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  #1  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:51 PM
Wernervonwaltsleben Wernervonwaltsleben is offline
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Default Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Hey everyone.
im a little stressed out cause i have my first 4 year old student where i teach.this boy's dad thinks that he has the potential and his starting in two days.does anyone know how approach the drumset to a 4 year old boy? how to start, how to show him some stuff that he will understand.
plz help.
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I'm not a teacher but I wouldn't start him on a drum set. I would test his rhythm with other means to see if he had potential. Claves, tambourine, something. I don,t think a four year old is ready for instruction on a drumset unless he/she has had some other teaching first. I hope he proves me wrong. good luck.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I'm not a teacher either, but for a 4 year old I would think the very basic basic stuff first, like love for rhythm, listening to songs and distinguishing the drum parts, clapping to the beat, the stuff we all take for granted. In short start with fun and progress as per his/her abilities.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

This thread just grabbed my attention, because i'm teaching drums to a six year old at the moment, and have been for about 3-4 months. He's been playing on the drumset without instruction for at least a year but his parents ended up asking me to give him lessons, as i already knew them through the church.

Generally, its hard work to try and explain new rhythms and fills to him, but he enjoys learning stuff he can put into practise so i try to teach as many simple variations of beats and fills as he will understand. I try to focus on teaching him general time-keeping and technique, to put him in a good position to learn more complex ideas when he's a bit older. I'v been having him play along a song on headphones each lesson, and going over simple rudiments at different dynamics and speeds... there's a lot of repeating myself, and going over things that he forgets from one week to the next, but thats the nature of the job i guess, and he is progressing so thats what matters.

Four is younger again though, so it would be even more difficult... but if the parent understands that you cant work miracles then give it a go, after a while you'll learn little ways to explain things that work.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I'm not a teacher, but I work with children at church. Keep things very simple, and take your time. Remember this kid is 4. He probably hasn't learned how to read yet so don't expect him to learn how to read music.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Some random ideas to use or discard... Introduce them to the drumset gear, foot pedals, snare drum, sticks, cymbals, explain the throwoff, the bell of the cymbal, the hi hat...Maybe attempt to teach listening skills, play a piece of music and ask how many different instruments he/she hears, teach counting, 1234,2234,3234,4234, clap to songs, count to songs, play steady quarter notes on just the bass drum to songs...4 is way young, like Big Bird and Elmo young.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I don't start my students unless they are at least 5, but I do have one little girl who is 4 right now. Her parents had her take lessons with someone else, who they didn't like I guess, so then they switched to me.

Keep it simple, and make it fun for them.
I had this little girl playing basic beats on the first lesson, and fills on the next. Last week we just started some paradiddles and basic rolls (she really digs them).
Play games with them, stuff that involves their right and left hand. It can sometimes be hard, but as long as you have the patence and can keep finding ways to make it fun for them, you should have no problems.

Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

The main thing with kids that age is the attention span. If they are used to participating in sports, daycare, or preschool, their attention span might be better. The parents may need to wait another year or two if the child is not able to focus on what you are showing him. At that age, everyone is different. It is often the same with students that are a year or two older. I have had 6 or 7 year old students that cannot focus on what I am showing them. I have other 7 year old students who sit still, pay attention, and do everything that I ask of them.

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  #9  
Old 04-30-2009, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

HA, I have 30 year old students that can't focus. LOL
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I think it's a great idea the parents doing this. Many of the top musical geneuses we know and love started out at the ages of just 2 and 3. I sure wish i'd started on music a bit earlier, i might not suck at it so much :p. There's a video of this kid who's parents filmed his drumming progress every year of his life from the age of like 2 or something and by the time he was 13 he was amazing on the drums and that was in 2006 as well so he's probably even better now.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I have never had one that young- but I did get asked to teach a boy of 4 and refused as his parents did not want one on one lessons- but wanted him to join my group lessons. This would have been dificult as on top of his young age and being too short to reach everything he was left handed also and would have been the only one in the class who was left handed.

I prefer my students to be older from around 10 if possible, or younger but not much- as I find the concentration is too short and they are easily distracted.

Good luck tho!
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

My kids (6 and 3) both wanted to play. To get them started I showed them some basic beats just using hands, and simplified it until it was something they could manage by themselves. After a while they started adding feet (which they can barely reach, by the way!) and making their own beats up.

I think it will be a while before they're playing beats like you or I would play, but they're having fun (most important at this stage), and developing (less important, but still good).
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

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Originally Posted by jeffwj View Post
The main thing with kids that age is the attention span. If they are used to participating in sports, daycare, or preschool, their attention span might be better. The parents may need to wait another year or two if the child is not able to focus on what you are showing him. At that age, everyone is different. It is often the same with students that are a year or two older. I have had 6 or 7 year old students that cannot focus on what I am showing them. I have other 7 year old students who sit still, pay attention, and do everything that I ask of them.

Jeff
Great advice, as usual Jeff.

Teaching them age appropriate music concepts is more important than specific instruction of an instrument. I have a piano in my studio and the young drum students like to tinker with it, and even ask if I can teach them piano today and I'll show them something on the piano and then get to the drum lesson. When I teach piano to 5-6 year olds, I work in a lot of spelling words with the piano. Let's make a song with the letters D-A-D, for example,

As far as the drums go, there is the issue of physical strength that kids may not possess until at least 7. So executing rudiments or beats may not be suitable. You have to consider what you are teaching them from the perspective of what they are learning in school or pre-school and then find a way to integrate your isntruction into their mind set.

Working with young kids is a difficult task and a lot of work. My sister is an ECE teacher and prefers 4-5. I don't know how she does it. Genreally though, you are not going to see the type of concentration needed for lessons before seven and probably not until 8 or 9. There's a reason why they start lessons at 9 or 10 in the public schools.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

with my extremely limited experience with children and my even more limited drum teaching knowledge i'd say if your kit isn't covered in jam after the lesson you've done well
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

well i started wen i was 4!!! but thats beside the point i think that as long as they understand wat rythm is then wat the hech let them find themselves in the world of drums!!!!! i hav taught myself 2 play drumset and i hav been taught 2 play snare but i think at age 4 u hav 2 get passed all things that distract them which 2 me is VERY challenging i would advise the parents 2 wait till he is older and more mature but again thats my opinion!!!!! which i thank u 4 reading!!!
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Aren't all 4 year olds like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMnwO...layer_embedded

Amazing!
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I luv Igor falecki he is a 4 year old drummer well he's now 7 but anyway he is a sponsor of sabian!!! SABIAN!!!! he must b like gentically mutated i mean watch him play and this is b4 his sponsor ship i think!!!!! and he is 4 in this 1 !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP7Nv...eature=related
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I would think the communication barrier would be the biggest stumbling block, that and getting them to practice at 4 years old. As suggested, make it a game, you'll have to do a lot of simon-says type of playing and playback to even evaluate his (it's a boy?) concept of rhythm and timing. I don't think it's appropriate for parents to push their kids into music at such a young age unless the child shows a genuine, persistent interest in it. I was pushed into piano at 5 yrs old, didn't like it, never practiced. Guitar again at 7 yrs old, didn't like it, never practiced. Finally got a drumset for xmas when i was 8 yrs old and immediately knew that drums were my instrument but the key was having fun. If it's not fun, then it's work.
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

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I would think the communication barrier would be the biggest stumbling block, that and getting them to practice at 4 years old. As suggested, make it a game, you'll have to do a lot of simon-says type of playing and playback to even evaluate his (it's a boy?) concept of rhythm and timing. I don't think it's appropriate for parents to push their kids into music at such a young age unless the child shows a genuine, persistent interest in it. I was pushed into piano at 5 yrs old, didn't like it, never practiced. Guitar again at 7 yrs old, didn't like it, never practiced. Finally got a drumset for xmas when i was 8 yrs old and immediately knew that drums were my instrument but the key was having fun. If it's not fun, then it's work.
That's the ticket, There is a language barrier working with kids that you need experience to get through. I always had a big issue with that so I make learning new words a part of my teaching. Also. younger kids cannot take material that you've given them and work with it alone at home. They need parental supervision. So when you see these wunderkinder on youtube, there is someone working with them very closely at least a few times a week and maybe even daily.

Parents get hung up with getting there kids an early start, and there is the whole Mozart syndrome. I think that putting unrealistic expectations on your kid or someone else's kid leads to the road of bad teaching. Sometimes people will bring and 8 or 10 year old to me and ask me essentially does my kid have any talent? which mean before I spend thousands of dollars teaching this kid drums is he worth it. Maybe they should spend the thousands of dollars on a parenting class.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

^ you see this all the time, parents wanting their kids to do what they always dreamed of themselves but couldn't. They got a boring job and lifestyle and now they're regretting taking life by the balls when they could. Well it's simply not right. You should always let your kid persue their own dreams, not your own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beastdrummagirl View Post
well i started wen i was 4!!! but thats beside the point i think that as long as they understand wat rythm is then wat the hech let them find themselves in the world of drums!!!!! i hav taught myself 2 play drumset and i hav been taught 2 play snare but i think at age 4 u hav 2 get passed all things that distract them which 2 me is VERY challenging i would advise the parents 2 wait till he is older and more mature but again thats my opinion!!!!! which i thank u 4 reading!!!
Sorry but you do sound a lot like a 4 year old in this statement. You will find that on DrummerWorld, we're quite set apart from other forums in that we tend to use correct grammar and spelling.
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

well, I'm sorry!!!!! I didn't know that everyone here is so particular and 4 yr olds can't even spell so how do I type like them!!!! anyway don't be dissing my typing skills because I am a new member to the discussion forum!!!! thx alot!!!
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

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well, I'm sorry!!!!! I didn't know that everyone here is so particular and 4 yr olds can't even spell so how do I type like them!!!! anyway don't be dissing my typing skills because I am a new member to the discussion forum!!!! thx alot!!!
I know, and that's why i'm giving you BOTD on this one for being a new member. There is a sticky that explains all of this on the top of this forum anyway.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

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I know, and that's why i'm giving you BOTD on this one for being a new member. There is a sticky that explains all of this on the top of this forum anyway.
ahh well thank you very much
ps: just to bug u..... i requested u as my friend and check out my site and cool pics:)
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:02 PM
Wernervonwaltsleben Wernervonwaltsleben is offline
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Wow, thanx for all the replies.It helped me alot.I had the 4 year old student last week.his coming back for second lesson tomorrow.I like asked how old he was, he said 4, i asked him if he can count to 4 and he could.
So i let him clap along to a rythm i played on the tambourine and he counting one, two,three, four along.then i let him hit the snaredrum with the tambourine beat im playing.and he was still counting.obviously his not perfectly on time yet, its his first time hitting a real drum.he kinda headbanged while he counted.thought that was kinda cool.
I saw a vid on youtube of dom famularo teaching that igor kid.they both play practice pads sitting across from each other and then igor can see what he is doing and play it together with him.is that a good way?
thank you again for all the replies.really helped me.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Great to hear you're having a good time. Imitation is a good technique for teaching young kids. The Suzuki Method is based on it. I think your technique of asking him things like his age and can he count, and then developing the lesson around familar areas is a good one. You must be patient person, and if you have the patince for it, working with young kids can really be beneficial to them.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I stumbled on a unique method to teach drumming to my 4 year-old son. I got Beatles Rock Band and introduced him both to the drum set and the Beatles. He loves it! We've had to create a makeshift drum stool using a couple of bathroom stools piled on top of each other and lower the Rock Band drum set to its lowest setting so he can drum and still reach the pedal. In a couple of months he's gotten quite good at the video game (on Wii) and now has an excellent sense of rythym. He can play all songs on "easy" mode and score 90% or above - a few songs he plays on "medium" mode. The other day he stumbled on "lefty" mode and enjoys playing this because it works out his left hand instead. Learning drumming this way hasn't taught him how to read drum notation but it has definitely given him a beat and a love of drumming and rock songs. I hope to get him a real drum set soon. It remains to be seen whether video game drumming will inspire true drumming skills.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

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stumbled on a unique method to teach drumming to my 4 year-old son. I got Beatles Rock Band and introduced him both to the drum set and the Beatles. He loves it! I hope to get him a real drum set soon. It remains to be seen whether video game drumming will inspire true drumming skills.
This is really awesome! I love teaching the little kids. They have no hang ups or lack of confidence. I usually treat the lessons as fun time. Sure, there is education involved, but I concentrate on the fun aspect. I like to use songs like Green onions for them to play along to. Basic 1/4 notes is great for little kids. As the weeks go by the classes gradually get a bit more involved. I'm pleased to say that all children 5 and under I have taught are still with me. I've never lost 1.

I just think they're great!
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

i like the idea of using precussive instuments as a bench mark.

Im teaching my wee cousin very slowly, the first 3 times i let him beat the shit out if the kit, so he could get used to the noise's it made.
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Great suggestions already, and this is from my limited experience.

I bought my grandaugter her first kit at 4. When starting with her I let her show me what to teach her. She wasn't interested in beats or songs which imo was fine. She wanted to do rolls around the kit and hit the cymbals. Since that was her interest I started showing her at first how to orchastrate singles around the kit. From there I gradually introduced more rudiments and emphisized volume and accents while using beginning band method books--which she still isn't excited about. Now at 7 she's still not all that interested in songs or beats but she can get around a kit better then many of the young drummers I see playing bars and I'm not saying that because she's my grandaughter. She is quick. Oddly enough, at 7, her stick of choice is Vic Firth's Danny Carey Model which is just shy of a marching stick. She likes the indentation in the stick.

I assume that the interest in songs and beats will come when she's interested, if ever. But, one thing I had with her being my grandaughter is she always wanted to "show" me what she could do. You might not get that from a stranger or it may take time to develop that relationship.

Bottom line, I didn't force anything on her, and let her decide what we would do. That kept her interest.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I would start with the basic essentials. How to hold the stick. Where to position your limbs.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Dude!

It sounds like you are not a teacher. This is NOT a putdown. It is a recocognition. I AM a teacher, my daughters are music TEACHERS, my wife is a music TEACHER. We CAN teach people. I KNOW you WANT to teach this kid............but if you cannot do it....what do you do???":

Think dude! Think!! You want to soooooooo.....re-think how to go about it. You can!!!
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

You might want to look at the Kindermusic curriculem. It involves lots of clapping, counting and singing games for pre-schoolers.

I have a 4 year old student who is amazing! He's already been in one recital -- he played "Fool on the Hil" by the Beatles! He is a rare kid though . . . he pays attention and never looses focus.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

All excellent advice here!

Someone mentioned earlier that very young kids need parental supervision while practicing, and I think this is very important. As such, I always make sure the parents are aware of the material I assign for practice. Teenagers and adults can direct themselves while practicing; parents need to motivate and keep track of what young kids do while they practice.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Sorry I got on the thread so late. It's very interesting because I have been planning on trying to teach my 3 yr old grandson how to play the drums. He (and my son and daughter-in-law) live 1500 mi. away so I don't get a chance to see him much. We got him a toy set and I have let him play on "Gampa's big set" a couple of times. He absolutely loves it but all he does is "beat things". He can't hurt anything but you can't sit behind him or you'll get a stick in the head. Once he grabbed me by the hand and said "gampa, meer, shousompin" and led me by the hand to my drum room. At the time he was too small to open the door so he wanted me to do it for him.

He's bigger, now, so I have thought about lowering the stool to the bottom so he can reach the pedals and lowering the FT and SD so he can reach them. I am considering teaching him to play straight beats (1/4s and 1/8s) and put the BD with the HH. Whatever, he will be here in October, so this thread has given me some ideas. If he seems to be interested, I plan on sending him a scaled down set. I saw one for $175 at a local music store.

I'll keep you all posted if this develops.

Maurice
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I came online searching for information about my 4 yr. old boy learning to play the drums. What fortune I found in the forum. Anyway, I was wondering if someone could direct me on the type of drum, cost efficient, a child should start playing on. Mind you that we do not have any fellow drummers in the family for him to try-out any set. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:38 AM
ryanbairdrums
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  #36  
Old 10-27-2011, 02:00 PM
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Liebe zeit Liebe zeit is offline
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I have a four year old. I've taught him to count along when he plays, have given him drumsticks that he plays on his pillow to CDs and he sometimes gets a go on the ekit. He recently started attempting to copy me playing crosshanded rather than just bang every drum in turn. At this stage I see it as just planting seeds in his mind and that he'll pick things up as he becomes ready to
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:12 PM
Metorn Metorn is offline
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

I actually don't let my kids (6 and 3) touch the drum-set - mainly because it's way too loud even with brushes and they won't wear any ear-plugs or muffs.Of course as result they want to drum - that's where an electronic set comes in. Used alesis control pad and a kick pedal (~$150 for everything) through a computer - and they drum for hours along with Queen and Beatles. I don't have TV at home, otherwise Rock Band on PS3/WII/Xbox would be perfect to keep them interested and improve the sense of rhythm. When you have their interest and keep it fun it's so much easier to push the real training on.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:31 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

You guys all act like you've never heard of shock collars before.
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  #39  
Old 10-27-2011, 06:45 PM
Bertram Bertram is offline
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

See if he can find the pulse in a simple rock song in eights. Then try if he can stomp the bass drum pedal, and then hit the snare drum ( not necesssarily to a click or in time, but just play around a bit) - If it get's boring he will stop immediately, so it has to be fun, try new stuff everyday - but also play some of the stuff you did last time.

So for example, learn him how to hold the sticks in his hands - it doesn't have to be 100% correct the first time you practice with him. See if he can find the pulse in a rock song. Make him play the BD - snare beat... and that's bascially a lesson.

For the next lesson, you see if he can remember how to hold the sticks - then correct the mistakes a bit. Then you progress with a "harder" song, and then progress with the snare - BD beat aswell, to see if he can get the hi-hat with sometimes.

And so on - im no teacher - but that's what i would've done - but as you - I wouldn't know.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:49 PM
Bertram Bertram is offline
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Default Re: Teaching drums to a 4 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlenesessions View Post
I came online searching for information about my 4 yr. old boy learning to play the drums. What fortune I found in the forum. Anyway, I was wondering if someone could direct me on the type of drum, cost efficient, a child should start playing on. Mind you that we do not have any fellow drummers in the family for him to try-out any set. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I set up a Hayman Junior set for 200$ (new) in the store i work in atm. It sounds pretty decent for a Junior kit. 16'' bassdrum, 8'',10'' racktoms12'' floor tom and a 10'' snare - which sounds okay (snares are inside the drum - wierd thing...). It comes with stool,hardware such as hi-hat stand, plus mounting-systems, and small cymbals. When he is about 7 years old, buy a better kit. But for a 4 year old, this is absolutely fine. I've jumped into the sky if i got one of theese when i was a kiddo! That's for sure.
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