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!!!! It is a very bad combination. Most non-percussionist band directors already have a bad attitude towards drummers b/c they are never forced to learn about what we do, and how to correctly teach it. It goes back to the idea that you can hit our instrument incorrectly and it will still make a noise. That is why they joke about "dummers", when really, from a mental, and scientific level, what we do, and how we do it is WAY MORE complex that what the winds are doing. I know this b/c of going thru all of my methods courses in college.

"all you do is hit a drum" is what I hear all the time. When I return with "all you do is blow thru a horn" I get hit with a litany of things that horn players have to do to play their instruments. I can make a correlation to everyone in percussion PLUS the fact that we take SPACE...something that is not concrete, and divide it up into CONCRETE DISCERNABLE PIECES (rhythms). We make something that does not exist, exist. Their is more brain power involved in that than in any other activity, so in the end the "dummers" are doing something that scientists try to do every day. We make non-existance exist. I think this is what truly scares non percussion band directors...we have a magical power that they don't understand....

sort of deep isn't it!
word ha it realy *beep* is
'10 (I)Anomaly Independent - SCGC PIO Champs⎝⏠⏝⏠⎠
ಠ_ಠDarrius Dixon
Image
Image


A Promise


1337_JohnN Offline
ramming notes
ramming notes
User avatar
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:29 pm
Location: Irvine, California

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:35 pm



Why can't you teach them how to stroke and read all at the same time? haha
THIS IS THE BEST SIG EVAAAAA!!!1!!


gretch89 Offline
playin' eights
playin' eights
User avatar
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:29 pm
Location: Terra Bella, CA

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:34 pm



1337_JohnN wrote:Why can't you teach them how to stroke and read all at the same time? haha
The one thing you have to remember when teaching young students is that their attention span is very limited. You could try to teach both technique and reading, but they might not retain as much information. I agree with most everyone that reading is probably the single most important skill to give to a young musician. Technique is nice, but that's something they can learn when they decide to really get serious with their instrument.


drummerchris83 Offline
chops master
chops master
Posts: 1215
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:17 pm
Location: Arkansas

Re: Teaching middle schoolers

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:34 am



sxetnrdrmr wrote:
Vega wrote:haha well yes better percussion teaching is needed these days, when some middle schooler came up they all talked about how all they do is sit in the back and read naruto comics, i was like wtf, by the time the come to the highschool program they can do *beep*
thats because most band directors are not percussionists, and most college Music Ed percussion methods courses SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!!!! It is a very bad combination. Most non-percussionist band directors already have a bad attitude towards drummers b/c they are never forced to learn about what we do, and how to correctly teach it. It goes back to the idea that you can hit our instrument incorrectly and it will still make a noise. That is why they joke about "dummers", when really, from a mental, and scientific level, what we do, and how we do it is WAY MORE complex that what the winds are doing. I know this b/c of going thru all of my methods courses in college.

"all you do is hit a drum" is what I hear all the time. When I return with "all you do is blow thru a horn" I get hit with a litany of things that horn players have to do to play their instruments. I can make a correlation to everyone in percussion PLUS the fact that we take SPACE...something that is not concrete, and divide it up into CONCRETE DISCERNABLE PIECES (rhythms). We make something that does not exist, exist. Their is more brain power involved in that than in any other activity, so in the end the "dummers" are doing something that scientists try to do every day. We make non-existance exist. I think this is what truly scares non percussion band directors...we have a magical power that they don't understand....

sort of deep isn't it!
grave digging yes lol but its for good reason.

i recently have been asked to teach a small school drumline that is........well.......terrible, and some of these tips are TERRIFIC
thanks so much for the info and insight!
Gulf Coast Sound Snare Line 05
Arkansas Tech Bass line 07
Arkansas Tech Snare Line 08
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia- Kappa Eta


Post new topic  Reply to topic Page 1 of 1 [ 22 posts ]





Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum