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  #1  
Old 09-29-2016, 06:21 PM
porky porky is offline
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Default Should i teach drums at my age and level

I just wanna describe myself as a drummer first, because honestly, i do not know how good i am compared to the world and i don't bother to, i play drums because i love drums.

I'm age 15.

Anyways, songs i can currently play smoothly for example are

-Smells like teen spirit
-The pretender
-Bohemian Rhapsody
-Some groovy Bossa Novas

I can basically play rock some times with no issues, at most so far iv'e needed to check a video/see a music sheet to learn the beat

I'm not good enough to play something like whiplash (hank levy), in the sense that ill probably need to take 2 to 3 weeks to learn the song smoothly, like 2 3 days a week? I don't really play jazz either, unless the drum groove is very groovy like Bossa Nova, which i play some Bossa Novas here and there

Iv'e performed roughly 3 times over the course of a year,having to study as well in singapore.. I have to prioritise studies first, therefore i didn't perform often,but iv'e no issues in performance.

For my music theory side, I have not taken grades, but im in concert band percussion, and we play roughly grade 3 to 5 scores. In my concert band theres no actual side reading kinda fiasco,so im not so sure about my side reading capabilities

Im asked to perform regularly after exams, at a church, a prom, in school, and so on.


So basically, i want to teach drums for a few reasons:

1.) I'm looking to venture into this industry
2.) I'm also looking to have a job in the holidays, and i wanna make use of my skills first, therefore i'm going with teaching drums as my first option.
3.) I've impromptu teach drums to my friends, and i'm a senior in concert band, so i'm supposed to help my juniors, in which i teach them and i don't find it boring or anything


Should i go for it? Music is definitely my career path, i'm just not very sure which specific path to go with.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2016, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

You mention a lot of negatives about your own thoughts as to where you stand and based on that I would not suggest it at this time. I have certain skills and would love to teach others but at some point they are going to want to read music and that is my weakness. I would suggest waiting until you are better at reading, and better at. "I can basically play rock some times with no issues", and "im not so sure about my side reading capabilities". I think you mean sight reading. Love the ambition but would reccommend waiting at this time.
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

Sounds like you could teach a total beginner.

I have done a bit of teaching, it helped me to teach myself but I make sure I give the right advice. Maybe you should get lessons from a great teacher simultaneously and they will be a model of perfection for you to mimmick.
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

Agree with Duck Tape and have one more question. How are you with the basic rudiments? When I was in school 14 people started drum lessons thinking they were going to sit down behind a set of drums and go crazy. We spent half of the year just doing rudiments which are the starting point, in my opinion, for any drummer. We then starting reading music charts. We saw a drum for the first time after about 6 months. So I guess my main question is, Do you want to teach drums, or how to play a set of drums?
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

A few thoughts:

I would focus more on learning rather than teaching right now. Do seek out other drummers, talk to them, and help them if they need help, but your main job now is to learn, and develop your abilities. There is a lot to learn to be a professional musician. You won't be able to do it if you just learn the music your school gives you.

You should performing, seeing professional drummers perform, playing music with people, and practicing as much as you can. Get lessons if you can afford them-- there should be some American drummers working in Singapore (like, playing at the big hotels)-- seek them out for that. If you can't afford lessons, seek them out anyway, see them play, and talk to them.

If you want to be a musician, time spent playing and practicing is as important as anything else you do. Do your school work, but music is your number one priority.

Finally, about playing: Your job as a professional drummer is very different from what you're doing right now. Mainly, you will have to sound good playing things you've never heard before, without music, the first time you play them. Try to figure out how you do that.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I'm afraid I'm going to have to say 'no, not yet'.

I work alongside a number of professional instrumental teachers on a daily basis and every single one of them is a monster player. Most of them, particularly the two drum teachers, play regular well-paying gigs to high-profile artists and at theatres. The singing teachers sing opera around the country. The piano teacher teaches 8 hours a day, five days a week in a variety of contexts. One of our violin teachers played with an internationally touring orchestra. That's for starters.

These guys make a living playing their instrument. They have no other income and they are playing every single day. I'm a 'decent' drummer, I can play the guitar and I can play the bass. There is no way that I would even consider teaching, knowing what skills these guys have - I would be a total hack.

In fact, we have one student who has lessons outside of where I work and his teacher has taught him incredibly badly, scraping through exams and with no theory. As a result, he's hit a brick wall. Sure, he can play a bit but he doesn't know any theory, can't sightread and can't play with others - that's a real problem.

It's not even all about the ability. Teaching is a separate set of skills independent of your ability to play the instrument.

There are some great teachers out there and there are some terrible teachers out there that give other teachers a bad name. If you want to make a full-time living out of it, work on your playing first and then look at teaching. Being able to play at a basic level is not enough to make a living and you will not attract students.

You're 15 - so you have plenty of time to get there. I wish you the best of luck.
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2016, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

Adding to Todds' great advice, if there are any clinics in the area music stores where pros are presenting, GO. At your age the number of venues you can attend to see live bands may be limited, buy watch any live performances you can.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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I think you mean site reading.
Made me chuckle. I have days like this as well.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:56 PM
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Made me chuckle. I have days like this as well.
or Even Sight reading good lord grunter
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

Difficult to say. Some people know almost everything there is to know about a given subject, but dont have the skill set needed to pass it on to others. That is a gift in itself. You may not know a great deal about drumming, yet, but you may be a natural at inspiring others and helping overcome sticking points.

As long as you are honest when describing the level of instruction you can offer I dont see a problem with you having a go. Anyway, you may not like the experience, doing is different to teaching. Give it a go, even free of charge and see if you can make it work. Lots of beginners just want to know if they can master a basic beat and have the aptitude for limb separation. Things like reading etc can be left till much later, assuming students want to keep there drumming going. At that point you could pass them on to a more experienced teacher while you get your skills up to speed.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:01 PM
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2016, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I'm going to have to join in with the "no" crowd here.

While teaching is a different skill than playing, I don't think it's time to teach when you still have basic questions about your own playing.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2016, 09:03 PM
porky porky is offline
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Agree with Duck Tape and have one more question. How are you with the basic rudiments? When I was in school 14 people started drum lessons thinking they were going to sit down behind a set of drums and go crazy. We spent half of the year just doing rudiments which are the starting point, in my opinion, for any drummer. We then starting reading music charts. We saw a drum for the first time after about 6 months. So I guess my main question is, Do you want to teach drums, or how to play a set of drums?
I definitely can teach basic rudiments if thats what you're asking? I plan to use the rudiments to show fill ins, for example lets say a paradiddle, i want to show how you can incorporate a paradiddle into a fill, and you can make a paradiddle groove as well.

Im very enthusiastic about music, I love to see people learn play drums, not necessarily the process,but when they can play, its rewarding,so in some ways i want to teach drums, but i know that teaching takes alot of patience and care as well and teaching isn't a light work whatsoever.

Im very likely gonna go for pure beginners if i ever decide to teach, because im teaching in the holidays only and im not sure if im gonna continue after the holidays, because i got O lvls :'(
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2016, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

That is great. Again I love the enthusiasm. But you bring another point to the table. I'm thinking students will want to have their instruction or tuition to be a scheduled thing like once a week and not just when you are on holiday or breaks from school. For most student s that would be saturdays or evenings on a recurring basis. Just food for thought.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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That is great. Again I love the enthusiasm. But you bring another point to the table. I'm thinking students will want to have their instruction or tuition to be a scheduled thing like once a week and not just when you are on holiday or breaks from school. For most student s that would be saturdays or evenings on a recurring basis. Just food for thought.
Definitely, that is the biggest problem hah, would it be a good idea if i were to start with just 1/2 students? Or i can have something like a beginners course such that people will know that i'm committing only a month or 2 worth of teaching?
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

My advice would be yes. Start small. You learn to teach as they learn to play.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:10 PM
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  #16  
Old 09-29-2016, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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if I may be frank ...

if you do end up "teaching" someone I would't take any money for it

I don't believe anyone should pay to be taught by someone who should be in the beginning stages of learning themselves

why not spend time studying the craft yourself so that you actually have something to offer down the road ?

showing someone how to play a drum beat is not teaching ... it is showing them to play a drum beat

teaching is sharing years of experience & knowledge and helping someone understand what they need to improve in specific areas ... helping them get the best out of their abilities ... and helping them to eventually become self sufficient .
sometimes it also means being a mentor and unlicensed therapist.

not sure you are ready for that just yet by what you describe

but I have no doubt that you could show someone how to play a few drum beats out of the kindness of your heart ... go for it
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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if I may be frank ...

if you do end up "teaching" someone I would't take any money for it

I don't believe anyone should pay to be taught by someone who should be in the beginning stages of learning themselves

why not spend time studying the craft yourself so that you actually have something to offer down the road ?

showing someone how to play a drum beat is not teaching ... it is showing them to play a drum beat

teaching is sharing years of experience & knowledge and helping someone understand what they need to improve in specific areas ...having an answer for every question .... helping them get the best out of their abilities ... and helping them to eventually become self sufficient .
sometimes it also means being a mentor and unlicensed therapist.

not sure you are ready for that just yet by what you describe

but I have no doubt that you could show someone how to play a few drum beats out of the kindness of your heart and that will be great experience for when you are ready to share your craft with others ... ... go for it
This is precisely it, apart from one small thing.

Teaching is also having the humility to sometimes turn around and say 'I don't know, I will look into that'.

Showing someone a few things on the kit is fine - but it's not 'teaching' the drums.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I don't mean this in a mean way, but it sounds like you are probably a beginner yourself. If you can only lst about 4 songs that you are able to play smoothly, and you can't really read music, it would be tough to teach someone, as most students would probably be at the same level you are.

I'd focus a little bit more on learning at this time. Learning to read/write music is critical is you want to be a working drummer, and music theory is going to be very important if you want to play any styles that aren't rock/pop.

Again, I'm not trying to be mean, but it sounds like you should be focusing on learning the drums right now, not teaching them to others.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

Just make sure you are one chapter ahead of your student(s) and you're golden.
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I say go for it. Look at some of these online drum "teachers" out there doing videos and etc...no need to mention names...if they are teachers, anyone can be.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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I say go for it. Look at some of these online drum "teachers" out there doing videos and etc...no need to mention names...if they are teachers, anyone can be.
I respectfully disagree. Better to not be a teacher at all, then to be labelled a 'teacher' but with a bad reputation, especially early on.

I think its fabulous the OP has goals and focus he has. But 15 is too young to teach...anything.... in a professional context. It requires some maturity, life and other experiences to develop a good pedagogy in any subject.

There is a reason your driving instructor, tennis instructor, grammar school teacher, University prof, gun instructor, sex therapist, ....etc. are all older than 15.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:34 AM
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I respectfully disagree. Better to not be a teacher at all, then to be labelled a 'teacher' but with a bad reputation, especially early on.

I think its fabulous the OP has goals and focus he has. But 15 is too young to teach...anything.... in a professional context. It requires some maturity, life and other experiences to develop a good pedagogy in any subject.

There is a reason your driving instructor, tennis instructor, grammar school teacher, University prof, gun instructor, sex therapist, ....etc. are all older than 15.
Up to a point I agree with you, but to say that no one can learn anything from a 15 year old is just wrong. Anyone, almost regardless of age can have good ideas or be inspirational. Also, its Rock and Roll, there are no rules.
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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I say go for it. Look at some of these online drum "teachers" out there doing videos and etc...no need to mention names...if they are teachers, anyone can be.
You mean Drumeo? Drumeo tbh dont seem that bad haha
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  #24  
Old 09-30-2016, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

They took the original down which takes the troll factor away but here is maybe what Brian refers to.

http://youtu.be/rQc2LGF-G4g
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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They took the original down which takes the troll factor away but here is maybe what Brian refers to.

http://youtu.be/rQc2LGF-G4g

that's far worse than drumeo hahah
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I personally feel that a teacher should know their subject inside and out to be considered, or to consider themselves, thus.

I can't recall my modern-history teachers ever saying "can't do WW2 history....I only know about WW1".

Drums are no different IMHO. I'd expect my drum teacher to be a proper, pro, accomplished, drummer with a fine understanding of rudiments, and drum-music reading.

I think anything else is fraudulent being frank.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

If you can find someone who'll pay you to teach them with your current qualifications as they stand, more power to you.

As much as I think you're over reaching, I certainly wouldn't stand in your way.
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  #28  
Old 09-30-2016, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

Maybe you should try being a math or science teacher.

The point I'm attempting to make is that perhaps you could tutor your peer group, but you're not qualified to be a teacher.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

If you have to ask....you're not ready. You can't sell tomatoes if you have no tomatoes to sell. Get some tomatoes to sell first. (metaphor)

I'd "intern" by teaching kids only... of a single digit age....for free for a year or so and go from there.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I'm going to go against the tide here and say "Maybe, if..."

I was 12 years old when I first taught drum lessons. My first student was younger, a beginner, and I worked with him for only a few lessons to get him started. Now, 54 years later, I still teach a couple of afternoons a week for the enjoyment of it.

The thing is, when I started that first student I had already studied with three private teachers myself (one a principal in a major symphony), so I had some exposure to how teaching should be done. Yes, it's good to be a capable drummer yourself in order to demonstrate and inspire, but the most important thing is that you have some understanding of the process of teaching. Information given in a disorganized or confusing way is just time wasted for everybody and usually leads to habits that the student will need to correct later.

So my question would not be about how much you know and what you can play, but about what teacher(s) you've had that you can emulate and how long you've at it. Teaching can be a great thing for you -- gets you focused on the basics, tightening up your own technique and thinking about what you're doing, but it also requires insight into the learning process, figuring out what motivates and challenges the student, and helping the student understand the why's of what he's studying. You can't just dump information -- there needs to be a step-by-step process.

If you don't feel ready for that at this time, then it might be wise to take some more lessons before you give lessons. But if you think you can be valuable in guiding a beginner, I'd say give it a shot, even if it's only for a little while before referring him to someone more advanced.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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teaching is sharing years of experience & knowledge and helping someone understand what they need to improve in specific areas ...having an answer for every question .... helping them get the best out of their abilities ... and helping them to eventually become self sufficient. sometimes it also means being a mentor and unlicensed therapist.
That, and a good teacher also knows how to motivate a student. The teacher must be able to help maintain interest and a good learning relationship, it's not enough to simply know more or play better than the student.

The teacher must have discipline and the temperament to be a teacher, and at age 15, that would be extremely rare.

The teacher must stay focused and be professional. Could a 15-year-old boy teaching a 14-year-old girl stay on track without his hormones kicking in?

The teacher must be mature and ethical enough to explain to parents when a student perhaps isn't suited to playing drums, and that everyone should stop beating their heads against the wall and spending money on lessons and gear.

And the teacher has to possess confidence in order to instill confidence in their student, and in the parents paying the bill. Judging by Porky's comments, he's just not ready. In 5 years, he'll understand better and may be ready. In 5 more years, he'll understand even better and will be more prepared.

When is the right time to explore teaching? When there's absolutely no question about ability or mission in the teacher's, student's, and parent's minds.

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  #32  
Old 09-30-2016, 05:44 PM
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If you have to ask....you're not ready. You can't sell tomatoes if you have no tomatoes to sell. Get some tomatoes to sell first. (metaphor)

I'd "intern" by teaching kids only... of a single digit age....for free for a year or so and go from there.
Intern of another company? Or you mean something like a home - based one
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:03 PM
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Intern of another company? Or you mean something like a home - based one
I meant intern for yourself by teaching young kids free to get some experience. You'd have to advertise it somehow.

You could appeal to parents. Free lessons for your grade school child...be honest, so you can get experience teaching kids. What do they have to lose? You may even get tipped if you are well liked enough. Attitude is EVERYTHING now.
When you feel you are valuable enough to charge....you'll know when. Great way to start doing what you want. Attitude is king. Since you love it so much, your enthusiasm will be contagious. And your positive attitude will be your vehicle to get you where you want to be. If you love it, give it away in the beginning. The learning and personal rewards will compensate you in the beginning with knowledge greater than any money you could earn. You also need to take lessons yourself, like right away. Get yourself the best teacher you can in your area. Research it.

Instill the love of drums in a young mind, that's first. The serious student needs to love the instrument first. The hard work will be much easier to endure after the love for the instrument is well established. Make it fun fun fun for kids. Drumming is one of the best brain plasticity endeavors you can think of. Your whole brain lights up while drumming. (hopefully!)
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Last edited by larryace; 09-30-2016 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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I'm going to go against the tide here and say "Maybe, if..."

I was 12 years old when I first taught drum lessons. My first student was younger, a beginner, and I worked with him for only a few lessons to get him started. Now, 54 years later, I still teach a couple of afternoons a week for the enjoyment of it.

The thing is, when I started that first student I had already studied with three private teachers myself (one a principal in a major symphony), so I had some exposure to how teaching should be done. Yes, it's good to be a capable drummer yourself in order to demonstrate and inspire, but the most important thing is that you have some understanding of the process of teaching. Information given in a disorganized or confusing way is just time wasted for everybody and usually leads to habits that the student will need to correct later.

So my question would not be about how much you know and what you can play, but about what teacher(s) you've had that you can emulate and how long you've at it. Teaching can be a great thing for you -- gets you focused on the basics, tightening up your own technique and thinking about what you're doing, but it also requires insight into the learning process, figuring out what motivates and challenges the student, and helping the student understand the why's of what he's studying. You can't just dump information -- there needs to be a step-by-step process.

If you don't feel ready for that at this time, then it might be wise to take some more lessons before you give lessons. But if you think you can be valuable in guiding a beginner, I'd say give it a shot, even if it's only for a little while before referring him to someone more advanced.

Since you have first hand experience, I wanna ask, espescially at a younger age, how would you approach the people in convincing that youre a serious teacher to start with?
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I don't know if I would suggest teaching on a regular basis, but I don't think that there would be anything wrong with helping a kid set up his drums for the first time, helping him tune, and then showing him around this kit a little to help get started.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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Up to a point I agree with you, but to say that no one can learn anything from a 15 year old is just wrong. Anyone, almost regardless of age can have good ideas or be inspirational.
I never stated 'no one can learn from a 15 yr old'. My words were "cannot teach anything in a professional context". 'professional' being the key word.
Any pro rugby or football players at age 15? How many pro drummers out there at age 15? I'm not trying to be agist, I have a kid too, but would not send them to somebody who is 15 for a professional lesson for the myriad of reasons replied by some of the drum teachers on this thread.
I also would suggest that not being able to teach professionally need not extinguish his enthusiasm for drums in any way. As stated above, there is always room for anybody of any age 'showing somebody else a drum beat' or a rudiment, but that is not always teaching.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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As stated above, there is always room for anybody of any age 'showing somebody else a drum beat' or a rudiment, but that is not always teaching.
Quite correct, teaching involves a different set of skills than playing. Someone can be an amazing technician, and/or have an enviable career in music, and still not be a good teacher. The converse is also true.

I taught starting in my late teens, both privately and in a couple of music stores. Looking back, I was an okay teacher, in that some students were inspired to learn, and some, not so much. I'm not sure that if I was more experienced, maybe I could have motivated some of them better. But in hindsight, a few were genuinely disinterested, probably forced by a parent to give them something to do. I was also too immature to tell some of the parents, and continued to take their money and go through the motions with their kids. It really wasn't healthy for anyone, and not very ethical on my part. But, I was too young to get that.

Although I could probably attract students now, and I do get asked occasionally, I don't think I could be a teacher per se. I recognize that I'm basically not patient enough, and that both students and I would just end up frustrated.

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Old 09-30-2016, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

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I never stated 'no one can learn from a 15 yr old'. My words were "cannot teach anything in a professional context". 'professional' being the key word.
Any pro rugby or football players at age 15? How many pro drummers out there at age 15? I'm not trying to be agist, I have a kid too, but would not send them to somebody who is 15 for a professional lesson for the myriad of reasons replied by some of the drum teachers on this thread.
I also would suggest that not being able to teach professionally need not extinguish his enthusiasm for drums in any way. As stated above, there is always room for anybody of any age 'showing somebody else a drum beat' or a rudiment, but that is not always teaching.
The OP mentioned nothing about teaching or mentoring in a "Professional" context and neither did I. He knows his limitations. If he gets someone started on the drums, who is asking for instruction, and lets them know he can only take them the first few steps, what is the problem? If he instills the love of drumming in someone then its job done.

If they later seek out lessons from a Pro instructor or decide to go the self taught route it makes no difference, If they keep playing they are still a drummer, and our 15 year old got them started.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:13 PM
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Interesting Bermuda. I think you would make an excellent teacher now given your insights. I think you would enjoy it more than you think. I was a researcher at a Medical college for a number of years till I took an 8 year hiatus to raise my three daughters-that killed my research career when I started back to work so I opted for teaching. Which I'd be the first to admit that teaching isn't my natural inclination-at all is like an understatement-but it was a challenge so I started methodically addressing it. I still talk too fast but I'm more organized and learned to simplify for a big picture with details to be added, and students loved I actually gave a crap about them, felt confidence I knew what I was talking about and wasn't blowing smoke up their butts, enjoyed my sense of humor and childish mannerism-even for a sexagenarian. I'm actually looking for a temporary adjunct job now cause I really miss the challenge of teaching. I still have a few students who keep in touch with their progress in life-which really is awesome because i can think of so many who positively influenced and helped me too-so nice to see it passed forward.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Should i teach drums at my age and level

I was teaching drumming when I was 15 years old. My dad was a drum teacher. And he would have me teach his beginning students hand technique and how to read very basic drum music. As you can tell I was teaching but I was under the direction of a professional.


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