Teaching a 5 year old


Junior Member
Thanks a lot for all the suggestions, guys. I really think this is going to help a lot. Kinsjon, that idea about colour coding the drum kit is genius, I can't believe I didn't think of it myself since I play guitar hero so much!

mrchattr, I actually asked the parent to leave last lesson because I thought it was going to make things awkward for the kid. I never thought that the parent would be able to help in that sense, I just brought her back in for the last 5 minutes of the lesson to show her what her son had been working on. When I saw her face light up when he started counting the beats, I just got so excited, I knew I wanted to keep teaching the kid.

So again, thanks for all of your suggestions, but please, keep them coming! Every little bit helps, and I'm sure there are other people on this forum who can use this as a valuable resource to help them out as well!

Hey Groove, I've sent you an email with 5 pdf's of the colour coded practice sheets and the entire Back n Black song for you to use with your 5 year old. Pretty simple to figure out but if you have any questions, email me. Good luck and have fun.


Junior Member
Hey gang,

Wow, I got an email today showing a response to this thread, wow, it's been nearly a year and a half. I hope Groove has found success with his 5 year old.

Last time I was here, Emily was using my color coded system to learn basic beats and had finished her first video, Back In Black. She is now reading standard notation and has completed 8 video's. She has received notice and communications from the band Collective Soul with some very exciting developments.

She keeps rockin and the best thing is, she's having fun.

Here is her page:

Later gators and Merry Christmas.



The music school I work at recently gave me a very young student. 5 years young as a matter of fact. They thought that because I'm the youngest teacher, I could connect with him more (no joke, haha).

The first lesson went okay, but I feel like I'm going to be running out of ideas incredibly fast with him, and his parents have paid for lessons for a full year.

Basically, we worked on counting. As in I give him a number to count to (ie, 4) and when he hits that number, he starts switching hands. So starting on the right: 1 2 3 4, then switch to the left (1 2 3 4), rinse, wash, repeat.

Then we went into moving that around the kit, where he would count to four and everything he started over he had to move to a different drum.

Aside from that, I got nothing. The kid can't read music, and I have no idea how to go about teaching him how to read it because he barely knows his alphabet. Help me out? PLEASE?!
I was about the same age when I started. My dad started me out right away with a book. It was Haskall Harr(sp?). I dont know if it's still out there, but I do have a copy I may be able to scan and send you.