Drum Lesson Advice

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
Hey everyone. It's been years since I've been on here. Lots of traveling and playing. I've settled in Spain and relatively solidified myself in the scene in my city.
I have taught Cajon before in Ireland a bit but not in any professional way. I keep getting approached to give lessons, so I'm deciding to make a professional site, make some videos and spread the word..

I am at a crossroads regarding how to actually organize it, since I'm totally self taught. I don't like the idea of just going lesson by lesson, but setting up a 6-12 month package has its own downfalls since no student is alike and will progress in different ways. I am interested in package deals to ensure the student is relatively serious about learning but also to ensure some sort of safety for myself and also have a bench mark students will see to mark their progress

Advice is welcomed.. What have your experiences With lessons been ? Have you taught, especially hand percussion lessons regularly ?

Thanks guys !


Platinum Member
Hey FC!

Spain, beauty!

Kudos to you Re: your interest in teaching, however, I'd exercise caution as far as lengthy terms go, as long-term obligations/commitments can sometimes prove to be detrimental, especially in relation to newcomers/beginners.

Myself, I'd look to be more open to and receptive of drop-ins and individual lessons, as not only would a drop-in arrangement be attractive to a student hopeful (think affordability, less emphasis on feeling trapped by a long-term plan, and so forth), but it would also allow you time to gauge your new students (one by one) as far as ascertaining whether or not someone is or isn't dedicated, or those who may be searching for just a handful of lessons to help them work through a particular stumbling block or obstacle.

When it comes to teaching, flexibility is your biggest asset, next to dedication, patience and understanding. Be open.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The challenges here are very similar to what I fac in a small public music school. Though the school has it's own rules and regulations and you generally sign up for a whole semester, reality is different, especially if general attitudes in and around the school about the subject at hand have deteriorate completely, which they usually have before I show up.

When it comes to material I have made my own, organized it into main subjects and though it sort of represents a full book I use folder and work it all like a modular system where it's still always clear from the beginning the different routes we can take. i.e. I accomodate personal interests to a certain degree, but the student is aware that the empty spaces all represent an essential piece of the pussle.

I work individually, in small groups and also a bigger group where everyone is supposed to be included. This way we get all types of experiences and I have plenty of parts on all levels ready when working on those bigger group so that someone who's happy doing simply stuff enjoy doing that absorning the other skills he situation teaches and other stuff for those who want to be challenged.

In big group situations there's another teacher present. We being moe secure and able to play a lot louder if needed makes it so that I can get away with slight imbalances in the voices when only the students are playing.

I strive to expose all facets of the activity as quickly as possible, so students can make an informed decision if this is for them or not as quickly as possible. I don't want them to be there next semester if they don't enjoy and apprecite it and I don't want anyone there just because they get forced by their parents.

Because I take the wide approach though, there is something for everyone and I rarely loose students. I know why students choose other activities over music, it is very much just about quality, so being aware of that I soon make this the new hip thing to do, even surpassion football if they give me the time and can afford that many students.

Differences are that in my job things are naurally a bit more long term, and it's a lot cheaper to try out as the fees are sponsered by about 90% from public funds.

The same ideas apply though and can by thinking e.g. in semesters of 2-3 months and so on.

You'll just have to experiment and be aware of exactly what influences what. Every area is different. You get to know the general culture, how it works and if here's something that's not optimal you make small changes over time to modify. If it's really far off you just stick to the plan and stay patient.

Thinking in terms of a general school in social terms as well makes it possible to create interest and build a customer base not otherwise possible by just giving single lessons.

Giving stuff away for free is popular, but I think it's generally a waste of time. Much better to bring your students out and perform in public places and just be very visible in your environment.

If you go for obligations to lesson it should be really short term. I wouldn't push past 4 lessons, you're just setting yourself up for an uncomfortable situation otherwise. If they don't come for a second lesson and you hear nothing, you pretty much already know the deal.