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Old 05-15-2014, 11:28 AM
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Diet Kirk Diet Kirk is offline
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Default How did you select your teacher?

So I'm intrigued how the majority of people selected their teacher.

Was it through word of mouth, the impressiveness of their resume, or by sitting down and chatting and identifying a meeting of musical minds?

Coming at this from two angles really.

1. My long term goal is to teach students myself, but at 34 I'm unlikely to build a pro playing resume of live and recording sessions. I'm more interested in teaching as a possible retirement plan. Spend the next 10 years educating and playing myself and then start taking on students. When I retire from my day job in another 26 years, then I would like to be teaching and interacting with the drumming community as a means to enjoy my retirement. (I told you it was a long term plan!!!)

2. I'll be looking for teacher myself in the next three months, someone who will not only teach me how to play but also teach me how to teach.

My feeling is I'll be less concerned about their personal playing resume and more concerned about liking the way they play and having a rapport with them.

Whats the forums perspective on this?
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:34 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

I was born to him.
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2014, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

Sounds like an excellent plan DK!

I think students at different levels will have different needs from a teacher.

After being 1.5 years self thought (beginner) I found my first teacher using Google, then picked the guy closest to my house who seemed competent. He had drumming qualifications, 7 years experience as a drummer and was in various bands, so I thought at that beginner level, this was a good enough criteria. And I did learn from him a fair amount (rock fills, using a metronome). But after 3 months I realised he was basically more of a drummer than a teacher (had no lesson plan, no curriculum, and didn't think rudiments were important). And did not even mention stick control (:o shock!).

So that's when I looked for another drum teacher, who was following an actual curriculum and could teach me good technique and has more technical depth.

Very luckily found this London based pro jazz drummer who lives only 8 miles from my house. He is associated with (co-funded) a London drum school, has a music degree, 30 years drumming experience, 20 years drums teaching experience, proper curricum. Plus I'm actually more interested in playing jazz (eventually), so have made a very good choice. Been doing stick control for months! And that's a very good thing.

So to me, at my current level, high level of technical skill, teaching experince and ability and a structured curricum counts the most. A good fit in style helps, too.
Location counts too (for obvious reasons) but I'd willing willing to drive 45 min each way to take 1 hour lessons from the right guy.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:49 PM
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Magenta Magenta is offline
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

Oh gosh, it was total serendipity how I found my teacher. He was the friend of a friend, who knew I was looking for a teacher and knew that he was looking to start doing some teaching.

Luckily for both of us, he turned out to be an exceptionally gifted teacher, whose instinctive ability more than made up for his lack of experience in the role.

If I were looking for somebody now, I would want their style of playing to be sympathetic to mine, but most of all I would want them to be a good communicator, an understanding listener - which includes being able to interpret all the things I DON'T say - and to inspire and encourage me.

Funnily enough, he was looking for a teacher recently and the one he chose happened to be the only one who replied to his email. Seems to be working out serendipitously enough though, so all's well.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

I don't think it is possible or wise to expect someone to teach you how to teach....

I believe the best way to go about this ... if you are genuinely long term and dedicated to doing it is.... to study with as many reputable players as you possibly can in that 10 year period and cherry pick all the concepts and teaching methods you enjoy from each of them and mix them with some that you devise over some years of practice based on what really worked for you

I spent about 18 years seeking out drummers who I admired and enjoyed listening to and trying to find a way to get to them and get information from them ... some well known and some most never heard of

I found out that some of them were great teachers and some of them were horrible teachers .... but even the horrible teachers I took something from.... maybe something NOT to do .... or maybe some sort of life lesson .... like how to make a fly trap out of a 3/4 empty wine bottle :)

some teachers just fell into my lap .... I never in a million years thought about seeking out Elvin Jones .... he was a god to me and seemed way too far out of reach ...... but a random shopping trip to Pro Drum Shop in the mid 90s brought us together randomly... we talked about cymbals and had a beer ...... then he invited me to the Christmas party at the store the following night and the next eight years are history

think of it like a chef.... no great chef goes to culinary school and then comes out a seasoned world renowned chef.
he travels the world and learns from people who are masters of the flavors that he chases ....he picks up things and devises some of his own along the way

don't expect to be taught to teach..... set out on a journey to absorb information

I have been on this journey.... and continue to be .... so I hope some of this helps

Last edited by WhoIsTony?; 05-15-2014 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
like how to make a fly trap out of a 3/4 empty wine bottle :)
So a 3/4 empty bottle of wine tells you it's time to catch flies? Man, all it tells me is that it's time to open another bottle!! :-)
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:52 PM
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Diet Kirk Diet Kirk is offline
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
I was born to him.
Jammy sod! :)

My dad actually used to play the drums in his youth, but he only gave me two bits of advice.

1. hit the kick when you hit a cymbal.
2. Buy an old army hat and hit that whilst its on your head, the audience will love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaitForItDrummer View Post
Sounds like an excellent plan DK!

I think students at different levels will have different needs from a teacher.

"DK deleted all this good stuff so my post isn't massive!"
Cheers WFID. Thats good advice. Its a horses for courses thing, depending on a anumber of factors.

I guess I'm worried that I can put in 10/20 years researching, learning, absorbing, but not be able to garner any students because my "pro resume" will be lacking. Not that, it will deter me any. If the plan doesn't work, it doesn't work. I'm going to have a lot of fun trying it!

[quote=Magenta;1259520]SerendipityQUOTE]

so luck the Magenta? ;)

Just kidding thats odd about your teacher. Maybe there arn't many teachers at an advanced level that can offer something to players who are good already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
I don't think it is possible or wise to expect someone to teach you how to teach....

You are of course correct. I had a post a while back where the thrust of the answers were that I should be honest with a teacher and tell them my goal is to teach myself. You are totally spot on though that it needs to be an osmosis type absorbtion type thing, rather than expecting a teacher to turn me into one

I believe the best way to go about this ... if you are genuinely long term and dedicated to doing it is.... to study with as many reputable players as you possibly can in that 10 year period and cherry pick all the concepts and teaching methods you enjoy from each of them and mix them with some that you devise over some years of practice based on what really worked for you

I am indeed genuinly dedicated to this goal. Alongside this, I do intend to get back out there into the world and play in bands, tout myself out for recording etc. But my main goal is to give back to the community of drumming, whilst absorbing myself in the world of learning myself.

There are in fact a number of people on this forum that I intend to approach over the course of this endeavour. But None of them as far as I know live in the northeast of England. So first things first, I'll be picking someone to work with at the outset. And that is great advice to aim to study with as many people as possible.

I am handcuffing myself slightly as I'm moving out of the largest city in the UK and the hub of the music industry. But live is taking its turn and more and more you can study via skype etc.

A bit like Magenta's comment about her teacher. I actually emailed Mike Dolbear here in London hoping to study with him for a year before I left London, but I got no reply!



I spent about 18 years seeking out drummers who I admired and enjoyed listening to and trying to find a way to get to them and get information from them ... some well known and some most never heard of

Again very interesting and encouraging that there are good educators out there who may not be universally well known aswell as those who are.

I found out that some of them were great teachers and some of them were horrible teachers .... but even the horrible teachers I took something from.... maybe something NOT to do .... or maybe some sort of life lesson .... like how to make a fly trap out of a 3/4 empty wine bottle :)

some teachers just fell into my lap .... I never in a million years thought about seeking out Elvin Jones .... he was a god to me and seemed way too far out of reach ...... but a random shopping trip to Pro Drum Shop in the mid 90s brought us together randomly... we talked about cymbals and had a beer ...... then he invited me to the Christmas party at the store the following night and the next eight years are history

think of it like a chef.... no great chef goes to culinary school and then comes out a seasoned world renowned chef.
he travels the world and learns from people who are masters of the flavors that he chases ....he picks up things and devises some of his own along the way

don't expect to be taught to teach..... set out on a journey to absorb information

I have been on this journey.... and continue to be .... so I hope some of this helps

Great analogy, and an excellent plan. I think rapport is important then as well as wanting to learn from someone who's playing you admire. I'll start doing my homework on northeast teachers in advance of starting the journey.
Tony, some great stuff. See the bold! :)
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2014, 07:34 PM
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WaitForItDrummer WaitForItDrummer is offline
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

[quote=Diet Kirk;1259581]

I guess I'm worried that I can put in 10/20 years researching, learning, absorbing, but not be able to garner any students because my "pro resume" will be lacking. Not that, it will deter me any. If the plan doesn't work, it doesn't work. I'm going to have a lot of fun trying it!

[LOST END QUOTE?]

I think that beginners, young players (and their parents) won't be looking for a pro resume at all. They'll likely want someone friendly, competent who can explain/ show/teach drumming in a fun easy to understand way.
I'd think a pro resume might come into play with more advanced players.

Enjoy :)
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2014, 07:44 PM
Mike_In_KC
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

I found my teacher through a local music store (Big Dudes). I set up an appointment with him where we could interview each other and after the interview we agreed that we could work together. I love my teacher - initially we only had 30 minute sessions but after he recognized how serious I was about improving he went ahead and scheduled 60 minute sessions for me at a 45 minute rate - (when pay day comes I do tip him as well - dunno if that is standard or not but I can tell he appreciated it). Since we have an hour together each week we can talk more while still getting in lots of playing work. He answers emails and texts I shoot him on a fairly regular basis between lessons and never gets uptight about helping me outside of "business hours". I know that as his only adult student that I am kind of a favorite - when we start our lessons he is always in a decompress mode from having just had a hyper active 6 year old in the studio before me. I think having a sedate 46 year old (sometimes sedated 46 yr old) to work with lets him relax a bit and be a grown up.

MM
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:44 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

You 'may' need two teachers, and there's really no reason to limit the quantity of teachers that you have.

My first teacher is a drum teacher I found on craigslist. His cirriculum was based on a Carmine A's book for rock drums that started with quarter and eighth note grooves on the kit and added complexity from there. He started me off with an American grip and didn't do a ton of stick control. He taught me how to tune and setup my kit, and gave me a practice routine, and helped me when I hit roadblocks.

Before I found my second teacher, I could play a purdy shuffle, but couldn't do a 5 stroke roll properly, which I learned is pretty ass backwards.

My second teacher is a percussionist, teaching line/concert/marching snare (and xylophone and other symphonic percussion) and has a fairly pragmatic approach stressing proper grips/strokes/technique. It's basically the same as the online Vic lessons, but with feedback.

I still have relations with both teachers, and call upon them from time to time when I need to fix a deficiency in my playing.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:38 PM
dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

I suspect you'll get as many potential answers as the # of people who respond.

Myself, I've had several teachers. Not all of these teachers were drummers either. A great many lessons, and some of the most important ones (particularly about what happens on the bandstand, etc... ) came from non-drummers.

As far as drum teachers, I'm fortunate to live in the same town as a world renown music school. From that place, I've learned so much it's incalculable. How did I select them? I simply enrolled, auditioned for the teacher, made the cut and went forth.

I've studied for years with a couple players who graduated from that school who went on to do amazing things in the world of music. Not that they became world famous. But they did (and continue to do) some world class stuff. How did I select them? Word of mouth and recommendation from another co-existing teacher. I called, auditioned for the teacher, made the cut and went forth.

In my younger years I spent at a highly regarded Community Music School. The teacher there was life altering in every way. Before that, I studied with a local "all around" music educator who provided the basics of reading. How did I select? Parents did all the leg work, I was too young and stupid to know how to go about it.

I also spent a bunch of time at the Drummers Collective in NYC with some of the big boys there.

Last but not least, my Dad, who was a drummer, was an enormous resource for me until the day he died. Not just in drumming, but in the world of the music I love so much (jazz).

Like Anthony said, I don't think any one teacher can teach you how to teach. True teaching passion comes from within and a culmination of your experiences. Not only the experiences in studying but all the ones from all the gigging and recording.

Lastly, I think teaching styles morph over time because you're always striving to hone your craft as a musician and as a teacher.

May not be worth much, but that's my view and experience.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

What DMACC just said. And for living there and getting to study with those people you were truly lucky. My son finished up freshman year last week and he's on the way. I have no doubt he'll be a monster player and teacher. That place is magical and I'm sure you are a much more musical player for all your hard work there.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

I myself choose a teacher by their education level and playing experience. I've spent the majority of my life between myself and my son in the company of many professional teachers and players. They have all been extremely giving of knowledge. The most giving of both knowledge and time has been from professional orchestral players my son studied with during high school. Incredibly knowledgeable and kind. 1 hour lessons where never shorter then 3 hours.
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: How did you select your teacher?

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Originally Posted by bigd View Post
What DMACC just said. And for living there and getting to study with those people you were truly lucky. My son finished up freshman year last week and he's on the way. I have no doubt he'll be a monster player and teacher. That place is magical and I'm sure you are a much more musical player for all your hard work there.
I am a totally different player for the years I spent there. Again, I was never enrolled at the collegiate level, only through their Community Ed Division, which gave me full access to the same jazz drum set and orchestral percussion teachers along with other classroom type studies.

There's one other local Community Music School who is indirectly affiliated with the big one. The teacher in that school set the ground work for everything that came after. I could only dream to impact someone as much in my lifetime. Fortunately, I've run into him years later and always reminded him of that.

Never dreamed of becoming a professional so I never approached it from that angle. I'm nothing more than a "hobbyist". Your son, if he can't already, will eventually play circles around me. He's more than fortunate to have you in his corner as well.
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