How to Make Drum Lessons more interesting

DsDrummer

Senior Member
Hey everyone!

So I have a student I'm teaching who is six years old and we're reaching our 5th lesson tomorrow. He started out eager to learn and knew absolutley nothing. Within 5 lessons, he's able to play the first 8 pages of Syncopation, knows quarter note rhythms, and is beginning to grasp paradiddles, and a double stroke roll. Last week I started him out on the drum set because he was getting a little bored with Ted Reed, and I felt he was ready for it. I got him to be able to play a basic 2 & 4 beat with a little bit of time and struggle but by the end of the lesson he got. Now the problem is that I feel his original eagerness is fading as things become harder. What can I do/start to teach him at his level that would be fun for him?

Thanks,
DAN
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Apply what he has learnt so far to a song that he likes.
With a 5yr old of my own, I think that would be somewhere between "Wheels on the bus" and the theme from the 80's version of the cartoon "Transformers".

I personally salute the OP for keeping the kid interested for more than 5 minutes, and will be psyched if he succeeds and lets us know how he did it.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Don't ask him to do more than he is already doing - it's a hell of a lot! clever kid! - but get him to do it around the kit and (especially) the cymbals, so that he becomes aware of the different voices available to him.
 

Kroy

Member
Apply what he has learned so far to a song that he likes.
That's what I was going to say too..
Here in the UK we have the Rock School grades which have some great play-alongs. (The Debut grade would be just the right level for him, the combinations of grooves are very well thought out). Perhaps you have something similar in the States - then he would be working towards a grade (if that's what he wanted to do).
One of the songs I always teach beginners is 'We Will Rock You' by Queen. Everyone seems to like playing with one - it's just the same beat all the way through but you could put some fills in based on the Ted reed stuff.
I think you should definitely get him into playing more grooves (then mixing up with fills).
A couple of grooves beginners always love are the ones with the sixteenth snares in between the hi-hats. Here are a couple of songs you can find on youtube that feature two of these beats: Forget You by Cee Lo Green and Naughty Boy by La La La
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Difficult, at that age attention spans are short and kids can jump from one passtime to another, and that is a good and healthy thing. All you can do is keep him interested and enjoying it. If it becomes too much like a formal "Must do" lesson they may kick up and lose interest.

Was the idea of drum lessons the parents or the childs? Sometimes that is the key. If they have made him attend or start making him attend it could soon go sideways. Commitment is a difficult thing to detect in children, sometimes the quiet undemonstritive ones can be the most determined, and the bouncy over enthusiastic can lose interest very quickly.

Do your best to make it fun and you have done your part.
 

DsDrummer

Senior Member
Thanks for the input everyone! I think I'm going to try to find a theme song from a show he likes and have him play the beat over it. I think he will like that the most. And yes, he was the one who chose to get lessons for drums! :)
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I think you just have to keep in mind that a 6 year old is very much a child and can be fickle regarding what entertains them. Dont expect commitment, If you get commitment then that is great.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Ask the kid what he likes to listen to - you may get some surprises.

At age 5 my son was enjoying stuff that he heard being played around the house. He was absolutely into a Dido live DVD that I had, and loved my wife's Robbie Williams live at Knebworth DVD. He also liked Michael Jackson, but I take no responsibility for that.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Ask the kid what he likes to listen to - you may get some surprises.

At age 5 my son was enjoying stuff that he heard being played around the house. He was absolutely into a Dido live DVD that I had, and loved my wife's Robbie Williams live at Knebworth DVD. He also liked Michael Jackson, but I take no responsibility for that.
And you take responsibility for him liking Dido and Robbie Williams??????
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
And you take responsibility for him liking Dido and Robbie Williams??????
Abso-darn'-lutely!

We saw Robbie Williams a few weeks back - great show. And the Knebworth concert is a cracker.

And Dido...good voice, good songs and easy on the eyeballs.

YMMV - if you don't like either of these, that's cool too.

Here in Sydney, schoolgirls are currently wetting themselves over 1 Direction. Not my scene (schoolgirls or 1 Direction), but they are currently a band at the top of their game.

Check out my lawn!
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Abso-darn'-lutely!

We saw Robbie Williams a few weeks back - great show. And the Knebworth concert is a cracker.

And Dido...good voice, good songs and easy on the eyeballs.

YMMV - if you don't like either of these, that's cool too.

Here in Sydney, schoolgirls are currently wetting themselves over 1 Direction. Not my scene (schoolgirls or 1 Direction), but they are currently a band at the top of their game.

Check out my lawn!
Hey, I wasnt taking a pop, just jumping on the back of your Michael Jackson remark.

As for 1.D.? lets not confuse popularity with being on top of there game, remember, the Spice Girls were very popular with the same target audience for a while. I rest my case.

On a more important note. I was very sad to hear about Phillip Hughes death, he played for Worcestershire, my local team, for a while. A great cricketer and a sound bloke.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
No worries - the worst that it could have been was that you and I have different musical tastes. I've long since learnt that unless an imaginary Internet person is acshly calling me names, there's prolly some subtext that I've missed.

As for 1D, I heard them interviewed on radio this morning, on a classic hits station, so miles from their target demographic. I'm not about to start seeking out their music, but in fairness, they interviewed well.

Very sad about Hughes's death. Such a freak accident, very sad, and just awful for the poor bowler who must be feeling utterly, utterly rotten.
 
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